Science Fiction, Compact Edition Stories and Contexts

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  • Edition: Pamphlet
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/15/2014
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Although excellent collections of science fiction abound, few have been prepared expressly for classroom use. Like its comprehensive predecessor, this compact version of Heather Masri’s widely praised anthology Science Fiction: Stories and Contexts is designed to introduce students to some of the genre’s major works, authors, themes, and contexts. International and diverse, canonical and recent, the judiciously chosen stories are chronologically arranged within chapters that represent six central themes of science fiction. The book’s unique pedagogical features are critical and contextual documents that illuminate the stories and themes, with editorial apparatus that encourages students to think and write critically about how the genre reflects and affects culture. To expand teaching options, instructor’s resources provide additional stories and pedagogical advice, while the TradeUp packaging option makes further works of science fiction available at a discount.

Author Biography

Heather Masri is a full-time faculty member at New York University, where she earned her PhD in literature and has served as assistant dean in the General Studies Program, an interdisciplinary liberal arts program. Although her academic specialty is eighteenth-century English literature, she is a generalist with broad, interdisciplinary interests whose courses include literature, art, music, and film. Science Fiction: Stories and Contexts (2009) grows out of her popular seminar on science fiction and technology, one of a series of writing intensive courses she’s taught on literature and critical theory. Her love of science fiction dates from third grade, when her mother read her A Wrinkle in Time while her father demonstrated the theory of tesseracts by making folds in the bedsheet. She is a member of the Science Fiction Research Association, and has been teaching science fiction at NYU since 1990.

Table of Contents

Chronological Contents

Alternative Thematic Contents

A Brief Introduction to Science Fiction and Its History

A Selective Guide to Science Fiction Research

Part One: Stories

1. Alien Encounters

Stanley G. Weinbaum, A Martian Odyssey (1934)

Frederic Brown, Arena (1944)

Ray Bradbury, Mars Is Heaven! (1948)

Sonya Dorman, When I Was Miss Dow (1966)

Ursula K. Le Guin, Vaster Than Empires and More Slow (1971)

Greg Egan, Wang’s Carpets (1995)

     Cultural Contexts:

     Carl Gustav Jung, The Shadow (1951)

     Frantz Fanon, The Fact of Blackness (1952) 

2. Artificial Life

Isaac Asimov, Liar! (1941)

Philip K. Dick, Second Variety (1953)

Kate Wilhelm, Baby, You Were Great (1966)

James Tiptree, Jr., The Girl Who Was Plugged In (1973)

William Gibson, Burning Chrome (1985)

Ken Liu, The Algorithms for Love (2004)

     Cultural Contexts:

     Jean Baudrillard, The Precession of the Simulacra (1981)

     Donna J. Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century (1985; 1991)

3. Time

C.L. Moore, Vintage Season (1946)

Robert A. Heinlein, "All You Zombies--" (1959)

Robert Silverberg, When We Went to See the End of the World (1972)

Kim Stanley Robinson, The Lucky Strike (1984)

Connie Willis, At the Rialto (1989)

Ted Chiang, Story of Your Life (1998)

     Cultural Contexts:

     John-Paul Sartre, From Being and Nothingness (1943)

     Michio Kaku, To Build a Time Machine (1994)

4. Utopias and Dystopias

Damon Knight, Country of the Kind (1955)

Harlan Ellison, "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman (1965)

Joanna Russ, When It Changed (1972)

John Varley, The Persistence of Vision (1978)

Mike Resnick, Kirinyaga (1988)

Nalo Hopkinson, Something to Hitch Meat to (2001)

     Cultural Contexts:

     William H. Whyte, Jr. From The Organization Man (1956)

     Fredric Jameson, Progress versus Utopia; or Can We Imagine the Future? (1982)

5. Disasters and Apocalypses

Arthur C. Clarke, The Nine Billion Names of God (1953)

J.G. Ballard, Terminal Beach (1964)

Stanislaus Lem, How the World Was Saved (1967)

Sakyo Komatsu, Take Your Choice (1967)

C.J. Cherryh, Cassandra (1978)

Ian McDonald, Recording Angel (1996)

     Cultural Contexts:

     Mircea Eliade, from The Myth of the Eternal Return (1949; 1954)

     Susan Sontag, The Imagination of Disaster (1965)

6. Evolutions

John W. Campbell, Jr., Twilight (1934)

Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon (1959)

Roger Zelazny, For a Breath I Tarry (1966)

Samuel R. Delany, Driftglass (1967)

Greg Bear, Blood Music (1983)

Terry Bisson, Bears Discover Fire (1990)

     Cultural Contexts:

     Stephen Jay Gould, Nonmoral Nature (1982)

     Marvin Minsky, Will Robots Inherit the Earth? (1994) 







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