Description : Surveying a wide range of major science fiction novels and films, this book focuses on the long 1950s--the period from 1946 to 1964--when the tensions of the Cold War were at their peak. It demonstrates that these works reflect their historical and political contexts through a consistent concern with such phenomena as alienation and routinization, which Marxist critics have seen as central consequences of capitalism. Through its engagement with such issues, American science fiction of this period reflects the growing hegemony of capitalist ideology and consequently demonstrates the beginnings of postmodernism as a major American cultural phenomenon.
Description : This study will compare the USSR and the United States according to their cinematic use of science fiction in the late 1950s and 1960s in order to coincide with the period of de-Stalinisation and thaw in the USSR, and late McCarthyism in the United States. The genre provides an opportunity to express the two powers' scientific stand-off through fiction, and serves as a vehicle for the dissemination of ideas and propaganda. Post-1956 marks the time when the period of de-Stalinisation officially began and science fiction saw a carefully crafted rebirth for it served as a tool that could reflect the socialist ideal and quasi-religious faith in science that was promoted by the party. Science fiction uniquely demands for an imaginative view of the future, and therefore, corresponds with the Marxist- Leninist future-oriented ideology. For this period, the themes for American science fiction are hyperbolised monsters and invasion, and reflect the fear of the otherness of the Soviet Union, and its threat on domestic ideals. These themes are reflected in movies as 'Angry Red Planet', and 'Them!'. On the other hand, Soviet science fiction movies focus on the heroic Soviet man who frequently receives calls for help from outer space, and overcomes great trials to save those not living in utopia. This storyline is represented in 'Towards a Dream', and 'The Sky is calling'. The author gives special attention to the Soviet movie 'The Sky is calling' and the subsequent redubbed American version 'Battle beyond the Sun'. Further, she addresses alterations or plot, and subtle propaganda messages in the Soviet movies 'Planet of Storms', and the Hollywood remake 'Journey to the Prehistoric Planet'.
Description : American Science Fiction Film and Television presents a critical history of late 20th Century SF together with an analysis of the cultural and thematic concerns of this popular genre. Science fiction film and television were initially inspired by the classic literature of HG Wells and Jules Verne. The potential and fears born with the Atomic age fuelled the popularity of the genre, upping the stakes for both technology and apocalypse. From the Cold War through to America's current War on Terror, science fiction has proved a subtle vehicle for the hopes, fears and preoccupations of a nation at war. The definitive introduction to American science fiction, this is also the first study to analyse SF across both film and TV. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated with critical case studies of key films and television series, including The Day the Earth Stood Still, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, and Battlestar Galactica.
Description : Cyndy Hendershot argues that 1950s science fiction films open a window on the cultural paranoia that characterized 1950s America, a phenomenon largely triggered by use of nuclear weapons during World War II. This study uses psychoanalytic theory to examine the various monsters that inhabit 1950s sci-fi movies--giant insects, prehistoric creatures, mutants, uncanny doubles, to name a few--which serve as metaphorical embodiments of a varied and complex cultural paranoia. Postwar paranoia may have stemmed from the bomb, but it came to correlate with a wider range of issues such as anti-communism, internal totalitarianism, scientific progress, domestic problems, gender roles, and sexuality.
Description : Covering a tumultuous period of the 1950s, this work explores the divorce of movie studios from their theater chains, the panic of the blacklist era, the explosive emergence of science fiction as the dominant genre, and the rise of television and Hollywood's response with widescreen spectacles.
Description : Science Fiction Film develops a historical and cultural approach to the genre that moves beyond close readings of iconography and formal conventions. It explores how this increasingly influential genre has been constructed from disparate elements into a hybrid genre. Science Fiction Film goes beyond a textual exploration of these films to place them within a larger network of influences that includes studio politics and promotional discourses. The book also challenges the perceived limits of the genre - it includes a wide range of films, from canonical SF, such as Le voyage dans la lune, Star Wars and Blade Runner, to films that stretch and reshape the definition of the genre. This expansion of generic focus offers an innovative approach for students and fans of science fiction alike.
Description : Religion in Science Fiction investigates the history of the representations of religion in science fiction literature. Space travel, futuristic societies, and non-human cultures are traditional themes in science fiction. Speculating on the societal impacts of as-yet-undiscovered technologies is, after all, one of the distinguishing characteristics of science fiction literature. A more surprising theme may be a parallel exploration of religion: its institutional nature, social functions, and the tensions between religious and scientific worldviews. Steven Hrotic investigates the representations of religion in 19th century proto-science fiction, and genre science fiction from the 1920s through the end of the century. Taken together, he argues that these stories tell an overarching story-a 'metanarrative'-of an evolving respect for religion, paralleling a decline in the belief that science will lead us to an ideal (and religion-free) future. Science fiction's metanarrative represents more than simply a shift in popular perceptions of religion: it also serves as a model for cognitive anthropology, providing new insights into how groups and identities form in a globalized world, and into how crucial a role narratives may play. Ironically, this same perspective suggests that science fiction, as it was in the 20th century, may no longer exist.
Description : This dictionary covers the history of Science Fiction in literature through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced entries including significant people; themes; critical issues; and the most significant genres that have formed science fiction literature.
Description : David Seed examines how science fiction has emerged as a popular genre of literature in the 20th century, and discusses it in relation to themes such as science and technology, space, aliens, utopias, and gender. Looking at some of the most influential writers of the genre he also considers the wider social and political issues it raises.