The Span of Mainstream and Science Fiction

A Critical Study of a New Literary Genre


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SKU: 9780786413041 Categories: , ,

About the Book

From the 1960s (when the advent of what many call the postmodern style made establishing genres more difficult) to the present day, writers have been incorporating science—not only the commonly thought of science and technology but also the “soft” sciences such as psychology and sociology—into what was previously considered mainstream fiction. This book examines works by Thomas Pynchon, Doris Lessing, and others who incorporate science in fiction and exemplify the movement of mainstream fiction writers toward a new genre termed “span.” It also examines works by some science fiction writers who are edging closer to the border of science fiction and slowly over into span. This book maps the boundaries of the new span genre of fiction and thus helps define texts that fall outside the realms of mainstream and science fiction. Diagrams are included and a bibliography and index.

About the Author(s)

Peter Brigg is an associate professor of English at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. He is president-elect of the Science Fiction Research Association.

Bibliographic Details

Peter Brigg
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1304-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8029-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

1 Introduction to Span Fiction     5
2 Doris Lessing: Experiments in Alternate Reality     25
3 Thomas Pynchon: Science in Life     57
4 A Bridge Takes Shape: Other Writers     99
5 Border Skirmishes: Span and Science Fiction     172
6 The New Alignment     188

Notes     193
Bibliography     199
Index     205

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Geniune and well presented”—Public Library Quarterly
  • “A brave and suggestive effort to account for the increased appearance in contemporary fiction of appropriations of SF motifs”—Utopian Studies