Literature of Horror, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Course Blog for LMST345 Ringling College of Art

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By the 1960s, writers and fans of science fiction were getting a taste of legitimacy as the genre drew serious consideration from both social commentators and literary critics . Writers like Ray Bradbury, Isacc Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Kurt Vonnegut emerged from science fiction into the mainstream of literary conversation.  Novels and stories became increasingly less about high adventure and space opera and more about the application of modern literary technique to speculative storytelling.  Science fiction began to be about issues in anthropology, psychology, biology and sociology as much as problems in physics and engineering. Writers from the space opera and military science fiction sub-genres like Robert Heinlein begun to emphasize social or political speculation admidst the romantic conventions of genre storytelling. Some writers like Philip K. Dick became increasingly paranoid and dystopian in profound opposition to the heroic idealism of magazine science fiction of the 1940s and 1950s. Some writers like Brian Aldiss and others of the British New Wave movement became more formally experimental. All these sub-groups began to influence each other and works evolved that hybridized genre conventions. 

This week we are looking at the way science fiction has become the fiction of ideas. The recommended reading for this week is The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursulla K. LeGuinn  Another recommended text is Samuel R. Delaney's Babel 17, a short novel that is full of interesting ideas about language and culture. There are a number of other alternate choices on the course resource page.

Here is a link to this week's page on the course syllabus with a list of alternate choices.

Next week we will be discussing Cyberpunk and Steam Punk.


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