The Animal Fable in Science Fiction and Fantasy


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About the Book

Though animal stories and fables stretch back into the antiquity of ancient India, Persia, Greece and Rome, the reasons for writing them and their resonance for readers (and listeners) remain consistent to the present. This work argues that they were essential sources of amusement and instruction—and were also often profoundly unsettling. Such authors in the realm of the animal fable as Tolkien, Freud, Voltaire, Bakhtin, Cordwainer Smith, Karel Čapek, Vladimir Propp, and many more are discussed.

About the Author(s)

The late Bruce Shaw did his early professional work in anthropology, compiling oral history of aboriginal Australians. Later, he took up English literature. He lived in Perth, Western Australia.
Donald E. Palumbo is a professor of English at East Carolina University. He lives in Greenville, North Carolina.
C.W. Sullivan III is Distinguished Professor of arts and sciences at East Carolina University and a full member of the Welsh Academy. He is the author of numerous books and the on-line journal Celtic Cultural Studies.

Bibliographic Details

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

Foreword by Van Ikin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 268
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4783-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5598-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Foreword by Van Ikin      1
Preface      5
Introduction: Why Choose Animals?      9

1. The Beast Fable      15
2. Philosophies of Laughter      31
3. The Lineage of the Animal Fable      46
4. Recasting the Animal Fable: Short Stories      56
5. Recasting the Animal Fable: Novels and Novellas      76
6. Author Biographies: Private Experience and Societal Fears      96
7. Satire and the Carnivalesque 1: The Heart of a Dog      122
8. Satire and the Carnivalesque 2: War with the Newts      135
9. Companionate and Erotic Love 1: Sirius      148
10. Companionate and Erotic Love: 2: Wish      166
11. “It Had Been Such a Nice Rabbit!”: City      179
12. Crafted Tales: “The Dead Lady of Clown Town”      198
13. Good for Reading      217

Bibliography      223
Index      239

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “The author has brilliantly condensed his research into an immensely useful and user-friendly text…definitely recommended…beautifully produced, well-edited and amazingly comprehensive”—SFRA Review.