Shadows of the Future : H. G. Wells, Science Fiction, and Prophecy

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1995-06-01
  • Publisher: Syracuse Univ Pr
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In Shadows of the Future Wells's assumption of the prophet's role is related to his championship of the modern scientific outlook, and to the theory and practice of science fiction and utopian literature. Professor Parrinder explores the connections between novelty and repetition, between imagining the future and imagining the past, and between prophecy and parody as literary modes. Wells's science fiction is reexamined both as a projection of the cosmology implicit in the writings of Darwin and Huxley, and as a new variation on the Romantic and Enlightenment themes of such earlier authors as Blake, Gibbon, and Mary Shelley. Later chapters relate Wells's fiction to his nonfiction and look at the uneasy relationship of his utopianism to literary prophecy, and at the paradoxes inherent in the militant internationalism of the "prophet at large." Finally, Wells's influence is traced in a study of the antiutopian fictions of Zamyatin and Orwell, and in a broad account of the connections between science fiction and the scientific outlook down to our own time.

Author Biography

Patrick Parrinder is Professor of English in the University of Reading and has been Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, McGill University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Science Fiction and the 'Shape of Things to Come'p. 3
The Broken Tripod and the Impatient Imaginationp. 18
Possibilities of Space and Time (The Time Machine)p. 34
A Sense of Dethronement (The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau)p. 49
The Fall of Empiresp. 65
New Worlds for Old: The Prophet at Largep. 80
Utopia and Meta-Utopiap. 96
The Future as Anti-Utopia: Wells, Zamyatin and Orwellp. 115
From Prophecy to Parody: Science Fiction and the Scientific Enlightenmentp. 127
Select Bibliographyp. 152
Indexp. 163
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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