May the Armed Forces Be with You: The Relationship Between Science Fiction and the United States Military

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McFarland, Sep 2, 2016 - History - 252 pages
Science fiction and the United States military often inhabit the same imaginative space. Weapons technology has taken inspiration from science fiction, from the bazooka and the atomic bomb to weaponized lasers and drones. Star-spangled superheroes sold war bonds in comic books sent to GIs during World War II, and adorned the noses of bombers. The same superheroes now appear in big-budget movies made with military assistance, fighting evil in today's war zones. A missile shield of laser satellites--dreamed up by writers and embraced by the high command--is partially credited with ending the Cold War. Sci-fi themes and imagery are used to sell weapons programs, military service and wars to the public. Some science fiction creators have willingly cooperated with the military; others have been conscripted. Some have used the genre as a forum for protest. This book examines the relationship between the U.S. military and science fiction through more than 80 years of novels, comics, films and television series, including Captain America, Starship Troopers, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Strangelove, Star Trek, Iron Man, Bill the Galactic Hero, The Forever War, Star Wars, Aliens, Ender's Game, Space: Above and Beyond and Old Man's War.
 

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Contents

Study War No More?
1
The Impact of Actual or Imagined Science
5
1 See You Later Space Cowboy
23
1926 to 1942
32
1942 to 1945
42
1946 to 1949
51
1950 to 1961
56
1962 to 1975
84
The Gulf Wars and Beyond
166
Science Fiction Writers Who Served in the US Military World War II to Vietnam
187
From Jeep to JEDI SF Influences on Military Terminology
190
The Vietnam War Advertisements 1968
192
Science Fiction Films Made with the Assistance of the Pentagon to 2013
194
Chapter Notes
197
Bibliography
227
Index
231

The Quest for the Death Ray
123
Killing Machines
147

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About the author (2016)

Stephen Dedman is a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Western Australia and the author of five novels and more than 100 short stories.

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