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By Carl Freedman

Carl Freedman strains the elemental and normally unexamined relationships among the discourses of technological know-how fiction and demanding idea, arguing that technology fiction is (or should be) a privileged style for serious conception. He asserts that it really is no twist of fate that the upsurge of educational curiosity in technology fiction because the Seventies coincides with the heyday of literary concept, and that likewise technology fiction is without doubt one of the such a lot theoretically proficient parts of the literary career. prolonged readings of novels by way of 5 of an important sleek technological know-how fiction authors illustrate the affinity among technological know-how fiction and important concept, in every one case targeting one significant novel that resonates with matters right to severe theory.

Freedman’s 5 readings are: Solaris: Stanislaw Lem and the constitution of Cognition; The Dispossessed: Ursula LeGuin and the Ambiguities of Utopia; the 2 of Them: Joanna Russ and the Violence of Gender; Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand: Samuel Delany and the Dialectics of distinction; the fellow within the excessive fort: Philip okay. Dick and the development of Realities.

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Must we wait for a scientific consensus on the matter before deciding whether the text is science fiction or fantasy? H. P. Lovecraft has been described both as a science-fiction writer and as a writer of horror fantasy. Do “The Shadow over Innsmouth” (1936) and “The Dunwich Horror” (1939) earn the title of science fiction because their monstrosities have their origin not in the admitted supernatural but in vulgar pseudo-Darwinian notions of racial degeneration? What of C. S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet (1938) and the following two novels in the Ransom trilogy?

It is something of a mystery why Balibar’s pathbreaking reconceptualization of the crucial Marxist category of mode of production (surely one of the most original, fruitful innovations in critical theory during the past few decades) has never, in my view, received quite the celebrity that it deserves. Freedman: Critical Theory and Science Fiction page 21 Definitions / 21 only generic tendency operative) but also no text in which the science-fiction tendency is altogether absent. Indeed, it might be argued that this tendency is the precondition for the constitution of fictionality—and even of representation—itself.

My aim is not to read science fiction “in the light of” critical theory (itself a suspiciously positivistic metaphor), but to articulate certain structural affinities between the two terms. Although critically informed readings of particular science-fictional texts will inevitably play a part in the following chapters (especially chapter 3), my chief intent is to show that the conjunction of critical theory and science fiction is not fortuitous but fundamental. Freedman: Critical Theory and Science Fiction page 24 2.

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