Styles of Creation: Aesthetic Technique and the Creation of Fictional Worlds

Overview


The impetus behind this collection of original essays is the tension between the aesthetic emphasis on stylistics in science fiction and fantasy writing and the critical limitations imposed by prevailing literary theory. From a variety of perspectives, the contributors show how a new, or expanded, set of methods and models can enrich critical exchange within the genre and between it and other types of fiction.

The focus of the book is not entirely on critical restraints but ...

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Overview


The impetus behind this collection of original essays is the tension between the aesthetic emphasis on stylistics in science fiction and fantasy writing and the critical limitations imposed by prevailing literary theory. From a variety of perspectives, the contributors show how a new, or expanded, set of methods and models can enrich critical exchange within the genre and between it and other types of fiction.

The focus of the book is not entirely on critical restraints but also on the genre's robustly subversive, creative drive--its unwillingness or inability to pause for critical validation. The essays examine the proliferation of stylistic acts and experiments in science fiction and fantasy writing as assess the genre's revolutionary qualities: its reordering of narrative priorities, inversion of consecrated categories, and elevation of "minor" devices.

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Meet the Author


George Slusser is a professor of comparative literature and director of the Eaton Program for Science Fiction and Fantasy Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Eric S. Rabkin is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English at the University of Michigan.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. 1 Creation and Style: Nature and Function
1 Reflections on Style in Science Fiction 3
2 Waging War with Reality 24
3 Style, Fiction, Science Fiction: The Case of Philip K. Dick 30
Pt. 2 Style and Grammar: Voice and Mood
4 Style, Substance, and Other Illusions 47
5 From "Nat" to "Nathan": The Liberal Arts Odyssey of a Pulpster 58
6 The Voice of Cthulhu: Language Interaction in Contemporary Horror Fiction 79
7 The Soul of the Plot: The Aesthetics of Fin de Siecle Literature of Horror 88
Pt. 3 The Rhetoric of Style: Figures and Effects
8 Persuasive Worlds and the Rhetoric of Art and Science in Science Fiction 117
9 Just How Frumious Is a Bandersnatch? The Exotic and the Ambiguous in Imaginative Literature 128
10 Camouflage and Sabotage: Satiric Maneuvers in the Fantastic Fiction of the German Democratic Republic 143
11 Utopian Effect/Utopian Pleasure 153
Pt. 4 Style and Structure
12 The "Missing Middle" of Science Fiction 167
13 "Born of Misery": Stephen King's (En)Gendered Text 172
14 Styles within Styles, or "Death of a Hack Writer": Herovit's World Reconsidered 181
Pt. 5 Tropes and Aesthetic Technique
15 Landscapes of British Science Fiction 193
16 In the Palace of Green Porcelain: Artifacts from the Museums of Science Fiction 205
17 Words of Wishdom: The Neologisms of Science Fiction 221
18 Styles of Invisibility: Sustaining the Transparent in Contemporary Prose Semblances 245
Contributors 259
Index 261
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