science fiction essay

Science Fiction (SF) devices can be important and useful tools in the writer’s toolkit. All fiction by its nature asks us to suspend our disbelief; SF merely asks for a different type of belief suspension. It seems a great shame that most “serious” writers of Literature do not employ SF devices more frequently, and that those who purport to judge great Literature do not consider SF works more seriously.

To be truly compelling and important, of course, SF has to ultimately be about us: about what it is to be human, to live inside or transcend our bodies; to live in a rapidly changing world that is sometimes hard to make sense of. This kind of sensibility certainly overlaps with the domain of Literature.

The power of ideas.

political representation of African-Americans in the southern United States. The author explores many different theories as well as the ideas of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King to explore the under presentation of Blacks politically. There were eight sources used to complete this paper.

Starring: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, and Larry.

Glenn Everett, 2006, “Browning’s Religious Views,” the Victorian Web.

If the Standard Social Science Model is mistaken, then we are less altruistic than would otherwise be the case’.

Of course not all SF novels are masterpieces. Much of SF is caught up with the signifiers for their own sake, rather than the signified – for example, glorifying space travel, technology, progress, the horror of aliens, etc. SF also typically mirrors more than it challenges mainstream attitudes. As a vast intertextual web with a long history, SF has its own tropes and cliches and can easily fall back on these – much like genre fiction does. Paradoxically, SF can also become a victim of its own success: it can paint such a vivid and compelling picture of an imagined or potential danger that people might not take the actual danger seriously enough. The Terminator movies, for example, have come to symbolise man vs machine (AI) so completely in popular imagination that it can be hard to forge more oppositional or nuanced ideas in such a conceptual space without falling into the “SkyNet” vortex.

However it seems there is an artificial and damaging separation between SF and Literature – at least, the kind of Literature that wins Booker Prizes. Why aren’t SF devices afforded the same respect as say, magic realism, which like SF requires a greater suspension of disbelief? Booker Prize winner (and winner of the “Booker of Bookers”) Salman Rushie (for Midnight’s Children), Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez, Japanese write Haruki Murakami all employ magic realism seemingly with praise and without any stigma or to the detriment of their works as serious Literature. It is hard to understand why the devices of magic realism enjoy a more exalted status than those of SF, but certainly the Booker Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction are veritable deserts for SF, with only The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a post-apocalyptic novel, being a notable exception.

To get at some “truth”, through analogy, SF can completely unshackle the writer from a specific context; they can explore (for example) the mechanisms employed by totalitarian regimes without being constrained or attached to a particular current or historical milieu. The best SF can let us see the stark reality of a situation. To take a well known military example: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, published in 1974, shows a war in a futuristic context, but comments upon the reception given to US troops returning to America from Vietnam. SF writers have even explored radically alternative moral universes, such as Ursula Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness) and Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow).

SF occupies a vital role in our society. It makes concrete ideas, hopes and fears about our relationship to technology, progress, and even to the human body. It allows us to think through these issues in a unique way, because only SF is able to fully explore the space of opposites in a detailed and compelling way; for example:

With this in mind, the writer should look at their essay as a short story and not the beginnings of a multi-novel series. Doing so puts gives the writer a couple of advantages. On one hand, they don’t need as much time or space to develop their characters or focus on background. This leaves little chance for the reader’s (the markers) attention to veer off course. Moreover, it signals to the reader that there is a beginning, a middle and a definite end to the story, and that they are not about to enter a rabbit hole that will consume days of their precious time.

On a good day writing an essay, a good essay at that, can be a tall order. Undoubtedly, the instructor and marker has read hundreds, maybe even thousands of essays just like yours. They have pretty much seen it all and now you are not only faced with writing a good essay, but a unique one as well. Now add to this request to write a science fiction essay and, needless to say, the stress factor is increased by a minimum of tenfold. There are challenges with writing a good essay and there are challenges with writing science fiction, so there will certainly be challenges when you need to do both simultaneously.

Before jotting down a single letter, the writer should hammer out the parameters of their story. What tense will it be told in? Will it be told in the present or will it be like a memoir that is being told in the past tense? The second parameter that should be defined would be from whose viewpoint is the story being told through. Is it being told through the eyes and mouth of the author like a narration or is it being told through a character in the story? Identifying these points right from the get go will greatly increase the speed and efficiency to which the story will be written, but more importantly it will help maintain consistency and cohesion throughout the entire paper.

Fortunately, like nearly every other writing assignment, strategies and tactics can be employed to increase the likelihood of success. These tactics will mostly revolve around breaking down the essay into smaller, bite-sized, executable chunks, and putting forth a highly refined piece of writing. Novices will usually focus on quantity when it is really quality that they should be worried about, because make no mistake it is the only thing that the instructor is worried about.

Mattapoisett is self-sufficient, has no excess noise, infectious diseases, or pollution, and everything is recycled. Yet, this utopian society is not the only society that exists, for the pers must deal with a dystopian society, one that Piercy uses to portray the outcome for today’s society if it continues unchecked. For it will be one of waste, pollution, violence, patriarchal, and totalitarian. It is basically the negative aspects of today’s society magnified. In this dystopian society, every aspect of life is…… [Read More]

All without distinction were branded as fanatics and phantasts; not only those, whose wild and exorbitant imaginations had actually engendered only extravagant and grotesque phantasms, and whose productions were, for the most part, poor copies and gross caricatures of genuine inspiration; but the truly inspired likewise, the originals themselves. And this for no other reason, but because they were the unlearned, men of humble and obscure occupations. (Coleridge iographia IX)

limate change, income disparity, terminal illnesses and continued wars all plague our world. The means by which we typically understand such phenomenon is through science. We have created vast canons of academic texts in fields like psychology, sociology, and other social sciences. Even politics is now “political science.” Anything that cannot be codified or empirically researched is not deemed worthy of discussion. It is this over-emphasis on science that creates a boom in fantasy literature.