Science Fiction and the Prediction of the Future

Essays on Foresight and Fallacy

$29.95

In stock

About the Book

Science fiction has always challenged readers with depictions of the future. Can the genre actually provide glimpses of the world of tomorrow? This collection of 15 international and interdisciplinary essays examines the genre’s predictions and breaks new ground by considering the prophetic functions of science fiction films as well as SF literature. Among the texts and topics examined are classic stories by Murray Leinster, C. L. Moore, and Cordwainer Smith; 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels, Japanese anime and Hong Kong cinema; and electronic fiction.

About the Author(s)

Gary Westfahl retired from the University of California, Riverside, is an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne. He earned the Science Fiction Research Association’s Pilgrim Award for his lifetime contributions to science fiction and fantasy scholarship and is the author, editor, or coeditor of more than 20 books about science fiction and fantasy.

Wong Kin Yuen is the chair of the English department at Hong Kong Shue Yen University and has published broadly on science fiction.

Amy Kit-sze Chan teaches English at Hong Shue Yen University and has published numerous articles on women’s issues and cultural studies.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Gary Westfahl, Wong Kin Yuen and Amy Chan Kit Sze

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5841-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8476-8
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Introduction: Of Futures Imagined, and Futures Inhabited
GARY WESTFAHL      1

I. Cosmic Visions
1. Pitfalls of Prophecy: Why Science Fiction So Often Fails to Predict the Future
GARY WESTFAHL      9
2. Emotional Dimensions of Transmimetic Fiction: Emotion, Aesthetics, Ethics, and Rhetoric in Tales of Tomorrow’s Science, Technology, and Technoscience
RICHARD L. MCKINNEY      23
3. The Internet and the Anagogical Myths of Science Fiction
KIRK HAMPTON AND CAROL MACKAY      41
4. Technobodies and the Anxieties of Performance
VERONICA HOLLINGER      52
5. Places of Alterity in Science Fiction
RICHARD L. MCKINNEY      64

II. The Practice of Prophecy
6. Future City Toyko: 1909 and 2009
SHARALYN ORBAUGH      84
7. Rebooting “A Logic Named Joe”: Exploring the Multiple Influences of a Strangely Predictive Mid–1940s Short Story
DAVID L. FERRO AND ERIC G. SWEDIN      104
8. Victims of a Globalized, Radicalized, Technologized World, or, Why the Beatles Needed Help!
LYNNE LUNDQUIST      120
9. “A Journey Beyond the Stars”: 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Psychedelic Revolution in 1960s Science Fiction
ROB LATHAM      128
10. The Endless Odyssey: The 2001 Saga and Its Inability to Predict Humanity’s Future
GARY WESTFAHL      135
11. Intercultural and Interface: Kung Fu as Abstract Machine
WONG KIN YUEN      171
12. Post-Genre Cinemas and Post-Colonial Attitude: Hong Kong Meets Paris
VÉRONIQUE FLAMBARD-WEISBART      189
13. Writing, Weaving, and Technology
AMY KIT-SZE CHAN      198
14. The Technological Contours of Contemporary Science Fiction, or, The Science Fiction That Science Fiction Doesn’t See
BROOKS LANDON      213
15. Thinking About the Smart Wireless World
GREGORY BENFORD      220

Bibliography of Works Related to Science Fiction and the Prediction of the Future      229
Bibliography of Other Works Cited in the Text      241
About the Contributors      253
Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

“Excellent”—Science Fiction Studies