Speculations on Speculation: Theories of Science Fiction

Front Cover
James E. Gunn, Matthew Candelaria
Scarecrow Press, 2005 - Fiction - 374 pages
Science fiction is a field of literature that has great interest and great controversy among its writers and critics. This book examines the roots, history, development, current status, and future directions of the field through articles contributed by well-respected science fiction writers, teachers, and critics. The articles 'speculate' on what is science fiction, is science fiction serious literature, which writers are considered good science fiction writers, and where the genre of science fiction is headed with 21st-century writers. Contributors include Brian W. Aldiss, Kathryn Cramer, Samuel R. Delany, David G. Hartwell, Ursula K. Le Guin, Barry N. Malzberg, Darko Suvin, Michael Swanwick, and many other outstanding authors. Examining all genres and subgenres of science fiction writing, this book provides differing viewpoints on science fiction, making it a great basis for dynamic classroom discussions.
 

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Contents

Toward a Definition of Science Fiction
5
Coming to Terms
13
Estrangement and Cognition
23
The Number of the Beast
37
On the Origins of Genre
41
LOCATION
55
SF and the Genological Jungle
59
The Readers of Hard Science Fiction
81
Some Notes toward the True and the Terrible
239
Wrong Rabbit
243
The Field and the Wave The History of New Worlds
247
Space Opera Redefined
259
INFATUATION
267
The Golden Age of Science Fiction Is Twelve
269
Some Presumptuous Approaches to Science Fiction
289
Touchstones
301

Science Fiction and Literature or The Conscience of the King
95
Science Fiction and Mrs Brown
119
I Could Have Been a Contender
141
DERIVATIONS
145
Introduction to Trillion Year Spree
147
On the Origin of Species Mary Shelley
163
The Roots of Science Fiction
205
Science Fiction and the Dimension of Myth
219
EXCAVATION
235
ANTICIPATION
311
A Users Guide to the Postmoderns
313
Science Fiction without the Future
331
Slipstream
343
Bibliography
353
Index
363
About the Contributors
365
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

James Gunn, emeritus professor of English at the University of Kansas, has published more than 36 books and nearly 100 short stories. His novels includeThe Immortals, The Joy Makers, The Listeners, and The Dreamers. He has published seven collections of short stories, including Future Imperfect and Breaking Point. As a professor, he taught fiction writing and science fiction, including a long-running intensive Writers Workshop in Science Fiction. His books about science fiction includeAlternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction,Inside Science Fiction, and the six-volume The Road to Science Fiction.Matthew Candelaria has published articles on science fiction and is recipient of the 2003 Golden Quill Award from the L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest.

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