New PDF release: Science Fiction: A Collection of Critical Essays (20th

By Mark Rose

ISBN-10: 0137949588

ISBN-13: 9780137949588

A set of severe technology fiction essays.

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Extra info for Science Fiction: A Collection of Critical Essays (20th Century Views)

Example text

Despite the fluent imaginativeness of the stories mentioned, the most forceful of Wells’s romances is the strongly Verne‐like The War in the Air of 1907.  Quite likely Wells will soon get all, instead of part, of the recognition as pioneer he clearly deserves.  But in any case, it is a large field, in which standards vary considerably, and in this sort of essay one is almost obliged to be sketchy and selective, and make a few general points, rather than “rigorously” assess.  This brief band‐ wagon period, during which dons reviewed science fiction with an enthusiasm tempered by patronage and stultified by ignorance, did no good to anyone, and can hardly be said to have had much effect on the Literary Mind.

Quite likely Wells will soon get all, instead of part, of the recognition as pioneer he clearly deserves.  But in any case, it is a large field, in which standards vary considerably, and in this sort of essay one is almost obliged to be sketchy and selective, and make a few general points, rather than “rigorously” assess.  This brief band‐ wagon period, during which dons reviewed science fiction with an enthusiasm tempered by patronage and stultified by ignorance, did no good to anyone, and can hardly be said to have had much effect on the Literary Mind.

In compensation, I wish to be more tentative and speculative now, in describing the parameters of a fictional form that is both old and new, rooted in the past but distinctly modern, oriented to the future but not bounded by it.  Reprinted by permission of University of Notre Dame Press.  When romance returns deliberately to confront reality it produces the various forms of didactic romance or fabulation that we usually call allegory, satire, fable, parable, and so on‐to indicate our recognition that reality is being addressed indirectly through a patently fictional device.

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Science Fiction: A Collection of Critical Essays (20th Century Views) by Mark Rose


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