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Science Fiction Literature

This is a textbook for that genre of literary fiction known as science fiction. In the first chapter we define the genre, mention the subgenres, and provide an overview of the entire history of science fiction. This introductory chapter will closely resemble the Wikipedia entry for Science Fiction. Until Chapter 1 is written we recommend you read the Wikipedia article in its place. Then, we delve more deeply into the subgenres of science fiction, giving each its own chapter or section, focusing especially on the authors whose work staked out the territory, followed by the authors who are writing in the subgenre and expanding its frontier. Bear in mind, many works are written in more than one subgenre at a time. For example, an author writing for young adults can also be writing in the Lost Worlds genre too. After that, we discuss science fiction efforts by nationality. There is a large quantity of good science fiction being written by authors in languages other than English. With the exception of Jules Verne, most English speakers would be challenged to name even one of these other authors. Since this is a textbook of the field of science fiction literature, we will conclude each chapter with a discussion questions section, suggest exercises that will help the science fiction student master the material in the chapter, and make lists for further reading for those interested in exploring a subgenre in greater depth.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction and Historical Overview
  • Genres
    1. Adventure
      1. Lost Worlds (Cadwal Chronicles, Dragonriders of Pern, Pax / Astra)
      2. Military SF (Berserkers, Ender Wiggins, Hammers Slammers, Honor Harrington, Northworld)
      3. New Frontiers (Cluster, the Ship series)
      4. Planetary Exploration and Colonization (Engines of God, Gaea, the Grand Tour, the Mars Trilogy)
      5. Soldiers of Fortune (John Grimes, Matador)
      6. Space Opera (Dune, Foundation, Lensmen series, Star Trek, Star Wars, Vorkosigan)
      7. New Space Opera (Culture, Xeelee, Viriconium, Revalation Space, Night's Dawn trilogy)
    2. Alien Beings
      1. Alien Invasion and Occupation (Colonization series, Dahak)
      2. Alien Societies (Cheela, Mission Earth, Helliconia)
      3. Interspecies Relations (Exiles saga, Sector General)
      4. First Contact
    3. Anthropology / Sociology (Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy)
    4. Bleak Futures
      1. Ecological Disasters (Battle Circle, Jenny Casey trilogy, Jerry Cornelius, Obernewtyn Chronicles)
      2. Nuclear / Post-Apocolypse (Xenogenesis, Endworld)
    5. Hard Science (Spiderworld)
    6. Humor (Stainless Steel Rat, Hitchhiker's Guide)
    7. Love and Romance (Tower and the Hive)
    8. Mystery and Detectives (Elijah Bailey, Greg Mandel, In Death, Ukiah Oregon)
    9. Political
    10. Religion (Left Behind, Hyperion)
    11. Science Fantasy (John Carter)
    12. Sex and Gender Roles (Uglies)
    13. Social Criticism (Transmetropolitan)
    14. Species Evolution (Amber, Beggars trilogy, Wildcards)
    15. Technology (Chobits, Legacy of the Aldenata, Instrumentality
    16. World Versions (Eon)
    17. Young Adult / Children's (Witch World, Ember)
  • National Literature
    1. Soviet / Russian
    2. French
    3. Scandinavian
    4. Japanese
    5. German
    6. East European
    7. Spanish speaking
    8. Other World SF literature
  • Venues for Publication of Science Fiction Literature and Future Trends