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Secondary Reading

Below is a list of recommended secondary reading for the course. It is not exhaustive, but it provides key readings for each text studied this year. Most of them are available as PDFs (click on "EN361 Secondary Readings" above to download a zip file). The others are available through the library catalogue or requesting them through the library, or online. We encourage you to explore your own sources, and recommend the journal Science Fiction Studies as a good place to start.  


Term 1

Week 1 – Introduction

Secondary Reading—History / Theory

- Brian Aldiss, Billion Year Spree, 1973

- Various, The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction, 2009.

- Various, The Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction, 2014.

- Various, The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, 2003

- Sherryl Vint, Science Fiction: A Guide for the Perplexed, 2014.

- Roger Luckhurst, Science Fiction, 2005.

- Carl Freedman, Critical Theory & Science Fiction, 2000.

Week 2 - HG Wells, The Time Machine

- Veronica Hollinger, "Deconstructing the Time Machine" Science Fiction Studies 14(2):201-221. July 1987. [PDF]

- Lynn Tower Sargent, "The Time Machine in the Development of Wells's Social and Political Thought" The Wellsian No. 19: 3-11. Winter 1996.

- Patrick Parrinder, "News from Nowhere, The Time Machine, and the break-up of classical realism" Science-Fiction Studies 3(3):265-274. November 1976. [PDF]

Week 3 - Karl Capek, The War with the Newts

-John Rieder, Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction 2008. [PDF]

- Elizabeth Maslen, “Proper Words in Proper Places: The Challenge of Capek’s War with the Newts”, Science Fiction Studies, 14(1) March 1987. [available online]

Week 4 - Ursula Le Guin, The Dispossessed & ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ [handout]

- William Burling, "Art as 'The Basic Technique of Life': Utopian Art and Art in Utopia in The Dispossessed and Blue Mars" in Red Planets, ed. Mark Bould & China Miéville (2009)

- Darko Suvin, "Cognition, Freedom, The Dispossessed as a Classic," Paradoxa No. 21: 23-49. 2008. [PDF]

- Stanilaw Lem "Lost opportunities" SF Commentary No. 24:22-24. November 1971. Reply, No. 26:90-92. April 1972.

- Tom Moylan, "Beyond Negation: The Critical Utopias of Ursula K. Le Guin and Samuel R. Delany" Extrapolation 2(1): 236-253. Fall 1980.

- Fredric Jameson, "World-Reduction in Le Guin: The Emergence of Utopian Narrative" Science-Fiction Studies 2(3):221-230. November 1975. [PDF]

Week 5 - Samuel Delany, Trouble on Triton

- Tom Moylan, "Beyond Negation: The Critical Utopias of Ursula K. Le Guin and Samuel R. Delany" Extrapolation 2(1): 236-253. Fall 1980.

- Mark Dery, "Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose" South Atlantic Quarterly 92(4): 735-788. Fall 1993.

- Wendy Pearson, "Born to be Bron: Destiny and the Destinerrance in Samuel R. Delany's Trouble on Titan," Science Fiction Studies 36(3): 461-477. November 2009. [PDF]

- Greg Tate, "Ghetto in the Sky: Samuel Delany's Black Whole" Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992. pp.159-167. [more about race in Delany than this work specifically, but a key text]

Reading Week

Week 7 - Joanna Russ, The Female Man

- Joanna Russ, To Write Like a Woman, 1995.

- Jeanne Cortiel, Demand My Writing, 1999. [PDF]

- Amanda Boulter, "Unnatural Acts: American Feminism and Joanna Russ's The Female Man" Women: A Cultural Review 10(2): 151-166. Summer 1999. [PDF]

Week 8 - William Gibson, Neuromancer

- William Gibson, ‘Interview’ in Storming the Reality Studio, 1990. [PDF]

- Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr, "The Sentimental Futurist: Cybernetics and Art in William Gibson's Neuromancer" Critique 33(3): 221-240. Spring 1992. [PDF]

- Timothy Yu, "Oriental Cities, Postmodern Futures: Naked Lunch, Blade Runner, and Neuromancer," Melus 33(4): 45-71. Winter 2008. [PDF]

- Thomas Foster, The Souls of Cyberfolk, 2005.

- Kadrey, R. & McCaffery, “Cyberpunk 101” 1991. [PDF]

Week 9 - Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker

- R. D. Mullen, ‘Dialect, Grapholect, and Story: Russell Hoban's "Riddley Walker" as Science Fiction’ Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Nov., 2000), pp. 391-417 [PDF]

Week 10 - Sleep Dealer (dir. Alex Rivera) [watch in seminar]

Term 2

Week 1 - Iron Man 3 (dir. Shane Black) [watch beforehand]

- Dan Hassler-Forest, Capitalist Superheroes: Caped Crusaders in the Neoliberal Age 2012

- China Miéville, ‘Rejected Pitch’

Week 2 - HP Lovecraft, ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ & ‘The Call of Cthulhu’

- HP Lovecraft, ‘Supernatural Horror in Literature’ [PDF]

- China Miéville, ‘Weird Fiction’ in The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction

Week 3 - Stanislaw Lem, Solaris

- Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr., The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction [PDF]

- Solaris (1972), dir. Andrei Tarkovsky

- Solaris (2002), dir. Steven Soderbergh

Week 4 - Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic

- Anindita Banerjee, We Modern People, 2013. [PDF]

- Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of Science Fiction, 2005. [PDF]

- Science Fiction Studies Special Issue, ‘Soviet Science Fiction: The Thaw and After’, Nov 2004. [Various PDFs]

Week 5 - Charles Stross, Accelerando

- ‘The 2011 SFS Symposium: the Singularity’ in Science Fiction Studies 39(1) March 2012

-Joshua Raulerson, Singularities 2013

Reading Week

Week 7 - M. John Harrison, selections from Viriconium

- M. John Harrison et al., Parietal Games 2005.

- Michael Moorcock, ‘Epic Pooh’ 1978. [PDF]

- M John Harrison, ‘Ambient Hotel’ (Blog: search for key word ‘Viriconium’)

- M John Harrison, ‘What might it be like to live in Viriconium?’ [PDF]

- Neil Gaiman, “On Viriconium” 2005 [PDF]

Week 8 - China Miéville, Iron Council

- Special Issue on China Miéville, Extrapolation 50.2, 2009.

Week 9 - Nalo Hopkinson, Midnight Robber

- Eric D. Smith, "The Only Way Out is Through: Space, Narrative, and Utopia in Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber," Genre 42(1/2): 135-164. Spring/Summer 2009. [PDF]

- Elizabeth Boyle, "Vanising Bodies: Race and Technology in Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber," African Identities 7(2): 177-191. May 2009. [PDF]

- Nalo Hopkins, ‘Guest of honour speech from ICFA’ in Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 21.3 (2010): 339-350 [PDF]

- Afrofuturism Special Issue, Science Fiction Studies 34.2 (2007)

- Africa SF Special Issue, Paradoxa 25 (2013)

- The Last Angel of History (2013) dir. John Akomfrah (available online)

Week 10 - Various Authors, selections from Walking the Clouds [handout]


- Jodi A. Byrd, The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (2011)