The Aesthetics of Ambivalence: Rethinking Science Fiction Film in the Age of Electronic (Re)production

By Brooks Landon | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

This work grew out of my attempt to reconcile some of the conflict between two worlds I much admire--that of SF writing and that of film and media criticism--and I owe so much to so many in both worlds that what I say here can't be more than a start at expressing my gratitude. James Gunn and Frederik Pohl may not believe it, but both have taught me most of what I understand about SF; better mentors cannot be found. Harlan Ellison's writing about film has given me a delightful, if unreachable, goal for my own, and discussions (and arguments) with Lewis Shiner, Howard Waldrop, and Bruce Sterling have helped me understand some of what is at stake in trying to be--in Rudy Rucker's great term--"culturally online."

While my concerns have more to do with SF than with film, my debt to film scholarship is huge. With her indispensable presence in the field of SF film scholarship as much as with her criticism, Vivian Sobchack has inspired and informed every page I've written, and her Screening Space: The American Science Fiction Film continues to remind me why SF film scholarship is worthwhile. Scott Bukatman has been another inspiration, his "hyper-hipness" a continuous challenge, his friendship continuously reassuring. A single sentence by Garrett Stewart in his stunning "'Videology' of Science Fiction" essay has generated much of my thinking in this work, and sentences too numerous to mention by H. Bruce Franklin, Eric S. Rabkin, George E. Slusser, and J. P. Telotte have strongly shaped my understanding of both SF and SF film. And I must give special thanks to Leonard Heldreth, who taught me how to see more in movies, to Andrew Gordon, who keeps trying to teach me how to write about them more rigorously, and to Marshall Tymn, whose support, confidence, and spirit simply steamrolled this book--as it has so many others--forward.

-ix-

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