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Harris-Fain discusses significant and representative works, most of which mainstream literary scholars and critics ignore, as he charts the historical and literary development of contemporary American science fiction. He identifies influences and events central to the genre’s growth, including the internal divisions along both literary and political lines experienced during the Vietnam era; the influence of the feminist movement and other contemporary concerns; the increasing contributions of female, African American, and gay and lesbian writers; and the emergence of such significant trends as hard science fiction, cyberpunk, alternate history, and shared-world stories. Harris-Fain also considers literary science fiction's relationship to the mass media, the effects the popularity of fantasy has on the field, and academia’s continued misprizing of the genre.
|Ch. 1||Introduction : where others have gone before||1|
|Ch. 2||After the new wave, 1970-1976||19|
|Ch. 3||From science fantasy to hard science fiction, 1977-1983||64|
|Ch. 4||Cyberpunk and other trends, 1984-1992||101|
|Ch. 5||Anything goes, 1993-2000||145|
|Ch. 6||Conclusion : the age of maturity||168|