Parabolas of Science Fiction
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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...“Faithful” Film Adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 180...
Parabolas ofScience Fiction
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...( Parabolas of Science Fiction Brian atteBery and Veronica HollingerOur title refers to a term coined by Brian Attebery, in his article “Science Fiction, Parables, and Parabolas” (2005), to describe the inher-ently collaborative nature of the science fiction genre: more concrete than themes, more complex than motifs, parabolas are combinations of mean-...
PART I: INTRODUCING PARABOLAS
1 Science Fictional Parabolas: Jazz, Geometry, and Generation Starships
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...the equation x2 = y. Spin a liquid in a centrifuge. Any of these acts will re-sult in the same elegant curve: a parabola. There is something about this shape that fits the way we imagine adventures. The word parabola has been invoked many times over to describe the way a story rises and falls. But a When I first used the term in an article published in the journal Foun-...
2 Dancing with Scheherazade: Some Reflections in the Djinni’s Glass
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...work at it as best we can. It has to do with timing and delivery, the intri-cacies of verbal and nonverbal placement and tension, and with knowing what to give, what to withhold, what to state outright, and what to imply.Within the eons- old meritocracy of storytelling, writers proceed much the same way. Whether they possess an innate gift that sets them apart ...
3 Breaking the Frame
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...astonishing endings in speculative fiction. It begins amiably enough: it is subtitled “Hommage à Hope Mirrlees”—and seems to be an affectionate pastiche of the style and concerns of the author of Lud- in- the- Mist (1926). Like that novel, it depicts a seemingly small- scale confrontation—in this case, between a Duke (“a very evil man”) and a group of local workers ...
PART II: PARABLES OF POLITICS AND POWER
4 Katherine MacLean’s Short Science Fiction and Cytology: Science as Parabola
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...1949, when she published her first story in Astounding, but remarkably little criticism has been published on her work. Most recently, in July 2011, MacLean was awarded the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award for her decades of short stories, novellas, and novels centering on biosci-ence, psychology, and communication theory (MacLean 2011). As a female ...
5 Second Contact: The First Contact Story in Latin American Science Fiction
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...alien emissaries do not land their spacecraft near Latin American capital cities, nor is the science fiction megatext rife with Latin American inter-galactic explorers seeking out other species for conquest, colonization, or study.1 Yet perhaps the most resonant paradigm for science fictional tales of first contact is the encounter between the explorers and conquistadors ...
6 Parabolas of SFQ: Canadian Science Fiction in French and the Making of a “National” Subgenre
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...the marginal subgenre of French- language science fiction from Québec (SFQ) has developed through a dialogic process between writers and fans, a conversation that first began in the pages of specialized revues and carried over into developing convention activities, creating prizes, and other as-pects of the subgenre’s institutionalization.1 As a “national” science fic-...
7 The Domestic SF Parabola
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...premiere narrative form of modernity because authors working in this genre extrapolate from Enlightenment ideals and industrial practices to tell amazing stories about educated people who use machines and other technologies to transform the material world and to create exciting new futures. At first glance, it might well seem that such change derives exclu-...
PART III: PARABLES OF REMEDIATION
8 Mad Scientists, Chimps, and Mice with Human Brains: Collapsing Boundaries in Science Fiction
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...years, farmers have domesticated fruit trees through the practice of hy-brid grafting and have crossed horses and donkeys to produce mules. Fan-tastical chimeras are deeply embedded in the human imagination, mani-festing as creatures in myths and legends, raising perennial questions about species relations. Which species can mate and breed offspring? ...
9 Coded Transmissions: Gender and Genre Reception in The Matrix
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Generation Starships,” Brian Attebery argues that narrative parabolas are “unlike formulas” because they “do not dictate either a story’s ending or the writer’s ends. Stories that utilize such scenarios may start in the same place, but then they go wherever thematic concerns may lead. If a formula is a closed circle, the sf scenario is an open curve, a swing toward the un-...
10 The Mad Scientist, the Failed Experiment, and the Queer Family of Man: Sirius, Frankenstein, and the SF Stockroom
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...and Discord (1944) mentions its likeness to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818).1 The scientist- creature dyad in Sirius is without question an item of standard science fiction (sf) equipment picked up from the sf stockroom, where the grand original of this pair of commonplace figures is to be found in Shelley’s Frankenstein. The re-...
11 Back to the Filthy Workshop: “Faithful” Film Adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
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...text as an aesthetic criterion. Its most prominent theorist, Robert Stam, offers a comprehensive intertextual approach to the adaptive relation-ship, in which anteriority is accorded no special privilege. Stam argues for the replacement of “infidelity” and similar emotive terms (e.g., “betrayal” or “violation”) with a neutral terminology (“rewriting” or “translation”) ...
PART IV: PARABOLIC FUTURES
12 The Future of the Past: Science Fiction, Retro, and Retrofuturism
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...and this obsession extends far beyond a mere interest in futurity. The scope and character of sf’s engagements with temporality are complex and not always immediately obvious, but they have marked the genre from its inception. Although it is often considered that science fiction possesses no point of origin (Rieder 2010, 194–97) that would be “unique ...
13 Babylon Revisited: Alternate Cosmologies from Farmer to Chiang
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...cited as an illustrative example of the science fiction tale of alternate his-tory and is almost invariably included in bibliographies of this subgenre or theme (such as the elaborate one maintained by Robert Schmunk at http://www.uchronia.net/).1 This story introduces us to a world in which Columbus’s ships are inexplicably equipped with telegraphs, shortwave ...
14 Science Fiction as Archive Fever
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...tain science fictions about the fate of the historical present in the imagined future but also certain familiar ideas about time, history, and narrative.1 The key to my discussion is the archive, in particular the structural logic of the archive as developed by Jacques Derrida in Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression. What suggests this conjunction of fiction and theory is the ...
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Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2013