In this new book, Noga Applebaum surveys science fiction novels published for children and young adults from 1980 to the present, exposing the anti-technological bias existing within a genre often associated with the celebration of technology. Applebaum argues that perceptions of technology as a corrupting force, particularly in relation to its use by young people, are a manifestation of the enduring allure of the myth of childhood innocence and result in young-adult fiction that endorses a technophobic agenda. This agenda is a form of resistance to the changing face of childhood and technology’s contribution to this change. Further, Applebaum contends that technophobic literature disempowers its young readers by implying that the technologies of the future are inherently dangerous, while it neglects to acknowledge children’s complex, yet pleasurable, interactions with technology today. The study looks at works by well-known authors including M.T. Anderson, Monica Hughes, Lois Lowry, Garth Nix, and Philip Reeve, and explores topics such as ecology, cloning, the impact of technology on narrative structure, and the adult-child hierarchy. While focusing on the popular genre of science fiction as a useful case study, Applebaum demonstrates that negative attitudes toward technology exist within children’s literature in general, making the book of considerable interest to scholars of both science fiction and children’s literature.
List of Permissions
Series Editor’s Foreword
Chapter One: But Only God Can Make a Tree: Technology and Nature in Young SF
Chapter Two: The Last Book in the Universe: The Fate of the Humanities in a Technological World
Chapter Three: The Road Not Taken: The Impact of Technology on Narrative Structure
Chapter Four: The World Upside Down: Technology, Power and the Adult-child Relationship
Chapter Five: (Tech)Nobody’s Children: Clones and Cloning in Young Adult Literature
Conclusion: The Technophobic Legacy
Founding Editor and Series Editor 1994-2011: Jack Zipes
Series Editor, 2011-2018: Philip Nel
Founded by Jack Zipes in 1994, Children's Literature and Culture is the longest-running series devoted to the study of children’s literature and culture from a national and international perspective. Dedicated to promoting original research in children’s literature and children’s culture, in 2011 the series expanded its focus to include childhood studies, and it seeks to explore the legal, historical, and philosophical conditions of different childhoods. An advocate for scholarship from around the globe, the series recognizes innovation and encourages interdisciplinarity. Children's Literature and Culture offers cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections considering topics such as gender, race, picturebooks, childhood, nation, religion, technology, and many others. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.