Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is Earth Abides Science Fiction?

This question was in play when Stewart's novel first came out in 1949 and it's one I'm putting in play for us here.

Think of all the other novels, films and tv shows, and more that are definitely post-apocalyptic but may or may not be science fiction: recently, Cormac McCarthy's The Road or Brian Vaughan's comic book series Y: The Last Man; not so long ago, Stephen King's The Stand or the tv show The Day After; roughly contemporaneously with Stewart, all the authors Connie Willis mentions in her 2005 introduction to the new edition. Which would you consider science fiction? Which not? And why?

Just to get us thinking about defining science fiction, why we do it, and what's at stake in it....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Agree with 99% of This

And that's rare! Check out Clive Thompson's piece in Wired on science fiction as simulation and thought experiment and see if you can find the 1% I disagree with!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Welcome to sf@SF

sf@SF is starting off as a course blog for the students in my spring 2008 version of ENGL 216 Science Fiction, but it will eventually include anyone affiliated with SUNY Fredonia who wants to post their writing on science fiction here. It replaces sf@SF 1.0, which was a neat experiment, but too much work for the students in my spring and summer 2005 science fiction courses who chose to design their own web sites on a few of the authors we read. This semester, students have the chance to become co-authors of this blog and post here instead of, or in addition to, participating in the discussion board of our course ANGEL space. And, after each student team has lead a discussion on the author and novel of their choice, I'll be posting essays from each team member that use his or her research and teaching as a springboard for further reflection.