1st Edition

Dark Horizons Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination

Edited By Tom Moylan, Raffaella Baccolini Copyright 2003
    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 2003. With essays by an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars, Dark Horizons focuses on the development of critical dystopia in science fiction at the end of the twentieth century. In these narratives of places more terrible than even the reality produced by the neo-conservative backlash of the 1980s and the neoliberal hegemony of the 1990s, utopian horizons stubbornly anticipate a different and more just world. The top-notch team of contributors explores this development in a variety of ways: by looking at questions of form, politics, the politics of form, and the form of politics. In a broader context, the essays connect their textual and theoretical analyses with historical developments such as September 11th, the rise and downturn of the global economy, and the growth of anti-capitalist movements.

    ContentsIndroduction: Dystopia and Histories Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan1. Utopia in Dark Times: Optimism/Pessimism and Utopia/Dystopia Ruth Levitas and Lucy Sargisson2. Genre Blending and the Critical Dystopia Jane Donawerth3. The Writing of Utopia and the Feminist Critial Dystopia: Suzy MKee Charnas' Holdfast Series Ildney Cavalcanti4. Cyberpunk and Dystopia: Pat Cadigan's Networks David Seed5. Posthuman Bodies and Agency in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis Naomi Jacobs6. 'A useful knowledge of the present is rooted in the past': Memory and Historical Reconciliation in Ursula K. LeGuin's The Telling Raffaella Baccolini7. 'The moment is here...and it's important': State, Agency, and Dystopia in Kim Stanley Robinson's Antarctica and Ursula K. LeGuin's The Telling Tom Moylan8. Unmasking the Real? Critique and Utopia in Recent SF Films Peter Fitting9. Where the Prospective Horizon is Omitted: Naturalism and Dystopia in Fight Club and Ghost Dog Phillip E. Wegner10. Theses on Dystopia and Anti-Utopia Darko Suvin11. Concrete Dystopia: Slavery and its Others Maria Varsam12. The Problem of the 'Flawed Utopia': A Note on the Costs of Eutopia Lyman Tower SargentConclusion: Critical Dystopia and Possibilities Raffaella Baccolini and Tom MoylanNotes on ContributorsIndex


    Tom Moylan is Glucksman Professor of Contemporary Writing at the University of Limerick. He is author of Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia and Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (Routledge), and coeditor of Not Yet: Reconsidering Ernst Bloch.
    Raffaella Baccolini is Associate Professor of English at the University of Bologna.

    "Dark Horizons is a stimulating and imaginative set of essays which demonstrate the transgressive and polyvalent nature of contemporary science-fiction dystopias. They precipitate us into the twenty-first century with a sense of foreboding - but also of hope." -- Barbara Goodwin, Professor of Politics, University of East Anglia, Norwich
    "Dark Horizons is a timely and highly significant book bound to make readers reflect critically on what has happened to the utopian hope of the 1960s. A collection of essays on Anglo-American science fiction and film and the dystopian imagination superbly edited by Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan, this volume sheds critical light on the propensity of many writers, filmmakers, and critics to depict dystopian views of the world during the dark times of the 1980s, 1990s, and the onset of the twenty-first century. Most of the essayists are leading scholars of utopian studies, and they cover a range of topics and works with perspicacity while carefully delineating notions of the utopian, eutopian, and dystopian. Altogether the essays constitute the first major attempt to come to terms with contemporary dystopian literature and film and to suggest alternative and critical readings that paradoxically reveal the hope of pessimism and skepticism." -- Jack Zipes, University of Minnesota
    "Dark Horizons is a valuable resource in utopian and sf studies." -- Graham J. Murphey, Science Fiction Studies