Bridges to Science Fiction and Fantasy

Outstanding Essays from the J. Lloyd Eaton Conferences


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About the Book

The J. Lloyd Eaton Conferences on Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature—long held at the University of California, Riverside—have been a major influence in the study of science fiction and fantasy for thirty years. The conferences have attracted leading scholars whose papers are published in Eaton volumes found in university libraries throughout the world. This collection brings together 22 of the best papers—most with new afterwords by the authors—presented in chronological order to show how science fiction and fantasy criticism has evolved since 1979.

About the Author(s)

Gregory Benford is a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, was Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, and in 1995 received the Lord Prize for contributions to science. He has published 32 novels, four volumes of nonfiction, and over 200 short stories and several hundred scientific papers in several fields.

Gary Westfahl, a professor emeritus at the University of La Verne, California, has authored, edited, or co-edited 31 books about science fiction and fantasy, and hundreds of articles and reviews. In 2003, he received the Science Fiction Research Association’s Pilgrim Award for his lifetime contributions to science fiction and fantasy scholarship.

Howard V. Hendrix, currently at California State University, Fresno, has taught at the college level for over thirty years. He has published six novels and four collections of stories; has authored, coauthored, or coedited five works of nonfiction; and has written numerous articles, reviews, and editorials.

Joseph D. Miller, active for many years as a presenter at Eaton Conferences and contributor to Eaton volumes, is currently a professor and chair of Pharmacology at the American University of the Caribbean in Cupecoy, St. Maarten.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Gregory Benford, Gary Westfahl, Howard V. Hendrix and Joseph D. Miller

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6928-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3193-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction (Gregory Benford, Gary Westfahl, Howard V. Hendrix and Joseph D. Miller) 1

Science Fiction as Truncated Epic (Patrick Parrinder) 5
Dialogues Concerning Human Understanding: Empirical Views of God from Locke to Lem (Stephen W. Potts) 19
The Descent of Fantasy (Eric S. Rabkin) 28
The Virginity of Astronauts: Sex and the Science Fiction Film (Vivian Sobchack) 36
Running Out of Speculative Niches: A Crisis for Hard Science Fiction? (David Brin) 53
Effing the Ineffable (Gregory Benford) 58
Discriminating Among Friends: The Social Dynamics of the Friendly Alien (John Huntington) 70
Nature: Laws and Surprises (Poul Anderson) 77
In the Palace of Green Porcelain: Artifacts from the Museums of Science Fiction (Robert Crossley) 86
Just How Frumious Is a Bandersnatch?: The Exotic and the Ambiguous in Imaginative Literature (Joseph D. Miller) 98
Making the Pulpmonster Safe for Demography: Omni Magazine and the Gentrification of Science Fiction (Howard V. Hendrix) 109
For Tomorrow We Dine: The Sad Gourmet in the Scienticafé (Gary Westfahl) 119
Cannibalism in Science Fiction (Paul Alkon) 126
Longevity as Class Struggle (Fredric R. Jameson) 138
How Cyberspace Signifies: Taking Immortality Literally (N. Katherine Hayles) 151
You Bet Your Life: Death and the Storyteller (Frank McConnell) 161
Revamping the Rut Regarding Reading and Writing About Feminist Science Fiction: Or, I Want to Engage in “Procrustean Bedmaking” (Marleen S. Barr) 169
Literary Gatekeepers and the Fabril Tradition (Tom Shippey) 178
Flying to the Moon in the French Bande Dessinée (Danièle Chatelain and George Slusser) 195
Shapes from the Edge of Time: The Science Fiction Artwork of Richard M. Powers (Kirk Hampton and Carol MacKay) 203
The Science Fiction of Medicine (H. Bruce Franklin) 215
Science Fiction and the Two Cultures: Reflections After the ­Snow-Leavis Controversy (Carl Freedman) 228

The Eaton Roll of Honor 239
Bibliography 243
About the Contributors 251
Index 255