Science Fiction  book cover
1st Edition

Science Fiction

Edited By

Andy Sawyer

ISBN 9781138676947
Published November 23, 2020 by Routledge
1554 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Given that science fiction, in its many forms and genres, engages in sometimes serious speculation about science, history, and all types of social relations, and that its recurrent themes—such as the concept of the alien, alternative identities, and the role of technology—chime with so many contemporary anxieties and concerns, it is perhaps no surprise that as early as 1960 Kingsley Amis was able to remark (in his New Maps of Hell) that ‘to read, and to study, science fiction are valid and interesting pursuits from any old point of view, whether literary, sociological, psychological, political, or what you will’.

Now, as serious academic work on science fiction continues to blossom, this new four-volume collection from Routledge meets the need for an authoritative anthology to enable users to make better sense of the subject’s unwieldy body of scholarship, and the continuing explosion in research output.

The four volumes have been expertly edited by Andy Sawyer of Liverpool University, home of Europe’s largest catalogued collection of SF material. Science Fiction is fully indexed and has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor. It is an essential work of reference and will be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop resource.

Table of Contents

Volume 1: Discoveries; Definitions and Defence; Receptions and Redefinitions

Part 1: Discoveries

1. Mary Shelley, ‘Preface’, in Frankenstein (Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, Finsbury Square, 1818), p. 1-2.

2. Mary Shelley, ‘Introduction’, in Frankenstein (London: Colburn and Bentley, 1831), pp.

3. Walter Scott, ‘Review of Frankenstein’, Blackwoods 2, 12, March 1918, pp. 613-620.

4. Brian Aldiss, ‘Mary Shelley’, extract in Billion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1973), pp. 20-30.

5. Jane Webb, ‘Introduction’, in The Mummy! (London: Henry Colburn, 1827), pp. iii-viii.

6. Felix Bodin, ‘Preface’, in The Novel of the Future trans. by Brian Stableford (Encino, CA: Black Coat Press 2008[1834], pp. 31-41.

7. William Wilson, A Little Earnest Book Upon a Great Old Subject (London: Darton & Co, 1851), pp. 131-147.

8. Brian M. Stableford, ‘William Wilson’s Prospectus For Science Fiction: 1851’ Foundation 10, June 1986, pp. 6-12

9. Dorothy Scarborough, ‘Supernatural Science’, in The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction (New York: Putnam's, 1917), pp. 251-80.

Part 2: Definitions and Defence

10. Hugo Gernsback ‘A New Sort of Magazine’, editorial in Amazing Stories 1, 1, April 1926, p. 3.

11. Hugo Gernsback ‘The Lure of Scientifiction’, Amazing Stories 1, 3, June 1926, p. 195.

12. Hugo Gernsback ‘Science Fiction Week’, Science Wonder Stories 1, 12, May 1930, p. 7.

13. Gary Westfahl ‘"An Idea of Significant Import:": Hugo Gernsback’s Theory of Science Fiction’, Foundation 48, 1994, pp. 26-50.

14. H. G. Wells, ‘Preface’, in The Scientific Romances of H. G. Wells (London: Victor Gollancz, 1933), pp. vii-x.

15. Clemence Dane, ‘American Fairy Tale’, The North American Review 242, 1, 1936, pp. 143-152.

16. John W. Campbell, ‘Future Tense’, Astounding Science Fiction 23, 4, June 1939, p. 6.

17. John W. Campbell, ‘History to Come’, Astounding Science Fiction 27, 3, pp. 5-7, 124-25.

18. John W. Campbell, ‘Non-Escape Literature’, Astounding Science Fiction 62, 6, Feb 1959, pp. 5-7, 161-162.

19. Robert A. Heinlein: 1941 Worldcon Speech ‘The Discovery of the Future’, in Mike Resnick & Joe Siclari (eds), Worldcon Guest of Honor Speeches (Deerfield, Ill.: ISFiC Press, 2006), pp. 13-19.

20. Robert A. Heinlein ‘Science Fiction: Its Nature, Faults and Virtues’, in Basil Davenport et al (ed.), The Science Fiction Novel: Imagination and Social Criticism (Chicago: Advent, 1964), pp. 14-48.

Part 3: Receptions and Redefinitions

21. Margot Bennett ‘Spaceships Also Leak’, Lilliput 22, 3, No. 129, March 1948, pp. 43-46.

22. Hella Jaspert, ‘The New "Science Fiction": Lush Fiction, but Queer Science’, The Manchester Guardian November 7th , 1953, p. 4.

23. J. B. Priestley ‘They Come From Inner Space’, in New Statesman & Nation 5th December 1953.

24. John Wyndham, ‘Roar of Rockets’ from John O’London’s Weekly, 2 April 1954.

25. Tom Clareson, ‘The Evolution of Science Fiction’, Science Fiction Quarterly (August 1953), pp. 85-98

26. Kathryn Hume, 'Medieval Romance and Science Fiction: The Anatomy of a Resemblance', Journal of Popular Culture 16, 1, 1982, pp. 15-26.

27. Adam Roberts, ‘From Medieval Romance to Sixteenth Century Utopia’, in The History of Science Fiction 2nd ed. (Palgrave Histories of Literature), pp. 37-50.

28. Kingsley Amis, et. al ‘The Establishment Must Die and Rot…A Discussion on Science Fiction between Kingsley Amis and C. S. Lewis’, SF Horizons 1, 1964, pp. 5-12.

29. William Burroughs ‘The Hallucinatory Operators are Real’, SF Horizons 2, 1965, pp. 3-12.

30. E. J. Carnell et. Al, ‘There Ain’t No Such Thing as the "New Wave"!’, Speculation 2, 11, 23, July/Aug 1969, pp. 5-11

31. Colin Greenland, ‘Footholds in the Head: Inner Space Fiction’, in The Entropy Exhibition (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983, pp. 51-68.

32. John Clute, ‘Pilgrim Award Acceptance Speech’, SFRA Review 213, Sep/Oct 1994, pp. 35-39

33. Ruth Berman, ‘Science Fiction Without the Future’, New York Review of Science Fiction 13, 9, No. 153, May 2001, p.1, 6-8.

34. John Clute, ‘Fantastika in the World Storm’, Foundation 102, Spring 2008, 6-14.

35. John Rieder, ‘On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History’, Science Fiction Studies 37, 2010, pp. 191-208.

36. Istvan Csiscery-Ronay, Jr., ‘What Do We Mean When We Say "Global Science Fiction"? Reflections on a New Nexus’, Science Fiction Studies 39, 3, 2012, pp. 478-493.

Volume 2: Understanding Science Fiction

Part 4: Critical Approaches

37. Marjorie Hope Nicolson, ‘Cosmic Voyages’, ELH: A Journal of English Literary History 7, 2, June 1940, pp. 83-107.

38. James Blish, ‘Some Propositions’, in The Issue at Hand , Autumn 1952, pp. 11-20.

39. Damon Knight, ‘Critics’, in In Search of Wonder¸2nd ed. (Chicago: Advent, 1967), pp. 1-8.

40. Rosalie Moore, ‘Science Fiction and the Main Stream’, in Reginald Bretnor (ed.), Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Its Future (Chicago: Advent, 1979), pp. 92-118.

41. James Gunn, ‘The Plot-Forms of Science Fiction: A Special Survey’, Dynamic Science Fiction 1, 5, Oct 1953, pp. 44-53, and 1, 6 Jan 1954, pp. 37-48.

42. C. S. Lewis, ‘On Science Fiction’, Of Other Worlds (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1966), pp. 59-73.

43. Kingsley Amis, ‘The Case for Science Fiction: Where Novelists Fear to Tread’, Observer 29th Oct 1959, p. 8.

44. Robert Conquest ‘SF’s No Good . . .’, epigraph to Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest’ (eds), Spectrum 2 (London: Gollancz, 1962)

45. Judith Merril ‘Fritz Leiber’, Fantasy & Science Fiction 37, 1, July 1969, pp. 44-61.

46. Susan Sontag, ‘The Imagination of Disaster’, Commentary 40, October 1965, pp. 42-48.

Part 5: Practice and Theory

47. Darko Suvin, ‘Cognition and Estrangement: An Appraoch to SF Poetics’, Foundation 2 (June 1972) pp. 6-16.

48. Peter Nicholls, ‘Science Fiction and the Mainstream: part 1: The Demolition of Pigeon-Holes’, Foundation 3, March 1973, pp. 15-25.

49. Robert Scholes, ‘Structural Fabulation’, Structural Fabulation (University of Notre Dame Press, 1975), pp. 45-75.

50. Ursula K. Le Guin, ‘Science Fiction and Mrs Brown’, in Peter Nicholls (ed.), Science Fiction at Large (London: Gollancz, 1976), pp. 15-33.

51. Samuel R. Delany, ‘Science Fiction and "Literature" or The Conscience of the King’, Analog 99, 5, May 1979, pp. 59 – 79.

52. Gary K. Wolfe, ‘Icons of Wonder’, in The Known and the Unknown (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1979), pp. 16-29.

53. Christine Brook-Rose, ‘Science Fiction and Realistic Fiction’, in A Rhetoric of the Unreal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 72-102.

54. Cornell Robu, ‘A Key to Science Fiction: The Sublime’, Foundation 42, Spring 1988, pp. 21-37.

55. Damien Broderick, ‘Reading SF as a Megatext’, The New York Review of Science Fiction 46, July 1992, p. 1, 8-11

56. Carl Freedman, ‘The Critical Dynamic: Science Fiction and the Historical Novel’, in Critical Theory and Science Fiction (Middletown, CT:Wesleyan University Press, 2000) 44-56.

57. Jean Baudrillard, ‘Simulacra and Science Fiction’, trans. Arthur B. Evans, Science Fiction Studies 18, 55, 1991, pp. 309-313.

58. Greg Benford, ‘Effing the Ineffable: An Essay’, Foundation 38, Winter 1986/87, pp. 49-57.

59. Paul Kincaid, ‘What It is We Do When We Read Science Fiction’, Foundation 78, Spring 2000, pp. 72-82.

60. Farah Mendlesohn, ‘Introduction: Reading Science Fiction’, in Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn (eds), Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 1-12.


Volume 3: Establishing/Exploding the Canon

Part 6: Establishing Authors

61. Walter Gillings, ‘The Philosopher of Fantasy: How Dr Olaf Stapledon Discovered Science Fiction Magazines’, Scientifiction 1, 3, June 1937, pp. 8-10.

62. Arthur F. Hillman, ‘Masters of Fantasy (I): C. L. Moore’, Operation Fantast 1, 9, Summer 1951, pp. 14-16.

63. John K. Aiken, ‘Masters of Fantasy (II): Sydney Fowler Wright, Operation Fantast 11, Winter 1952, 18-20.

64. Sam Moskowitz, ‘The Wonders of H. G. Wells’, Satellite 2, 4, April 1958, 100-111.

65. Alfred Bester ‘The Perfect Composite SF Author’, Fantasy and Science Fiction 20, 3, March 1961, 77-81.

66. Owen Webster, ‘John Wyndham as Novelist of Ideas’, Science Fiction Commentary 44/45, November 1975, 41-57.

67. John Huntington, extract from ‘The Economy of Reason: the Motives of the Technocratic Hero’, in Rationalizing Genius: Ideological Strategies in the Classic American Science Fiction Short Story (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1989), pp. 69-85.


Part 7: Discontents

68. Mike Moorcock, ‘Blast off 1960’, Bastion 1, 1960, 13-18.

69. J. G. Ballard, ‘Which Way to Inner Space?’, New Worlds 40, 118, May 1962, pp. 2-3, 116-7.

70. Michael Moorcock, ‘The New Fiction’, Speculation 16, 1967, 7-11.

71. Stanislaw Lem, ‘Science Fiction: A Hopeless Case—With Exceptions’, Science Fiction Commentary 35/36/37, July-Sept 1973, pp. 7-36.

72. Peter Nicholls, ‘Science Fiction: the Monsters and the Critics’, in Peter Nicholls (ed.), Science Fiction at Large (London: Gollancz, 1976, pp. 157-184.

Part 8: New Canons, New Criticisms

73. David N. Samuelson, ‘Childhood's End: A Median Stage of Adolescence?’, Science Fiction Studies 1, 1, Spring 1973, pp. 4-17.

74. Douglas Barbour, ‘Wholeness and Balance in the Hainish Novels of Ursula K. Le Guin’, Science Fiction Studies 1, 3, March 1974, pp. 164-173.

75. Susan Gubar, ‘C. L. Moore and the Conventions of Women’s Science Fiction’, Science Fiction Studies 7, 20, 1980, pp. 16-26.

76. Batya Weinbaum, "Sex-Role Reversal in the Thirties: Leslie F Stone’s "The Conquest of Gola"’, Science Fiction Studies 24, 3, Nov. 1997, pp. 471-482.

77. Fredric Jameson, ‘The Space of Science Fiction: Narrative in Van Vogt’, Polygraph 2/3, 1989, pp. 52-65.

78. Tom Moylan, ‘The Literary Utopia’, Demand the Impossible (London: Methuen 1986), pp. 29-52.

79. Darko Suvin, ‘On Gibson and Cyberpunk SF’, Foundation 46, Winter 1989, pp. 40-51.

80. Nicola Nixon, ‘Cyberpunk: Preparing the Ground for Revolution or Keeping the Boys Satisfied?’, Science Fiction Studies 19, 57, July 1992, pp. 219-235.

81. Mark Dery ‘Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel A. Delany, Greg Tate and Tricia Rose’, Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994), pp. 179-222

Part 9: Biases Confronted

82. Miriam Allen deFord, ‘News For Dr Richardson’, Fantasy and Science Fiction 10, 5, May 1956, 52-57.

83. Joanna Russ, ‘The Image of Women in Science Fiction’, Vertex 1, 6, February 1974, 53-57.

84. Susan Wood, ‘Women and Science Fiction’ , Algol/Starship Winter 1978/79, pp. 9-18.

85. Sarah Lefanu, ‘Authority and Sentiment: Is there a Women’s Science Fiction?’, in In the Chinks of the World Machine (London: Women’s Press, 1988), pp. 86-93.

86. Helen Merrick, ‘The Readers Feminism Doesn’t See: Feminist Fans, Critics and Science Fiction’, in Deborah Cartmills et. al (eds), Trash Aesthetics: Popular Culture and Its Audience (London: Pluto Press, 1997), pp. 48-65.

87. Justine Larbalestier, ‘The Women Men Don’t See’, in The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2002), pp. 144-179.


Volume 4: Science Fiction and the World: What do ‘We’ Mean by ‘Us’?

Part 10: "New" Audiences: "New" Readings: "New " Goals

88. Chandler Davis, ‘Critiques and Proposals, 1949’, in John Lukin (ed.), It Walks in Beauty: Selected Prose of Chandler Davis (Seattle: Aqueduct Press, 2010), pp. 53-60.

89. Kobo Abe, ‘The Boom in Science Fiction’, trans. Christopher Bolton, Science Fiction Studies 29, 3, 2002, pp. 340-350.

90. Leslie Fiedler, extract from ‘The New Mutants’, Partisan Review Fall 1965, pp. 506-509.

91. Gerard Klein, ‘Discontent in American Science Fiction’, trans. D. Suvin and Leila Lecorps, Science Fiction Studies, 4, 1, 1977, pp. 3-13.

92. Samuel R. Delany, ‘What Was the 50s for Me’, Starboard Wine: More Notes on the Language of Science Fiction (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2012), pp. 5-14.

Part 11: Technologies

93. Joanna Russ, ‘SF and Technology as Mystification’, Science Fiction Studies 5, 3, 1978, pp. 243-249.

94. Donna Haraway, ‘A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s’, Socialist Review 80, 1985, pp. 65–108.

95. Vernor Vinge, ‘First Word’, Omni, January 1983, p. 10.

96. Damien Broderick, ‘Tearing Towards the Spike’, May 7th 2001,

97. Singularity chat with Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil, posted June 11, 2002 on SCIFI.COM. Published June 13, 2002 on )

98. Stephen Baxter, ‘The Profession of Science Fiction, 63: A Child of the Urban Singularity’, Foundation 35, 98, Autumn 2006, pp. 5-15.

99. Sherryl Vint, ‘Animals and Animality from the Island of Moreau to the Uplift Universe’, Yearbook of English Studies 37, 2, July 2007, pp. 85-192

100. Sherryl Vint and Ken MacLeod, ‘Uplifted Future? Animals, Biotechnology and Science Fiction’, New York Review of Science Fiction 27, 8, 320, April 2015, pp. 1, 10-18.

101. DeWitt Douglas Kilgore, ‘Difference Engine: Aliens, Robots, and Other Racial Matters in the History of Science Fiction’, Science Fiction Studies 37, 1, March 2010, pp. 16-22.

Part 12: Identities and Voices

102. Nalo Hopkinson, ‘Introduction’, in Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan (eds), So Long Been Dreaming (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004), pp. 7-9.

103. Veronica Hollinger, ‘(Re)reading Queerly: Science Fiction, Feminism, and the Defamiliarization of Genre’, Science Fiction Studies 26, 1, March 1999, 23-40.

104. M. Elizabeth Ginway, ‘A Working Model for Analyzing Third World Science Fiction: The Case of Brazil’, Science Fiction Studies 32, 3, Nov. 2005, pp. 467-494.

105. Asif A. Siddiqi, ‘Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia’, Osiris 23, 1, 2008, pp. 260-288.

106. Yusuf Nuruddin, ‘Ancient Black Astronauts and Extraterrestrial Jihads: Islamic Science Fiction as Urban Mythology’, Socialism and Democracy 20, 3, 2006, pp. 127-165.

107. Rebecca Hankins, ‘Fictional Islam: A Literary Review and Comparative Essay on Islam in Science Fiction and Fantasy’, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 38, 105, Spring 2009, pp. 73-92.

108. Lisa Yasek, ‘Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, and the History of the Future’, Socialism and Democracy 20, 3, November 2006, pp. 41–60.

109. Isaiah Lavender III, ‘Meta-Slavery’, in Race in American Science Fiction, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2011), pp. 54-88.

110. John Rieder, ‘Sun Ra’s Otherworldliness’, Paradoxa 25, 2013, pp. 235-252.

111. Gillian Pollack, ‘Old Cultures, New Fictions: Four Indigenous Australian Writers of Speculative Fiction’, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 44, 2, 121, 2015, pp. 18-29.

112. Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, ‘On the Mythologerm: Kalpavigyan and the Question of Imperial Science’, Science Fiction Studies 43, 3, 2016, pp. 435-458.

113. Gwyneth Jones, ‘Aliens in the Twenty-First Century’, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 45, 3, 125, 2016, pp. 61-72.

114. Mohale Mashigo, ‘Afrofuturism: Ayashis’ Amateki’, Intruders: Short Stories (Johannesburg: Picador Africa, 2018), pp. ix-xv.



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