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The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction

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Science fiction is at the intersection of numerous fields. It is literature which draws on popular culture, and engages in speculation about science, history, and all varieties of social relations. This volume brings together essays by scholars and practitioners of science fiction, which look at the genre from different angles. It examines science fiction from Thomas More Science fiction is at the intersection of numerous fields. It is literature which draws on popular culture, and engages in speculation about science, history, and all varieties of social relations. This volume brings together essays by scholars and practitioners of science fiction, which look at the genre from different angles. It examines science fiction from Thomas More to the present day; and introduces important critical approaches (including Marxism, postmodernism, feminism and queer theory).


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Science fiction is at the intersection of numerous fields. It is literature which draws on popular culture, and engages in speculation about science, history, and all varieties of social relations. This volume brings together essays by scholars and practitioners of science fiction, which look at the genre from different angles. It examines science fiction from Thomas More Science fiction is at the intersection of numerous fields. It is literature which draws on popular culture, and engages in speculation about science, history, and all varieties of social relations. This volume brings together essays by scholars and practitioners of science fiction, which look at the genre from different angles. It examines science fiction from Thomas More to the present day; and introduces important critical approaches (including Marxism, postmodernism, feminism and queer theory).

30 review for The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mostafa Galal

    كتاب أكاديمي يعتبر مرجع هام يتناول الكثير من الجوانب عن الخيال العلمي بالتفصيل، لا اعتقد أنه مناسب للقارئ العادي

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Mridula

    My first introduction to SF was Flash Gordon - an old black and white movie my parents took me to, in our tacky local theatre. I think I was five at the time. It was not a grand success. As soon as those aliens started attacking Flash, I started bawling. I continued this throughout the movie until they were forced to take me home. But when I met Flash again, in Indrajal Comics, I started liking him despite 'Mandrake the Magician' and 'The Phantom' being more popular titles in the franchise. Apart My first introduction to SF was Flash Gordon - an old black and white movie my parents took me to, in our tacky local theatre. I think I was five at the time. It was not a grand success. As soon as those aliens started attacking Flash, I started bawling. I continued this throughout the movie until they were forced to take me home. But when I met Flash again, in Indrajal Comics, I started liking him despite 'Mandrake the Magician' and 'The Phantom' being more popular titles in the franchise. Apart from the superhero Flash, I loved the spaceships, the outlandish landscapes, the weird aliens, the obsessive Zarkov, the beautiful Dale Arden - even Ming the Merciless. This was a totally new experience: imagination need not have a boundary. I was in love with Science Fiction. --------------------------------- Now I understand that Flash Gordon was nothing but 'Space Opera': somewhat looked down on as not sufficiently intellectual by serious purveyors of the form. But it pulled me into the magic of this genre, as it must have thousands of other youngsters. I learnt that SF can be serious too, however, when I came across Isaac Asimov in my late teens. For a bookish, socially awkward youngster (I don't know whether the term 'nerd' had been coined then) this was the perfect escape - stories written with the precision of science, very less of character conflicts, romance, sentiment and other time-wasting side avenues: there was a problem, there was a solution. Period. Well, gradually my reading universe expanded, and I found out that the genre contained writers of much greater skill than Dr. Asimov (but I'd still give him top marks for sheer imagination) and it was much more than robots and space exploration. Instead of a genre, SF was a whole new way of forging literature, of tackling philosophical and existential questions, of analysing the impact of science on the human condition... above all, it was exhilarating. It was escapist, yes, but the escape was to a more sharply defined reality. --------------------------------- This book examines science fiction under three aspects. The first section examines the history, from its genesis as stories of wonder, through the 'pulp era' of American magazine SF, through the intellectual 'New Wave' when the boundaries between SF and Fantasy were blurred, on to the current 'postmodern era'. The second section examines the genre through various critical approaches: Marxist theory, feminist theory, postmodernism and queer theory. The last section examines the various tropes of SF: its icons such as space ships, robots etc; various sub-genres such as space opera, alternate history, utopias, dystopias etc; and how politics, gender, race, religion etc, are handled in SF. Each section contains various chapters, written by well-known authors and critics, and presents a fairly comprehensive view. The History The origins of SF can be traced back to the fantastic voyages such as Gulliver's Travels and dream journeys, where the authors tried to break the shackles of the requirements of realism. However, it was arguably Mary Shelley who wrote the first novel which could be really termed science fiction: Frankenstein is the tale of the quintessential mad scientist, tempting fate by trying to create life and playing God, and quite predictably coming to a sticky end. Edgar Allan Poe also used the tropes of science to expand the horizon of his fantastic stories. And most readers know Jules Verne, the purveyor of extraordinary voyages and H. G. Wells, whose stories are also social statements. But it was the availability of cheap paper made from wood pulp, which made the publishing of magazines very cheap in the USA, that really contributed to the rapid growth of this genre. The so-called 'pulp magazines' gave birth to and nurtured many of the latter day greats like Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. Hugo Gernsback, whose magazine Amazing Stories was founded in 1926, was the pioneer in the sense that it restricted itself to publishing only SF; the flame was carried forward by the iconic editor John W. Campbell in Astounding Stories, who mentored most of the American greats. Later on, SF moved away from the blood-and-thunder stories and adventure yarns of yore into more thoughtful fiction, with literary quality and speculative exploration given more importance than action, the so-called 'new wave'. Currently it has reached the level of meta-fiction and 'cyberpunk' (where the action is mostly within virtual realities). The section also examines film and television, with such iconic shows as 'Star Trek', and the still-continuing saga of 'Star Wars'. Critical Approaches This section was a first for me. I never knew one could analyse so much within this genre which - well - most of us consider primarily entertainment. But consider this: from a Marxist viewpoint, isn't each society imagined in SF conducive to a political analysis? For example, Wells's The Time Machine is clearly a criticism of bourgeoisie society taken to its logical extreme: same way, his The War of the Worlds is an indirect criticism of British imperialism. However, on the whole, SF believes in a technology-driven society which provides a just society where everybody can thrive - in that it mostly follows the American ideal of free market capitalism. But of late, social criticism has become one of its significant aspects. SF initially had women only for the aliens to kidnap and be rescued by the swashbuckling hero. But slowly, writers such as Ursula K. LeGuin and Joanna Russ (to mention two of the prominent authors) brought a distinctive feminine outlook to the field; and now, more and more novels and stories which can be interpreted from a feminist viewpoint are emerging. This section also analyses postmodernism, where SF moves away from scientific exploration into societal exploration in the current turbulent world - moving beyond the boundaries of the genre itself: and queer theory, where SF's obsession with the 'other' (as different from the normal) is analysed to examine the changing attitudes of society towards 'deviant' sexual practices. (I must confess that this section went a bit over my head!) Sub-genres and Themes This was the section I enjoyed most, as various critics and writers examine the beloved icons and themes of SF. There are rockets, robots and aliens as brave and pioneering adventurers venture outward; there equally exciting challenges within human biology, mutation and evolution, and the mind-boggling possibilities of genetic engineering as the hardy scientists labour here on earth. There is the ever-present threat of environmental destruction and the tantalising promise of terraforming a hostile planet. There is 'hard' science fiction where the problems of science are explored in a future setting and 'soft' science fiction where the science is minimal and the human aspect is all-important. There is the "Space Opera" with intrepid heroes chasing diabolical villains across vast swathes of space: there are alternate histories where authors toy with the idea of what might have been - say - had Hitler won the war, and other such interesting speculations. Here we have the utopias where everything is hunky-dory for humanity, and the dystopias (infinitely more popular!) like 1984 where daily life is a nightmare. This section also examines how politics, gender, race and religion are treated in SF, with iconic examples like Ursula K. LeGuin's totally anarchic society of Anarres, her planet containing sexless beings who become male or female during breeding season in The Left Hand of Darkness, Orson Scott Card's strange race of the 'piggies' in Speaker for the Dead etc. There are many more, and for an aficionado like me, it was pure pleasure to read the erudite analyses of so many old favourites. --------------------------------- In short: for an SF fan, this is a book which cannot be missed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ints

    Tā kā zinātnisko fantastiku jau lasu no bērna kājas, nolēmu nedaudz pacenties un izlasīt par šo jomu kaut ko gudru un akadēmisku. Vajag jau reizi pa reizei izglītoties un sistematizēt savas zināšanas. Es sevi uzskatu par rūdītu zinātniskas fantastikas lasītāju un zinātāju. Patiesībā atrast normālu grāmatu, kurā autori nebūtu aizrāvušies ar literatūras teoriju vien, bija grūti, beigu beigās izvēle krita uz šo grāmatu. Grāmata izdota pirms divpadsmit gadiem, un tādēļ jaunākās vēsmas tā vairs neaptv Tā kā zinātnisko fantastiku jau lasu no bērna kājas, nolēmu nedaudz pacenties un izlasīt par šo jomu kaut ko gudru un akadēmisku. Vajag jau reizi pa reizei izglītoties un sistematizēt savas zināšanas. Es sevi uzskatu par rūdītu zinātniskas fantastikas lasītāju un zinātāju. Patiesībā atrast normālu grāmatu, kurā autori nebūtu aizrāvušies ar literatūras teoriju vien, bija grūti, beigu beigās izvēle krita uz šo grāmatu. Grāmata izdota pirms divpadsmit gadiem, un tādēļ jaunākās vēsmas tā vairs neaptvers, lielākoties analīze beidzas ar divtūkstošo gadu. Grāmata sadalīta trijās daļās - pirmā vēsta par zinātniskas fantastikas vēsturi, otrā par kritisko pieeju. Ja pavisam smalki tad – marksisma, feminisma, postmodernisma un homoseksuālistu kontekstā. Pēdējā nodaļa veltīta apskatot apakšžanrus un galvenās tēmas. Te var izlasīt esejas par žanra ikonām, utopijām, kosmiskajām operām, alternatīvo vēsturi un daudzām citām tēmām. Kā jau ierasts, sākšu ar kritizēšanu. Grāmata apskata ļoti šauru zinātniskās fantastikas darbu loku. Proti, izvērsta analīze ir tikai par angļu valodā rakstošo autoru darbiem. Ja vēlies ko uzzināt par mongoļu zinātniskās fantastikas tradīcijām, tad aizmirsti. Tas pats sakāma par japāņiem, ķīniešiem, vāciešiem, poļiem un Austrumeiropu kopumā. Tādēļ vēstures lasīšana lielākoties izvēršas par ASV rakstnieku vēsturisko attīstību. Jā, Žils Verns un Herberts Velss tiek pieminēti, bet tikai pašā sākumā. Taču tas viss būtu nieks, ja vien eseju autori būtu pacentušies izlasīt vismaz vairāk par desmit grāmatām. Lasot radās aizdomas, ka viņi ir paņēmuši kādas desmit grāmatas, kuras jau tā ir izanalizētas visos stūros un tad vienkārši izvilkuši vajadzīgos citātus, lai to pabāztu zem konkrētās esejas nosaukuma. Lasot par zinātniskās fantastikas kontekstu un apakšžanriem, rodas priekšstats, ka Ursuas le Gvinas “Tumsas kreisā roka” pēc būtības kalpo visām pudelēm par korķi. Nē, grāmata ir labu labā, bet varēja jau cilvēki tomēr pacensties, lai parādītu plašāku skatījumu uz zinātniskās fantastikas literatūras klāstu. Nepiedodami ir tas, ka autori pilnībā neapskata tādus fenomenus kā Star Wars, Star track un Dr. Who. Tie taču angliski runājošās valstīs bija nopietni spēlētāji. Labākajā gadījumā šīs filmas un seriāli ir izpelnījušies garāmejošu piezīmi. Vispār netiek apskatītas iespējas, ka viena grāmata var piederēt pie vairākiem apakšžanriem uzreiz. Un tas neskatoties, ka gandrīz katrs no autoriem piemin vienas un tās pašas grāmatas! Varēja jau kāds no viņiem pacensties un uzcept kādu eseju par to, cik grūti ir atdalīt un atrast tīru zinātniskās fantastikas darbu. Tāpat sagaidīju arī ko vairāk saistībā ar katra konkrēta apakšžanra evolūciju, kā laika gaitā izmantojot vienus un tos pašus literāros paņēmienus mainās literārā darba konteksts. Ka autori viens no otra ietekmējas un kopīgi attīsta zinātnisko fantastiku. Arī autoru rakstīšanas stils ir visnotaļ atšķirīgs, sākot no akadēmiski sausa, kur ne velna nevar saprast un smadzenes vienkārši izslēdzas, līdz entuziasma pilnam stāstījumam, no kura grūti atrauties. Kopumā grāmata man tomēr deva to, ko es vēlējos, salikās pa plauktiem galvenās zinātniskās fantastikas tēmas, nedaudz vairāk zinu par šī žanra attīstības vēsturi ASV. Grāmatai lieku 7 no 10 ballēm, un tagad tik jāatrod kaut kas līdzīgs par zinātniskās fantastiku PSRS.

  4. 4 out of 5

    منى سلامة

    الكتاب الأول الذي أنهي قراءته في تحدي القراءة ل 2016 مرجع ضخم قيم جدًا في أدب الخيال العلمي النجمة المنقوصة بسبب الأسلوب الأكاديمي المرهق

  5. 4 out of 5

    ~Geektastic~

    This won a Hugo for best related work and I've had it on my TBR for while. Overall, it turned out to be a decent and mostly readable collection of academic writings that felt a bit thin for companion to such an immense and constantly-shifting field. Honestly, some of these essays read more like extensive lists than actual analysis. I would love to see an updated version, given how much has changed in the SFF realm since this was published in 2000. I would also really like to see the essay on rac This won a Hugo for best related work and I've had it on my TBR for while. Overall, it turned out to be a decent and mostly readable collection of academic writings that felt a bit thin for companion to such an immense and constantly-shifting field. Honestly, some of these essays read more like extensive lists than actual analysis. I would love to see an updated version, given how much has changed in the SFF realm since this was published in 2000. I would also really like to see the essay on race and ethnicity in sci-fi written by someone who isn't white (the author that tackled it in this one did a fine job, I guess, but boy is this a very white collection of writers).

  6. 5 out of 5

    ياسين سعيد

    One of the most important science fiction references I've read in my life. But you have to be a great admirer of science fiction, so that you can bear the academic language that exists in some parts of the book. I also liked the idea that the work of an encyclopedia through several authors: - Time and effort are distributed, each of them to write a chapter of a historical period, or analysis of a specific literary branch. The result: We will have many encyclopedias, rich. We need to generalize this e One of the most important science fiction references I've read in my life. But you have to be a great admirer of science fiction, so that you can bear the academic language that exists in some parts of the book. I also liked the idea that the work of an encyclopedia through several authors: - Time and effort are distributed, each of them to write a chapter of a historical period, or analysis of a specific literary branch. The result: We will have many encyclopedias, rich. We need to generalize this experience to address the poverty of Arab research content in the fields of (science fiction, fantasy, etc.). أحد أهم مراجع الخيال العلمي التي قرأتها في حياتي. لكن.. لابد أن تكون معجب كبير للخيال العلمي، حتى تتحمل اللغة الأكاديمية التي توجد في بعض أجزاء الكتاب. أعجبني كذلك فكرة أن يتم عمل موسوعة عن طريق عدة مؤلفين: - فيتوزع الوقت والجهد، بأن يتولى كل واحد منهم كتابة فصل عن حقبة تاريخية، أو تحليل لفرع أدبي معين. النتيجة: سيتكون لدينا موسوعات كثيرة، ثرية. نحتاج إلى تعميم مثل هذه التجربة، لمعالجة فقر المحتوى البحثي العربي في مجالات (الخيال العلمي، الفانتازيا، إلخ).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Dhu

    Every once in a while, I get a hankering to read some literary history/criticism that takes as its subject my favourite genre, science fiction. This time around, I picked up The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, edited by Edward James and Farah Mendelsohn. The essays in this volume cover a range of topics relevant to the study and understanding of science fiction. As Mendelsohn notes in the introduction, The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction is intended to provide readers with an intr Every once in a while, I get a hankering to read some literary history/criticism that takes as its subject my favourite genre, science fiction. This time around, I picked up The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, edited by Edward James and Farah Mendelsohn. The essays in this volume cover a range of topics relevant to the study and understanding of science fiction. As Mendelsohn notes in the introduction, The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction is intended to provide readers with an introduction to the genre and to its study. To this end, we have divided this book into three parts: an historical overview of the field which discusses the major authors and editors, the people and market forces which have shaped the literary structures of the field; a section on critical approaches to science fiction (sf); and finally a collection of essays exploring some of the issues and concerns which have been considered by both critics and writers to be intrinsic to the genre. I was a bit disappointed at first - the volume begins with a "chronology" that starts off in 1516 with Thomas More's Utopia, but neglects Margaret Cavendish's 1666 publication of The Blazing World. At least Mary Shelley was included. (Though I must acknowledge that Cavendish and several other women who wrote utopias and scientific romances in the time before science fiction became a recognised genre are mentioned in the book's first essay, "Science Fiction before the Genre" by Brian Stableford.) However, things improved from there, for the most part. After Stableford's quick survey of early science-fictional works, from Francis Bacon and Cavendish to H. G. Wells, Brian Attebery' contribution discusses the era of the pulp magazines, beginning with Hugo Gernsbach's Amazing Stories. Attebery reminds us that for over 30 years, magazines were the primary venue for science fiction. Short stories, novelettes, and novellas dominated the field, and most novels were first serialised in magazines before they were published as complete works. The next chapter in the "history section," Damien Broderick's "New Wave and backwash: 1960-1980 addresses the excitement of the New Wave of the 1960s and its influences on science fiction. John Clute's essay on the development of science fiction between 1980 and 2000 was somewhat of a disappointment, virtually ignoring the contributions of women writers during that era, and leaving out altogether the beginnings of a more inclusive understanding of science fiction. Mark Bould provides a quick trip through the history of science fiction in film and television, beginning with the sfnal short films of such pioneers as the Lumière brothers and Georges Méliès (best known for Le Voyage dans la lune), early feature-length film director Fritz Lang, and sf serials such as Flash Gordon. After discussing the "boom" in sf films in the 50s, Bould looks at the beginnings of science fiction in television before moving on to a summary of the trends in recent decades in film and TV. In the final essay in the history section, Gary K. Wolfe offers an interesting look at the editors and publishers who have helped to shape science fiction in a way not seen in other genres. As Wolfe notes: "While relatively few readers of other genres such as mystery and romance are even aware of the names of the magazine and book editors who select and sometimes shape the texts that collectively define those fields, sf editors have from the beginning played a more visible and sometimes even celebrated role; it is perhaps indicative of this that the leading American mystery award is named the Edgar, after Edgar Allan Poe, while the most publicized sf award, the Hugo, is named after an editor and publisher, Hugo Gernsback." Following these essays on the history of science fiction, the next section of the book focuses on a survey of various critical approaches to science fiction. In these essays, critical theories are applied to key science fictional texts, demonstrating how these theories contribute to a deeper understanding of science fiction as a genre, its history, development and themes. Specific approaches examined in this section include Marxist analysis, feminist analysis, postmodernism, and queer theory. The final section is devoted to an overview of subgenres and common themes in science fiction. Gwyneth Jones introduces the section with an overview of the "icons of Science fiction" - as Jones defines it, "the signs which announce the genre, which warn the reader that this is a different world; and at the same time constitute that difference." These include rockets and other self-contained space habitats, and virtual environments; non-human sentiences from robots and androids to aliens; imagined ecologies; and heroes with a knowledge of science. Also included in this section are essays examining the wide range of themes taken up by science fiction writers: The use of life sciences from genetics to reproductive biology to ecology and the environment; The exploration of the utopian society; Politics, or the variety of ways in which societies may be organised, regulated and governed; The exploration of sociocultural understandings of gender; Examination of issues surrounding race and ethnicity; and Exploration of religion and its place in society. This section also includes several essays on what may be identified as subgenres of science fiction, such as "hard science fiction" and its stepchild cyberpunk, space opera, and alternative history. One of the best aspects of this Companion, for me, was how the various contributors made extensive use of examples in their work, thus reminding the reader of books and shorter fiction read in the past, and introducing the reader to works similar in some fashion that they may not have read or even known about before.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eskil

    Hoi og hoi! Endelig ble jeg ferdig! Forelesningene er kanskje ferdig, men ENG2502: West Coast SF Literature kommer alltid til å leve videre inni meg. Og sammen med en pensumliste som var veldig lærerik og treffsikker, men som kanskje kunne blitt oppdatert til neste semester, har jeg også lest dette flotte kompendiet fra start til slutt. Og flott er det! Boka starter med en kronologisk gjennomgang av sjangerens utvikling fram til starten av 2000-tallet, og deretter er den sortert i "teori" og "te Hoi og hoi! Endelig ble jeg ferdig! Forelesningene er kanskje ferdig, men ENG2502: West Coast SF Literature kommer alltid til å leve videre inni meg. Og sammen med en pensumliste som var veldig lærerik og treffsikker, men som kanskje kunne blitt oppdatert til neste semester, har jeg også lest dette flotte kompendiet fra start til slutt. Og flott er det! Boka starter med en kronologisk gjennomgang av sjangerens utvikling fram til starten av 2000-tallet, og deretter er den sortert i "teori" og "tema". De tjue kapitlene er skrevet av forskjellige bidragsytere (hovedsaklig akademikere og SF-forfattere), og selv om noen kapittel er svakere enn andre er de alle interessante, og jeg føler at jeg har lært masse, og likevel har så mye igjen å lære. Definitivt anbefalt til alle med interesse i litteratur, selv om de ikke trenger være SF-fans.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yasser

    مرجع رائع جدا وضخم عن الخيال العلمي، تاريخهوارتباطه بعدة موضوعات اجتماعية وسياسية وكذلك دينية.. جميل لكنه جاف، أعتقد لن يعجب القاريء العادي، ربما هو مناسب أكثر للأكاديميين أو ذوو الاهتمام بالخيال العلمي، مع ذلكيبقى موسوعة مهمة جدًا في ذلك التصنيف المغمور عندنا عربيًا.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Yassin Yassin

    شئ غريب ان ترجمة المركز القومى للترجمة لسا منزلتش للتقييم هنا بس الكاتب مفيد فعلا لاي حد عاوز يعرف تاريخ ادب الخيال العلمى

  11. 4 out of 5

    Artur Coelho

    No seu ensaio Brian Stableford traça o percurso da ficção científica a partir das raízes das narrativas utópicas e das viagens extraordinárias, mostrando como o género evoluiu a partir de histórias com preocupações morais e sociais para um sentimento da importância da ciência e voos imaginários construídos a partir de hipóteses científicas. No processo fala-nos do emergir da ciência como elemento ficcional do romance aventuras em Verne e nos autores que antecederam a explosão dos pulps, essencia No seu ensaio Brian Stableford traça o percurso da ficção científica a partir das raízes das narrativas utópicas e das viagens extraordinárias, mostrando como o género evoluiu a partir de histórias com preocupações morais e sociais para um sentimento da importância da ciência e voos imaginários construídos a partir de hipóteses científicas. No processo fala-nos do emergir da ciência como elemento ficcional do romance aventuras em Verne e nos autores que antecederam a explosão dos pulps, essencialmente histórias de aventura que se socorrem de elementos científicos como ponto de partida narrativo. Olha também para Wells e mostra como a partir dele evoluíram as histórias de guerra futura, género muito em voga até à I guerra, onde a realidade sangrenta fez perder o apetite por titânicos combates imaginários. Esta vertente encontrou grande expressão nos escritores ingleses e foi satirizada por Robida em la guerre future. De Wells parte outra vertente de FC, a narrativa apocalíptica que mostra a humanidade extinta ou em vias de extinção, que encontra em MR James e William Hope Hogdson interessantes expressões. Stableford cobre uma enorme variedade de escritores, boa parte dos quais hoje esquecidos, mas incluindo nomes como Abraham Merritt (aventura e guerra futura), Conan Doyle (as aventuras do Professor Challenger nos mundos perdidos), Poe, Hawthorne, entre outros. Para Stableford a FC evolui das utopias e aventuras incorporando progressivamente elementos científicos, culminando nas narrativas pulp ao estilo de Hugo Gernsback onde o imaginário do artefacto tecnológico é o cerne da narrativa. Em seguida analisa-se a tradição dos pulps como berço do que hoje consideramos FC. As obras seminais dos grandes autores da era clássica do género tiveram a sua génese nestas publicações, algumas das quais ambicionavam abertamente sair do recanto de publicações de qualidade baixa que viviam da reimpressão de contos clássicos e obras repetitivas de autores hoje felizmente esquecidos. Desenham-se aqui algumas clivagens profundas no género; a visão da FC didáctica e centrada na tecnologia de Gernsback, as preocupações literárias expressas pelo trabalho de edição de Jack Williamson, e a clivagem entre FC como literatura de entretenimento e FC como forma de expressão literária por direito próprio, centrada na interpretação da influência da ciência e tecnologia sobre a humanidade nas suas diferentes dimensões. A fortíssima influência da New Worlds dirigida por Moorcock faz a ponte entre uma FC clássica, centrada num optimismo tecnológico e em visões de aventura para uma FC mais madura, de crescentes ambições literárias. Esta revista marca ao mesmo tempo o ocaso da FC pulp e das suas publicações, das quais hoje poucas restam, e a génese da FC enquanto género literário ambicioso, capaz de ao mesmo tempo se dedicar à exploração dos seus temas próprios e apostar na complexidade narrativa e estilística. John Clute analisa a FC contemporânea enquanto fenómeno editorial, longe das raízes pulp, dividida entre repetitividade banal na exploração de mercados estabelecidos, autores mais experimentais que se atrevem a desafiar expectativas, o movimento cíclico de cisão e fusão em correntes literárias, e o despertar de sub-géneros que abrem novos caminhos à FC clássica. A representatividade do género no cinema é analisada ao longo da história deste. Os filmes de FC surgiram nos primeiros tempos do cinema, e legaram-nos alguns dos maiores clássicos do grande ecrã. Mark Bould define três grandes momentos. Até aos anos 50 a FC vivia do poder dos argumentos e de efeitos especiais que transmitiam a sensação de estranheza dos mundos ficcionais através de cenarismo e dos processos mecânicos de filmagem. A partir dos anos 50 aprofundam-se os temas dos argumentos, com o surgir das visões radicais e do cinema de série B, bem como a complexidade técnica do efeitos especiais. Nos anos 90 assinala-se a transferência da FC do cinema para a televisão e jogos digitais, embora no cinema se distinga pela sua prevalência nos filmes blockbuster. No que toca a temas, Bould nota que replica os da FC literária, apesar de um ênfase na espectacularidade visual típica dos meios audiovisuais. Gary Wolfe analisa o papel preponderante que os editores desempenham no género. Aponta a influência da visão editorial de Gernsback e Williamson para a definição da era clássica da FC, e sublinha o papel de Moorcock na redefinição do género. A tradição do conto de FC publicado em revistas especializadas é hoje mantido vivo por publicações como a Asimov e a Interzone. Para lá das revistas ainda é apontada a influência dos editores nos livros, com um fortíssimo diálogo entre o escritor e o seu editor. Outro pormenor a assinalar é a prevalência no género de antologias, cuidadosamente editadas, que permitem dar voz a novos autores e manter viva uma espécie de memória colectiva da evolução histórica e literária da ficção científica. São abordadas algumas das perspectivas críticas sobre o género: a visão utópica, distópica ou transformativa da perspectiva marxista; a evolução da misoginia da golden age às visões contemporâneas mais complexas sobre o espírito feminino na perspectiva feminista; o futurismo hipermoderno, o lado experimentalista e o carácter fragmentário das obras mais arrojadas encaixam-se na visão pós-modernista; as questões de género, evoluindo da misoginia da FC clássica para visões fluídas e arrojadas são vistas pela perspectiva queer. Gwyneth Jones analisa a iconografia da FC. Mostra-nos o classicismo dos foguetões, naves espaciais e habitats no espaço. A robótica, aqui subdividida em mecanismos, robots sentientes, robots sexualizados e mesclas homens-máquina funciona como simbolismo da relação física com outros, bem como medos de possível subserviência a tecnologias que se tornam mais avançadas do que os seus criadores. A ensaísta inclui aqui a vastidão de conceitos sobre espécies alienígenas. A construção de mundos ficcionais socorre-se em muitos romances de um sólido imaginário de reconstituição de espécies animais e vegetais que dá verosimilhança aos mundos de fantasia dos livros. Cientistas loucos e donzelas em busca de salvação são talvez dos mais banalizados ícones do género. A relação entre FC e as ciências é analisada em diversos ensaios. Observa-se que conceitos de biologia e ciências da vida são rotineiramente explorados pelos autores do género, com ênfase nas visões de inteligência, teoria da evolução e o conceito de mutação, engenharia genética, reprodução sexual, bioesfera e ambiente. Os autores atrevem-se, nos seus e ses, a interrogar os limites teóricos destas ciências. Daqui parte-se para esse conceito aparentemente sólido mas de facto elusivo que é o de Hard SF, baseado em extrapolações de base científica (ou que o aparentam ser) e que tanto reflectem um optimismo ingénuo como um cinismo desencantado com potencialidades e consequências dos desenvolvimentos tecnológicos. Analisar os sub-géneros leva-nos à space opera, que entre as suas virtudes e banalizações mantém vivo o espírito de aventura pura e exótica que tanto atrai na FC. A história alternativa merece igualmente destaque, pela visão especulativa com que se questionam as encruzilhadas da história, embora seja criticada por se manter nos limites restritos de algumas eras históricas, como o império romano, guerra da secessão ou II guerra, que por serem bem conhecidos do público se tornam o principal foco destas visões especulativas, embora não se reduzam apenas a estes momentos. As utopias e distopias não poderiam faltar nestas análises, sendo a FC o veículo contemporâneo para dissecar e levar ao extremo através de experiências de pensamento aplicadas à literatura ideias sobre as possibilidades de socieadades perfeitas, ou o seu inverso. Política é um campo que é esquivo à FC, preocupada com outras questões de fundo, mas não deixa de ser abordado. Heinlein e a sua visão hiperliberal quase fascizante é aqui a referência explorada, embora também se note que imaginar sociedades implica exprimir visões de organização política. Já o campo da sexualidade e questões de género tem sido melhor explorado. A misoginia e infantilidade pubescente das abordagens a estas questões pela FC clássica foi erodida pelas vertentes trazidas por autoras que desafiaram a prevalência masculina na FC e nos têm vindo a legar visões que vão equilibrando os géneros. O espectro aqui é largo e vai do feminismo assumido à fluidez relacional. A FC talvez seja um dos últimos redutos do homem branco europeu, onde questões de etnicidade não são comummente abordadas por autores mais interessados na extrapolação científica ou visões arrojadas de um futuro com raízes no iluminismo. Alguns trabalhos despertam consciências e alertam para questões de raça e xenofobia. O livro termina com uma visita à religião e espiritualidade na FC. Apesar do carácter eminentemente pró-ciência e tecnologia do género, há várias formas de perceber o lado espiritual da FC. O espírito que anima a FC, com visões abrangentes de transcendentalismo humano através da ciência ou exploração espacial, pode ser apontado como uma visão eminentemente espiritual. A religião em si também encontra expressão no género, quer através de uma visão negativa que anima a FC clássica de base céptica que vê a religião como um bastião de obscurantismo, ou um reconhecimento da importância da espiritualidade transmitida através da caracterização de culturas alienígenas onde a religiosidade é preponderante.

  12. 5 out of 5

    sabisteb aka callisto

    The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction ist ein Buch aus der Cabridge Companion Reihe, das diverse Genre der Literatur abdeckt. Eines der Standardwerke, das man vor eine Prüfung im Bereich Literatur liest, in meinem Fall Sci-Fi. Es gibt noch einen zweiten Cambridge Companion zu diesem Themenbereich, den The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction. Da Sci-Fi aber eher ein globales Phänomen ist, habe ich mich für den allgemeinen Companion entscheiden, der schon eng genug gefasst ist, wei The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction ist ein Buch aus der Cabridge Companion Reihe, das diverse Genre der Literatur abdeckt. Eines der Standardwerke, das man vor eine Prüfung im Bereich Literatur liest, in meinem Fall Sci-Fi. Es gibt noch einen zweiten Cambridge Companion zu diesem Themenbereich, den The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction. Da Sci-Fi aber eher ein globales Phänomen ist, habe ich mich für den allgemeinen Companion entscheiden, der schon eng genug gefasst ist, weil er fast nur Angelsächsische Sci-Fi behandelt. Für mich OK, meine Prüfung ist in der Anglistik/Amerikanistik, ein wenig engstirnig finde ich die Auswahl dann aber doch. Es werden zwar ein paar Russische Autoren erwähnt und in einem Kapitel fallen ein paar deutsche Namen, Japanische Klassiker werden aber komplett ignoriert und Ghost in der Shell auch nur mal im Bereich Film erwähnt. So gesehen ist der Titel falsch. Das Buch sollte Cambridge Companion to UK and US Sci-Fi (till 2001) heißen, den kaum ein Buch ist älter als 2001, das darin erwähnt wird. Eigentlich hört es schon mitte der 1990er auf, dabei erschien der Companion 2003. Entwicklungen wie die Entdeckung der Hard Sci-Fi durch Naturwissenschaftliche Verlage sie Nature (Nature Futures) oder Springer (Science AND Fiction), die Geschichten veröffentlichen, die von echten Naturwissenschaftlern geschrieben wurden und die damit wieder zur ursprünglichen edukativen Wurzel der Sci-Fi zurückkehren, fehlen damit komplett. Das Buch behandelt 3 Themenbereiche Part 1 - The history 1 - Science fiction before the genre by Brian Stableford 2 - The magazine era: 1926–1960 by Brian Attebery 3 - New Wave and backwash: 1960–1980 by Damien Broderick 4 - Science fiction from 1980 to the present by John Clute 5 - Film and television by Mark Bould 6 - Science fiction and its editors by Gary K. Wolfe Part 2 - Critical approaches 7 - Marxist theory and science fiction by Istvan Jr Csicsery-Ronay 8 - Feminist theory and science fiction by Veronica Hollinger 9 - Postmodernism and science fiction by Andrew M. Butler 10 - Science fiction and queer theory by Wendy Pearson Part 3 - Sub-genres and themes 11 - The icons of science fiction by Gwyneth Jones 12 - Science fiction and the life sciences by Joan Slonczewski and Michael Levy 13 - Hard science fiction by Kathryn Cramer 14 - Space opera by Gary Westfahl 15 - Alternate history by Andy Duncan 16 - Utopias and anti-utopias by Edward James 17 - Politics and science fiction by Ken Macleod 18 - Gender in science fiction by Helen Merrick 19 - Race and ethnicity in science fiction by Elisabeth Anne Leonard 20 - Religion and science fiction by Farah Mendlesohn Das Buch ist sicherlich nicht unbedingt dazu gedacht, dass man es einfach so durchliest. Die meisten Leser werden ein paar Kapitel lesen, die für ihren eigenen Aufsatz oder ihre Hausaufgabe relevant sind. Wenn man das Buch aber einfach von vorne her komplett liest, wiederholt sich vieles immer wieder mit denselben Belegen. Das wird irgendwann arg repetitiv. Was auch auffällt ist, dass immer wieder ein und dieselben „Klassiker“ durchgekaut werden. Man findet immer wieder die gleichen Titel, die als Belege für etwas herhalten müssen. Es scheint also einen Kanon zu geben und die meisten Autoren und Geisteswissenschaftler scheinen kaum über den Tellerrand dieses Kanons zu schauen. Das ist ein ziemliches Armutszeugnis. Das heißt nicht, dass ein interessierter Sci-Fi Leser nicht noch ein paar Entdeckungen machen kann und ein paar neue Namen findet, aber eher in den ersten Kapiteln, denn dann fangen die Namen und Buchtitel an, sich zu wiederholen. Wenn man dieses Buch lesen sollte, sollte man zumindest „Introduction to culture studies“ hinter sich gebracht haben und die grundlegenden Aufästze von Judith Butler, Michel Foucault und der Frankfurter Schule kennen, sonst wird einem einiges in den Aufsätzen wie Böhmische Dörfer vorkommen. Hier schreiben Sci-Fi Autoren und Literaturwissenschaftler über das Thema und nicht Naturwissenschaftler und das merkt man leider sowohl an der Themenauswahl als auch an der teilweise schwurbeligen Sprache und sehr seltenen Vokabeln aus dem Bereich Philosophie, bei denen nicht einmal das Nachschlagen im Wörterbuch etwas bringt. EPG1 (Ethisch Philosophisches Grundlagenstudium 1) sollte man also auch hinter sich haben, damit man grob die verwendeten Begriffe einordnen kann. Fazit: Eine der lesbareren Veröffentlichungen aus dem Bereich Literaturwissenschaft, was wohl auch dem Thema zu verdanken ist. Für Sci-Fi Fans, die keine Grundkenntnisse im Bereich Literaturwissenschaft haben eine eher harte Kost. Als Vorbereitung auf eine Staatsexamen Anglistik mit einem Literaturschwerpunk Sci-Fi ganz OK, bringt aber nicht viel mehr Info, als die Great Courses Vorlesungen zu diesem Thema, die man aber auf der Leseliste nicht zitieren kann. Muss man nicht kaufen, kann man meist in der nächstgelegenen UB ausleihen oder über Fernleihe beziehen.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Fox

    Mostly an academic text, with everything that goes with that label. There were 20 essays inside and some of them were very informative and insightful. Unfortunately, a fair number of them were written in bizarre professor-speak, using strange and confusing sentence structure, esoteric words, over use of -isms, and taking on topics that only other professors and graduate students would care to read. You'd think with such a broad topic with a huge popular following, you could avoid these problems, Mostly an academic text, with everything that goes with that label. There were 20 essays inside and some of them were very informative and insightful. Unfortunately, a fair number of them were written in bizarre professor-speak, using strange and confusing sentence structure, esoteric words, over use of -isms, and taking on topics that only other professors and graduate students would care to read. You'd think with such a broad topic with a huge popular following, you could avoid these problems, but academics always find ways to keep their words and thoughts indecipherable to the mainstream. The discussions of the history of science fiction were fairly straightforward. I learned a lot about the early sci-fi of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. There were numerous novels and stories that sounded interesting that I never heard of before. It helped expand my to-read list. Some of the figures of the early era were giants and deeply influenced what happened in the later decades. Only a couple of the contributors got into battles of labels and categorization of books. This is a serious problem with literary-types and many science fiction readers. They want clearly defined genres, subgenres, and love arguing over who fits where. Most of the contributors avoided the definitional battles fortunately. As usual, most of these academic types dismissed popular science fiction. You'd think if one wanted to analyze the impact of science fiction, you'd want to take a look at the movies, books, and stories that have impacted the most people. A couple contributors discussed Star Wars and Star Trek, while others tried to dismiss them and preferred to discuss obscure titles. The essays that touched on politics all had a clear socialist lean that discredited the contributors. If you can't discuss the impact of Sci-fi on politics without being partisan, don't bother. The discussions of 2000s and 1990s sci-fi was limited but in some areas helpful. Several contributors indicated their love and admiration for Kim Stanley Robinson. I really don't understand this. Only one mention of Dr. Who, which to me is ignoring a huge, decades old science fiction franchise. Plenty of discussion of Clarke, Heinlein, Campbell, Robinson, Le Guin, Vernor Vinge, and many many more. I don't recommend this one, unless you are studying science fiction in a high level undergraduate or graduate level course.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ly

    Great introduction to critical studies of science fiction. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the history and/or critical approaches.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ade

    Science fiction fans will read this and discover they aren't alone in the universe :) Science fiction fans will read this and discover they aren't alone in the universe :)

  16. 5 out of 5

    William Adams

    This is an anthology, a set of twenty chapters written by experts and academics about the genre of science fiction. Part 1 is the history of the genre, and Part 2 offers various critical approaches to the literature, up to 2003. I was an avid reader of SF in the 1960’s and 1970s, during the “New Wave,” but that doesn’t mean I knew anything about it as a kind of literature. I just read novels I liked by authors who had given me pleasure in the past. This book was a chance to take a comprehensive This is an anthology, a set of twenty chapters written by experts and academics about the genre of science fiction. Part 1 is the history of the genre, and Part 2 offers various critical approaches to the literature, up to 2003. I was an avid reader of SF in the 1960’s and 1970s, during the “New Wave,” but that doesn’t mean I knew anything about it as a kind of literature. I just read novels I liked by authors who had given me pleasure in the past. This book was a chance to take a comprehensive overview of the whole field. The history of sci-fi, for this book, begins in earnest around 1926 with the pulp SF magazines like Astounding Science Fiction. A short chapter does give the nod to historical antecedents such as Jules Verne and to Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, but “modern” SF begins with the pulps and “modern” technology, according to this account. The first hundred pages, is little more than a list of notable SF publications during the period 1929 to 2002, with a phrase, or a sentence or two describing each. It’s suggestive but that’s all. I developed a reading list, and a sense of “what’s been done,” but no real insight into the development of what drove the form. One of the best features of the book is a dense eight-page chronology of notable SF titles, from Thomas More’s Utopia of 1516, to Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt in 2002. With about fifty titles on a page, that’s nearly 400 SF books one should read to have a thorough grounding in the field. I’d read about 10% of them but made a list of “must reads.” The second part is the meat of the book in which various critical theories are brought to bear on the corpus of SF literature. One chapter (a notably weak one, I thought) extracts Marxist theory from SF themes, while another, much more convincing one, identifies feminist themes. Chapters also highlight utopias, “hard” SF, race, and religion in SF, along with many other analytic approaches. In each, the style continues: mention the title and author and give a sentence or two of description about it. The index has a few general terms but is really an index of authors. You won’t find a header entry for Neuromancer (1984), for example, though William Gibson is indexed. The book therefore isn’t very useful as a reference. It seems to be written by academics, each with their own agenda, for use in a (deadly) college course. The book did give me a high-level overview of the SF literature up to 2002, and a selective sense of what themes have been mined repeatedly, but not much in the way of aesthetic evaluation or what ideas and social forces motivated the writers and their readers. For that, a better choice is The History of Science Fiction, by Adam Roberts, Palgrave, 2016.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elvis Rodrigues

    Os editores Edward James e Farah Mendlesohn reúnem em 20 artigos (e uma introdução) variados posicionamentos de pesquisadores da ficção científica. Na primeira parte é feito um histórico do gênero, desde seus primórdios no Século XIX, passando pelo auge das revistas de contos e chegando aos livros do terço final do Século XX. A segunda e a terceira parte lidam com especificidades de subgêneros e críticas acerca de como determinados temas são tratados no meio, desde a teoria queer aos movimentos Os editores Edward James e Farah Mendlesohn reúnem em 20 artigos (e uma introdução) variados posicionamentos de pesquisadores da ficção científica. Na primeira parte é feito um histórico do gênero, desde seus primórdios no Século XIX, passando pelo auge das revistas de contos e chegando aos livros do terço final do Século XX. A segunda e a terceira parte lidam com especificidades de subgêneros e críticas acerca de como determinados temas são tratados no meio, desde a teoria queer aos movimentos negros e de representação feminina. De uma forma geral, a leitura foi prazerosa, me serviu para a realização de algumas anotações sobre sci-fi, e acabei também ampliando a lista de leitura a partir das recomendações dos artigos. Assim como todo livro de coletânea de artigos, a editoria é muito sutil, no sentido de que a obra acaba carecendo de uma maior coesão temática. Também considero problemático que a maioria dos artigos seja apenas um compêndio de comentários acerca de obras relevantes sobre o tema do artigo, sem uma preocupação mais consistente com a própria estrutura do artigo. Mas para uma primeira incursão na teoria literária da ficção científica, foi uma leitura bem agradável.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Horizon_Universe

    Si j’aime les sensation qu’apportent les livres papier, l’un des avantages indéniable des liseuses (comme ma Kobo ici présente), est qu’il est possible de trouver des ouvrages peu accessibles en format physique (notamment pour tout ce qui est essai comme la série des Camrbidge Companion ou des livres scientifiques), et ce à moindre coût. C’est pourquoi il est mon support préféré pour ce type de livre. The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction est un ensemble d’articles/d’essais couvrant différen Si j’aime les sensation qu’apportent les livres papier, l’un des avantages indéniable des liseuses (comme ma Kobo ici présente), est qu’il est possible de trouver des ouvrages peu accessibles en format physique (notamment pour tout ce qui est essai comme la série des Camrbidge Companion ou des livres scientifiques), et ce à moindre coût. C’est pourquoi il est mon support préféré pour ce type de livre. The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction est un ensemble d’articles/d’essais couvrant différents thèmes SF, allant de la représentation queer à la religion à son influence sur les sciences (hard SF). Très intéressant et complet, il est pour l’instant mon livre favori du genre. Il est également très facile à lire, et les sujets sont très variés. Je recommande vivement The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction: concis, agréable, plein de bonnes idées, il permet d’explorer diverses facettes de la SF sous de nouveaux angles, et a la particularité de ne pas se concerter uniquement sur le medium littéraire, mais étendant son analyse aux magazines, films et séries. Il établit également une « histoire de la SF », ce qui est très appréciable.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rob Frampton

    It's been nigh-on 40 years since I finished my degree and this book reminded me just how navel-gazing literary criticism can be. It's not that the subjects covered are inherently solipsistic ('Marxism and SF', 'Race and ethnicity in SF') it's the approach taken by (the majority of) the contributors. It is, of course a worthwhile endeavour to try to understand SF's role in the modern world (an essential one, I'd argue), but too much of this collection ends up using self-reflexive arguments to no It's been nigh-on 40 years since I finished my degree and this book reminded me just how navel-gazing literary criticism can be. It's not that the subjects covered are inherently solipsistic ('Marxism and SF', 'Race and ethnicity in SF') it's the approach taken by (the majority of) the contributors. It is, of course a worthwhile endeavour to try to understand SF's role in the modern world (an essential one, I'd argue), but too much of this collection ends up using self-reflexive arguments to no good end. The section on the history of the genre (and attempts to define it) are a useful foundation for literature students with no experience of reading SF, but the section on sub-genres too often ends up being little more than a reading list.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    James, Edward, and Farah Mendelsohn, editors. The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction. Cambridge UP, 2003. This Cambridge Companion provides a useful set of essays that provides some history of science fiction as a literary genre and identifies some modern trends in the literature and criticism related to the field. Among the pieces I found particularly useful was one that detailed the unusual importance of magazine editors and anthologists in directing the development of the genre. The collec James, Edward, and Farah Mendelsohn, editors. The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction. Cambridge UP, 2003. This Cambridge Companion provides a useful set of essays that provides some history of science fiction as a literary genre and identifies some modern trends in the literature and criticism related to the field. Among the pieces I found particularly useful was one that detailed the unusual importance of magazine editors and anthologists in directing the development of the genre. The collection also contains several valuable articles on race, ethnicity, and gender issues that are rapidly influencing a genre that was for a long time almost exclusively white, male, and American.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

    A really good book, even though it is a bit too short. In my view anything less than 500-700 pages is not really enough for more than an Introduction. This together with the books by Adam Roberts (a good book for the history of early SF), Mike Ashley (his books on SF magazines) and Jacques Sadoul (perhaps the best novelistic history of SF between 1911 and 1984) are my definitive reference. All of them are a bit outdated, but one is generally familiar with the books, movies or tv shows from the l A really good book, even though it is a bit too short. In my view anything less than 500-700 pages is not really enough for more than an Introduction. This together with the books by Adam Roberts (a good book for the history of early SF), Mike Ashley (his books on SF magazines) and Jacques Sadoul (perhaps the best novelistic history of SF between 1911 and 1984) are my definitive reference. All of them are a bit outdated, but one is generally familiar with the books, movies or tv shows from the last decade anyway.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maria Carolina

    Um bom livro introdutório, na minha opinião de leiga. Achei interessante que, mesmo publicado em 2003, a coletânea já traz capítulos sobre FC e feminismo, gênero, teoria queer e questões étnicas/raciais. Isso também fala muito sobre a essência da FC como um gênero que lida com manipulações várias de ser e estar no mundo.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Compilations are inherently unrateable, theory and criticism doesn’t lend itself well to a 1-5 system and also this book is 16 years old and it shows. Which is weird. The Jane Austen companion isn’t out of date. But I keep thinking of all the fascinating authors not even in there yet. But wow do I have a reading list, especially from the feminisms and queer chapters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Davorin Horak

    Vrijedi procitati iako ima par clanaka koji ostavljaju dojam generickog i povrsnog. Par clanaka nekako iznenada zavrsi i tema ostane malo visjeti u zraku. No u cjelosti vrijedi truda i dobro je stivo za sve ljubitelje sf-a. Steta sto je zadnje izdanje staro gotovo petnaest godina.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jon Lewis

    Strong set of introductory essays on a variety of topics--well worth for the history of SF.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    http://www.nicholaswhyte.info/sf/camb.htm[return][return]We are all waiting for the third edition of the Clute/Nicholls Encyclopedia of Science Fiction to appear. In the meantime, this volume of 21 essays on various aspects of sf fulfills the two things I really want from a critical survey: it helps me better understand the sf I have already read, and gives me pointers to writers and books that I might enjoy.[return][return]Highlights for me: the sequence of five historical essays about the deve http://www.nicholaswhyte.info/sf/camb.htm[return][return]We are all waiting for the third edition of the Clute/Nicholls Encyclopedia of Science Fiction to appear. In the meantime, this volume of 21 essays on various aspects of sf fulfills the two things I really want from a critical survey: it helps me better understand the sf I have already read, and gives me pointers to writers and books that I might enjoy.[return][return]Highlights for me: the sequence of five historical essays about the development of science fiction; the three essays basically about sf and sex (dressed up as "feminist theory", "queer theory" and "gender"); and Ken MacLeod's broad survey of sf and politics. I also felt that Andrew Butler's essay on "post-modernism and science fiction" succeeded by critically examining postmodernism as a concept, so that I felt I had learnt something at the end of it. Mark Bould's essay on sf in films and TV is also very good but runs out of steam in about 1970.[return][return]Two assertions that made me think: Ken MacLeod - a writer with things to say about religion? Alien - like "Bloodchild", a pregnant man story?[return][return]Low points: Istvan Csicsery-Ronay's essay on Marxist theory and science fiction is without redeeming features. The only interesting bit, his discussion of Jameson, is covered much better by Butler two chapters on. Several of the other chapters spurred me to think that had I the time and library resources I would have liked to try and do a better job.[return][return]General bias: Well, one can quibble about the omissions (graphic novels; Christopher Priest) but the top four names in the index, ranked by numbers of cross-references, are Heinlein, Le Guin, Wells and Asimov, which seems to me pretty fair. Given the collection's emphasis on issues of sex and sexuality, it's not so very surprising to find Joanna Russ in fifth place, but she is followed by the firmly traditional choices of John W. Campbell, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, and E.E. "Doc" Smith. I would have thought that fans who want to read more broadly about sf, but feel alienated by the Clute lit-crit stuff (as I saw it referred to somewhere; I am not among this number), will find enough in this book to make them feel they got their money's worth.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    This collection was informative about the history of science fiction. Like most collections the essays are unequal. I most enjoyed the Space Opera (chapter 14) and the life sciences chapter (chapter 12). Following is the chapter list. Great resource for learning and reviewing the historical progress if Science Fiction in the 20th Century. The collection was mostly European and American centric, which was appropriate for me, since matches my reading experiences. 1 Science fiction before the genre This collection was informative about the history of science fiction. Like most collections the essays are unequal. I most enjoyed the Space Opera (chapter 14) and the life sciences chapter (chapter 12). Following is the chapter list. Great resource for learning and reviewing the historical progress if Science Fiction in the 20th Century. The collection was mostly European and American centric, which was appropriate for me, since matches my reading experiences. 1 Science fiction before the genre 15 brian stableford 2 The magazine era: 1926–1960 32 brian attebery 3 New Wave and backwash: 1960–1980 48 damien broderick 4 Science fiction from 1980 to the present 64 john clute 5 Film and television 79 mark bould 6 Science fiction and its editors 96 gary k. wolfe 7 Marxist theory and science fiction 113 istvan csicsery-ronay, jr 8 Feminist theory and science fiction 125 veronica hollinger 9 Postmodernism and science fiction 137 andrew m. butler 10 Science fiction and queer theory 149 wendy pearson Part 3. Sub-genres and themes 11 The icons of science fiction 163 gwyneth jones 12 Science fiction and the life sciences 174 joan slonczewski and michael levy 13 Hard science fiction 186 kathryn cramer 14 Space opera 197 gary westfahl 15 Alternate history 209 andy duncan 16 Utopias and anti-utopias 219 edward james 17 Politics and science fiction 230 ken macleod 18 Gender in science fiction 241 helen merrick 19 Race and ethnicity in science fiction 253 elisabeth anne leonard 20 Religion and science fiction 264 farah mendlesohn

  28. 5 out of 5

    Enrique

    Este libro es una colección de ensayos sobre la Ciencia Ficción, con una especial atención a la vertiente anglosajona del mismo. La primera parte corresponde a una historia de la Ciencia Ficción y a otros aspectos como la Ciencia Ficción en otros medios, así como la relación de los editores, escritores y el fandom. La segunda parte corresponde a una visión de la Ciencia Ficción vista desde varias ópticas de la crítica literaria: feminismo, marxismo, posmodernismo,... La tercera parte es la que m Este libro es una colección de ensayos sobre la Ciencia Ficción, con una especial atención a la vertiente anglosajona del mismo. La primera parte corresponde a una historia de la Ciencia Ficción y a otros aspectos como la Ciencia Ficción en otros medios, así como la relación de los editores, escritores y el fandom. La segunda parte corresponde a una visión de la Ciencia Ficción vista desde varias ópticas de la crítica literaria: feminismo, marxismo, posmodernismo,... La tercera parte es la que más jugo puede tener al dedicarse a la forma de crítica de Ciencia Ficción. La última parte corresponde a una serie de artículos sobre las diversas clasificaciones temáticas dentro de la ciencia ficción o de temas como la política o la religión. Además de esto, se le añade una extensa bibliografía que puede ser útil al investigador. El libro en sí no está mal, añadiendo la dificultad de aunar tantos puntos de vista diferentes en el libro. Sin embargo, otros "companion" de Cambridge no son tan flojos como el libro comentado. No obstante, es un libro "usable" y siempre es una buena puerta de entrada a la literatura de Ciencia Ficción en la investigación académica.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karl Bunker

    This is truly a fine volume, highly recommended to anyone who wants a broad sampling of the academic thought that has been applied to the genre of science fiction. Although it's a collection of chapters by many different authors, I thought the quality was uniformly excellent. The structure of the book results in some overlap of themes, for example with a chapter on "Feminist theory and science Fiction" appearing in "Part 2. Critical approaches" and a chapter on "Gender in science Fiction" in "Pa This is truly a fine volume, highly recommended to anyone who wants a broad sampling of the academic thought that has been applied to the genre of science fiction. Although it's a collection of chapters by many different authors, I thought the quality was uniformly excellent. The structure of the book results in some overlap of themes, for example with a chapter on "Feminist theory and science Fiction" appearing in "Part 2. Critical approaches" and a chapter on "Gender in science Fiction" in "Part 3. Sub-genres and themes". However, I didn't find this to be a flaw; it gives the reader the opportunity to read different authors approaching related topics from different angles. My favorite authors and chapters included Ken Macleod's "Politics and science Fiction" and Edward James' "Utopias and anti-utopias". Farah Mendelsohn's chapter "Religion and science Fiction" was a real eye-opener for me, examining a side of science fiction that I'd been pretty dismissive towards. Not cheap, but well worth it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    With 20 different authors of 20 essays on different aspects of science fiction, this one is hard to concretely summarize. The first section is about the evolution of science fiction as a genre with an essay for segmented periods up to the current era. Afterwards, the essays focus on elements of science fiction like "Gender in Science Fiction" or "Space Opera." Some of the essays are more interesting and better written than others. Some of them are pretty hard to get through - a few are basically With 20 different authors of 20 essays on different aspects of science fiction, this one is hard to concretely summarize. The first section is about the evolution of science fiction as a genre with an essay for segmented periods up to the current era. Afterwards, the essays focus on elements of science fiction like "Gender in Science Fiction" or "Space Opera." Some of the essays are more interesting and better written than others. Some of them are pretty hard to get through - a few are basically lists of classic science fiction titles with one sentence summaries following. But overall, I found this collection to be really interesting and I learned quite a bit at least from the historical segment. I'd recommend this one to anyone dedicated to the Science Fiction genre but casual readers can probably pass this over.

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