This is not an exhaustive or complete list, just a sample of the eBooks available in the UW Libraries catalog that are about themes within Science Fiction.
Decoding Gender in Science Fiction by Brian AtteberyFrom Frankenstein to futuristic feminist utopias, Decoding Gender in Science Fiction examines the ways science fiction writers have incorporated, explored, and revised conventional notions of sexual difference. Attebery traces a fascinating history of men's and women's writing that covertly or overtly investigates conceptions of gender, suggesting new perspectives on the genre.
Publication Date: 2002
Deconstructing the Starships by Gwyneth JonesThe subject matter of this collection is varied, but displays Jones' stance as a practicing SF writer and a feminist; the writing is characterized by both an incisive engagement with the texts and a refusal to dress that engagement in jargon. This very readable book provides insight into thework of one of the UK's most interesting writers and presents strong - sometimes even subversive - views of a range of modern SF and fantasy.
Publication Date: 1999
From Utopia to Apocalypse by Peter Y. Paik"I read Peter Y. Paik's lucid, graceful, ruthless book in one single astonished sitting. I scarred it all over with arrows and exclamation points, so I can read it again as soon as possible." --Bruce Sterling Revolutionary narratives in recent science fiction graphic novels and films compel audiences to reflect on the politics and societal ills of the day. Through character and story, science fiction brings theory to life, giving shape to the motivations behind the action as well as to the consequences they produce. In From Utopia to Apocalypse, Peter Y. Paik shows how science fiction generates intriguing and profound insights into politics. He reveals that the fantasy of putting annihilating omnipotence to beneficial effect underlies the revolutionary projects that have defined the collective upheavals of the modern age. Paik traces how this political theology is expressed, and indeed literalized, in popular superhero fiction, examining works including Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's graphic novel Watchmen, the science fiction cinema of Jang Joon-Hwan, the manga of Hayao Miyazaki, Alan Moore's V for Vendetta, and the Matrix trilogy. Superhero fantasies are usually seen as compensations for individual feelings of weakness, victimization, and vulnerability. But Paik presents these fantasies as social constructions concerned with questions of political will and the disintegration of democracy rather than with the psychology of the personal. What is urgently at stake, Paik argues, is a critique of the limitations and deadlocks of the political imagination. The utopias dreamed of by totalitarianism, which must be imposed through torture, oppression, and mass imprisonment, nevertheless persist in liberal political systems. With this reality looming throughout, Paik demonstrates the uneasy juxtaposition of saintliness and cynically manipulative realpolitik, of torture and the assertion of human dignity, of cruelty and benevolence.
Publication Date: 2010
Queer Universes by Wendy G. Pearson; Veronica Hollinger; Joan GordonContestations over the meaning and practice of sexuality have become increasingly central to cultural self-definition and critical debates over issues of identity, citizenship and the definition of humanity itself. In an era when a religious authority can declare lesbians antihuman while some nations legalise same-sex marriage and are becoming increasingly tolerant of a variety of non-normative sexualities, it is hardly surprising that science fiction, in turn, takes up the task of imagining a diverse range of queer and not-so-queer futures. The essays in Queer Universes investigate both contemporary and historical practices of representing sexualities and genders in science fiction literature. Queer Universes opens with Wendy Gay PearsonOCOs award-winning essay on reading sf queerly and goes on to include discussions about OCysextrapolationOCO in New Wave science fiction, OCystray penetrationOCO in William GibsonOCOs cyberpunk fiction, the queering of nature in ecofeminist science fiction, and the radical challenges posed to conventional science fiction in the work of important writers such as Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Joanna Russ. In addition, Queer Universes offers an interview with Nalo Hopkinson and a conversation about queer lives and queer fictions by authors Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge.
Publication Date: 2008
Religion and Science Fiction by James F. McGrath (Editor)As announced by its title, this multidisciplinary book focuses on the intersection between religion and science fiction. Several perspectives are addressed by scholars from different disciplines: theology, literature, history, music, and anthropology. Thus, gathering a range of distinct voices and approaches, this work edited by James F. McGrath shows how multifaceted and multicultural the science's fiction treatment of religion is.
Publication Date: 2012
Science Fiction, Ethics and the Human Condition by Christian Baron (Editor); Peter Nicolai Halvorsen (Editor); Christine Cornea (Editor)This book explores what science fiction can tell us about the human condition in a technological world, with the ethical dilemmas and consequences that this entails. This book is the result of the joint efforts of scholars and scientists from various disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach sets an example for those who, like us, have been busy assessing the ways in which fictional attempts to fathom the possibilities of science and technology speak to central concerns about what it means to be human in a contemporary world of technology and which ethical dilemmas it brings along. One of the aims of this book is to demonstrate what can be achieved in approaching science fiction as a kind of imaginary laboratory for experimentation, where visions of human (or even post-human) life under various scientific, technological or natural conditions that differ from our own situation can be thought through and commented upon. Although a scholarly work, this book is also designed to be accessible to a general audience that has an interest in science fiction, as well as to a broader academic audience interested in ethical questions.
Publication Date: 2017
Science Fiction and Empire by Patricia KerslakeThis book explores experiments in the practice of power and empire in SF as it connects the imperial project of our past with the potential neo-empires of our future. Is SF designed to purge our dark imperialistic fantasies, or is it a laboratory of mind-experiments: carefully considered trials of political, social and economic scenarios? Which tomorrow are we more likely to accept OCo where the blood of empire is red or read? As a modern culture we have adopted a scientific approach and in lieu of a field-test, we probe our hypotheses in SFOCOs theoretical environment. Beginning with a discussion of who OCyweOCO are (the good guys) and who OCytheyOCO are (anyone who isnOCOt us ), this book looks at the places in science fiction where humans try to touch a variety of futures. From such classic SF texts as LasswitzOCOs Two Planets and WellsOCOs The War of the Worlds, this book moves on through AsimovOCOs Robots and HeinleinOCOs Moon to consider BanksOCOs postcolonial Culture. We see the rise-and-fall of empire through the eyes of Miller, Clarke and Wyndham, and the apparently inevitable failure of the imperial project as discussed in Solaris, The Dispossessed and The Forever War . Science Fiction and Empire offers an insight into the darkest power abuses of humankind, where the oppression, silencing and marginalisation of those who are not-us continues and flourishes. Who are the monsters of our future OCo the Others invading from another planet, or the unseen and unrecognised Other within?
Publication Date: 2007-01-01
Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System by John RiederIn Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System, John Rieder asks literary scholars to consider what shape literary history takes when based on a historical, rather than formalist, genre theory. Rieder starts from the premise that science fiction and the other genres usually associated with so-called genre fiction comprise a system of genres entirely distinct from the pre-existing classical and academic genre system that includes the epic, tragedy, comedy, satire, romance, the lyric, and so on. He proposes that the field of literary production and the project of literary studies cannot be adequately conceptualized without taking into account the tensions between these two genre systems that arise from their different modes of production, distribution, and reception. Although the careful reading of individual texts forms an important part of this study, the systemic approach offered by Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System provides a fundamental challenge to literary methodologies that foreground individual innovation.
Publication Date: 2017
The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction by Istvan Csicsery-RonayAs the world undergoes daily transformations through the application of technoscience to every aspect of life, science fiction has become an essential mode of imagining the horizons of possibility. However much science fiction texts vary in artistic quality and intellectual sophistication, they share in a mass social energy and a desire to imagine a collective future for the human species and the world. At this moment, a strikingly high proportion of films, commercial art, popular music, video and computer games, and non-genre fiction have become what Csicsery-Ronay calls science fictional, stimulating science-fictional habits of mind. We no longer treat science fiction as merely a genre-engine producing formulaic effects, but as a mode of awareness, which frames experiences as if they were aspects of science fiction. The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction describes science fiction as a constellation of seven diverse cognitive attractions that are particularly formative of science-fictionality. These are the "seven beauties" of the title: fictive neology, fictive novums, future history, imaginary science, the science-fictional sublime, the science-fictional grotesque, and the Technologiade, or the epic of technsocience's development into a global regime.
Publication Date: 2011
Where No Man Has Gone Before by Lucie Armitt (Editor)How do women writers use science fiction to challenge assumptions about the genre and its representations of women? To what extent is the increasing number of women writing science fiction reformulating the expectations of readers and critics? What has been the effect of this phenomenon upon the academic establishment and the publishing industry? These are just some of the questions addressed by this collection of original essays by women writers, readers and critics of the genre. But the undoubted existence of a recent surge of women¿s interest in science fiction is by no means the full story. From Mary Shelley onwards, women writers have played a central role in the shaping and reshaping of this genre, irrespective of its undeniably patriarchal image. Through a combination of essays on the work of writers such as Doris Lessing and Ursula Le Guin, with others on still-neglected writers such as Katherine Burdekin and C. L. Moore and a wealth of contemporaries including Suzette Elgin, Gwyneth Jones, Maureen Duffy and Josephine Saxton, this anthology takes a step towards redressing the balance. Perhaps, above all, what this collection demonstrates is that science fiction remains as particularly well-suited to the exploration of woman as ¿alien¿ or ¿other¿ in our culture today, as it was with the publication of Frankenstein in 1818.
Publication Date: 2014
Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy by Robin Anne Reid (Editor)Works of science fiction and fantasy increasingly explore gender issues, feature women as central characters, and are written by women writers. This book examines women's contributions to science fiction and fantasy across a range of media and genres, such as fiction, nonfiction, film, television, art, comics, graphic novels, and music. The first volume offers survey essays on major topics, such as sexual identities, fandom, women's writing groups, and feminist spirituality; the second provides alphabetically arranged entries on more specific subjects, such as Hindu mythology, Toni Morrison, magical realism, and Margaret Atwood. Entries are written by expert contributors and cite works for further reading, and the set closes with a selected, general bibliography. Students and general readers love science fiction and fantasy. And science fiction and fantasy works increasingly explore gender issues, feature women as central characters, and are written by women writers. Older works demonstrate attitudes toward women in times past, while more recent works grapple with contemporary social issues. This book helps students use science fiction and fantasy to understand the contributions of women writers, the representation of women in the media, and the experiences of women in society.