Science Fiction: Ten Explorations

By C. N. Manlove | Go to book overview

Notes

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.
E.g. Brian Aldiss, ed., Introducing SF: a Science Fiction Anthology, p. 10, says that the stimulus of a science fiction story comes from the fact that 'it is about what is happening to you'; Ursula Le Guin, Introduction to her The Left Hand of Darkness, no page, declares, 'Science fiction is metaphor'; Samuel Delany, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction, p. 178, maintains that 'Science fiction is the only area of literature outside poetry that is symbolistic in its basic conception. Its stated aim is to represent the world without reproducing it.' Aldiss, however, can also say, 'The images are what attract me in science fiction, more even than the surprises and the ideas and the crazy plots' (Aldiss, ed., Yet More Penguin Science Fiction, p. 9 et seq.).
2.
I am thinking here particularly of David Ketterer's fine New Worlds for Old: the Apocalyptic Imagination, Science Fiction, and American Literature.
3.
Compare Mark Rose, Alien Encounters: Anatomy of Science Fiction, which is a systematic account of the alien as metaphoric projection of the unknown or the 'void' in our lives and our desire to overcome it.
4.
As for example in Herbert's Dune, between the melange spice and oil. But to read only in these terms is mistaken.
5.
A sane and wide-ranging account of the history of science fiction can be found in Brian Aldiss, Billion Year Spree: the True History of Science Fiction; see also Robert Scholes and Eric S. Rabkin, 'A Brief Literary History of Science Fiction', Science Fiction: History, Science, Vision, pp. 3-99. The nineteenth- century development of the genre in Britain is well covered in Darko Suvin's Victorian Science Fiction in the U.K.: The Discourses of Knowledge and of Power: and that in America by H. Bruce Franklin, Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century.
6.
See also Susan Glicksohn, ' "A City of Which the Stars are Suburbs" ', in Clareson ed., SF: the Other Side of Realism, pp. 341-5.
7.
For a full account, see Mike Ashley, The History of the Science Fiction Magazine; David Samuelson, Visions of Tomorrow: Six Journeys from Outer to Inner Space, pp. 17-37; Frank Cioffi, Formula Fiction?: an Anatomy of American Science Fiction, 1930-1940, ch. 1.
8.
For an account of the characteristics of fantasy as compared to science fiction, see my 'On the Nature of Fantasy', in Roger C. Schlobin, ed., The Aesthetics of Fantasy Literature and Art, pp. 18-24, 29-31; Jaqueline Wynten- broek, 'Science Fiction and Fantasy', Extrapolation, XXIII, pp. 321-32.
9.
See W. Warren Wagar, Terminal Visions: the Literature of Last Things, esp. pp. 185-205.

-225-

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