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Laura Wiebe

English 3D03-Lecture Notes Lecture 1 - 1/7/2013 Science Fiction -Genre -If the story contains this it must be (very likely that) it is a Science fiction -Not a genre founded in realism -frequently aliens are present -often advanced technologies -cross language and cross culture -a cultural phenomena Lecture 2- 1/9/2013 -Trip to the moon 1902 one of the first science fiction clips -Frankenstein (Mary Shelly) thought to be one of the founders of Sci Fi -A trip to the moon is an extrapolation of existing text (steam engine) whereas Frankenstein is more surreal -Futuristic settings, space travel, characters: scientists robots and aliens Sub Genres -Utopia/distopia -Cyber Punk -Hard (based in established scientific fact) and soft science fiction (more social issues then tech and scientific accuracy) -Alternative universes -Etc.. Came into being- Aprox end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century -Frankenstein was retroactively labeled as Sci Fi (1818) "How science Fiction got its name" -Starts as a broader category and gets more specialized -Much early was as serials in magazines -Hugo Gernsback -published many magazines and got the authors out there -Scientific fiction (1920's), scientificton (1925/26). Science Fiction (1929) -Science wonder stories 1929 -emphasis on scientific accuracy, wants to use science and tech favourably -First mag with Science-fiction in its title 1938 -Some people use SF instead of Sci-Fi as Sci-Fi is dismissive and derogatory Science fiction (SF) as a genre of science and technology - Search for extended life (developments in medicine) -Transportation -Mechanization of warfare -Faith in the power of humans to learn the mysteries of life - Lecture 3 --1/10/2013 SF as cross-Media (and cross-cultural) phenomenon -SF not just produced/consumed in US, UK, and Canada -SF is beyond print film and tv -Comics, radio, popular music, tourism, dime museums, world fairs, toys, games SF Comics -News papers comics (starting in the 1920's) started introducing SF themes -Action comics #1 Superman June 1938 -The invasion of mars Oct 30 1938- radio- loose adaptation of War of The worlds H.G.Wells, played by Orsen Wells -Often radio often broadcasts SF SF in popular music -Filking -musical performance that takes existing songs removing lyrics and inserting SF lyrics/stories -SF in rock and metal music-psycadelia -Pink Floid- dark side of the moon, Hawkwind, Blue Oyster Cult, King Crimson, Rush, David Bowie, Queen-Flash Gordon Theme -Black Sabbath, Gwar, Star One, Volvod, Fear Factory -Afroruturism -Black Culture cultural/artistic production, futuristic, appropriation of SF and high tech images -Afrika Bambaattaa, Sun Ra and his intergalactic Jet-Set Arkestra, Jimi Hendrix, Lee "scratch" Perry, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, rave and techno - Lecture 4- 1/14/2013 1920's proto era 1926- first time scientific fiction name was used 1930's- pulp magazine era -Major world events -Dates our texts were published Early warnings And Visions of the future (Herbert George) H.G. Wells (1866-1946) died right after WWII -War of the worlds -The time machine- considered his first major SF work 1895 -The invisible man -Wasn’t from a well off family but went to university and began publishing while in university - his work bridges the 19th and 20th century -Concerned of politics even in his early work, time machine, can be considered a political critique -A modern utopia- a fictional suggestion for world reform, a global socieety (Edward Morgan)E.M. Foster (1879-1970) -The Machine stops- his only SF text -Important influence on future texts Early SF (In Europe) -Secular transformations of Christian myths -Utopias and dystopias of varying roles of technology -Many time travel stories -Future may be very different from the past, by the end of the 19th century it is harder to predict what the future will be like -Wells is the first to intro the time machine -Extrapolations of recent tech and science discoveries -Establishing a reading audience attuned to these themes -Using SF to teach science and rational thinking -Jules Verne (1828-1905)- Pioneer of hard/didactic SF -Stories were collected to help students in catholic French schools who were not getting enough science education -Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) -Associated with pioneering characteristics of hard SF- use of scientific detail to make his stories more believable -Blended scientific outlook and sentimental religious mysticism precursor to SF creating a "Sense of Wonder" Historical Context -Long 19th century- period of rapid industrial growth spread of new tech, various political upheavals- paradigm shift from traditional to modernity -Technical innovation + scientific training crucial to large scale industrial capitalists economy rapid growth but also period of economic recession in the late 19th century -Climax and crisis of imperialism and colonization -International conflict franco prussian war (1870-1871), Boer/South African wars (1880/1881- 1899-1902) climate of xenophobia and racism -New development of scientific theory (Eg. Darwin) From Context into (proto) SF -No conscious production of SF around 1900 but there was much fiction concerned with historical change, modernity, evolution, technological, and social progress (as well as degeneration) EG. Wells's The Time Machine (1895) -Marvelous inventions and explanation of scientific fact, (adolescent ) Hero scientists -Invasion and future war stories from domestic invasion to global conflict) pessimism about the future of civilization -When new conventions and expectations became defined enough to organize the production of a new category of literature is still a matter of debate (See Rieder 29) H.G. Well's "The Land Ironclads" -Didn’t try and teach science through his stories he wanted people to view the world trough his stories in a scientific way -Explained the use of tanks in warfare before it actually happened -War story -Technology changes the rules of war \ -The mythology of war changes here, we don’t have war heroes we have engineers operating machines, no glory for a soldier -Class differences between manual labour and technology, between engineer (operator of the machines) and soldier -Description of machines "It had the effect of a large and clumsy black insect" -Idea the machine is impenetrable and undefeatable -"here and there stood little clumps of men outflanked and unable to get away" Lecture 5 -- 01/16/2013 Didn’t make class Lecture 6- 1/17/2013 SF Early Warnings and Visions of Tomorrow Utopia/Dystopia -Utopia -Better or ideal place/time -Often positioned as a future version or goal of current society -Dystopia -Images of societies that are worse than our own (future) -worse time/place -Future version of our society, warnings about where society is headed, an argument for change -Central features: Oppressive rules, enforced conformity, regimentation of society -Often expresses suspicion of technology "The Machine Stops": A Modern Dystopia -Contrasts H.G.Wells -separation from nature -Ailenization caused by increasing mechanization of society -Urges a slowing down, a direct reengagement with what he believes is the real natural world. -Critique of modern society -response to techno-utopianism -Wants distance from tech -Intrusive narrator Modern Society To The Extreme -Techno-utopianism of Vashti's Society -"Night and day, wind and storm, tide and earthquake impeded man no longer" (127.) -"How we have advances, thanks to the machine" (130). -progress becomes progress for the machine rather than for the humans -elimination of suffering through euthanasia -everything they know and experience they experience through the machines -Vashti had a fear of outside, the windows on the airship were discomforting as she does not want to see thing directly, that was from a previous time -Calls direct interaction and experience barbaric, when an airship attendant tried to touch her she called that barbaric Lecture 7 -- 01/212013 "The Machine Stops" As a modern dystopia -Extrapolation as a social commentary- in this case a critique of: -Techno-utopianism -Hyper mediation -Primary narrative strategy, creation of a dystopian world Political And social Oppression -ruled by central Committee/committee of the machine (129) -threat of homelessness (132, etc) -"abolition of respirators" (142) -"reestablishment of religion" (144) -Kuno equates the "spirit of the age" with the machine (122) -We created the machine to do our will, but we cannot make it do our will now" Regimentation of society -"Book of the Machine" contains "instructions against every possible contingency" (124 -Dogmatic religious text -"thanks to the advance of science, the earth was exactly alike all over" (126) -"beds were of the same dimension all over the world" (123) -Kuno's room "exactly resembled" Vashti's (131) -"public nurseries" (126), regulated reproduction (135) -"People were almost exactly alike all over the world” (129) -Vashti's "Private will" (131) Cracks in the system (Foster's version of hope?) -Where does the system break down -another kind of human living on the surface of the earth who are not part of the regimented society -Despite the regimentation, we still have individual humans being born, who don’t fit into the system, who still have small differences -A society run by a machine will run down eventually, cannot last forever -Even Vashti is drawn to her son's difference ` -Kuno: " any movement, something tremendous may happen" (125) -"Man is the measure" (134) -"I felt that humanity existed, and that it existed without clothes" (135) -"I have seen them" - Human(s) on the surface (142) -Narrator: -Vashti "escaped in the spirit" (151) -"They knew what had been important on the earth" (151) -"we die but have recaptured life" (152) -"Humanity has learned its lesson" (152) -Stay distant from technology, so we could discard them just like we do clothes (forester), sees human completely separate from tech, which is untrue and doesn’t capture science -Eg. Forks a form of technological development -The desired utopia could shift and end up being a distopia Crossing time and space… American SF before WWII -John W. Campbell Jr. is working in an increasingly establishing culture and industry -UK books -USA pulp magazine -Proliferation of "pulp" magazines (made paper from pulp) -Lower production costs, and lower transportation costs, thus a large amount of production -they were assumed to be of less literary value than books -Recall the importance of publisher/ editor Hugo Gernsback -Magazine and SF used to teach and inspire technological advancement -Helped develop a fan base and among that base created a language associated with SF -Three basic plots of SF in the 1930's were; the invasion story, the exploration/first contact story, and the invention story (Mendlesohn 54, optional reading). -A lot of people believed that great scientific minds could foresee the consequences of their inventions and progress and make wise choices -USA- peace based SF -UK- Tech used in war based SF -Lots of racism "yellow Parrel" regarding the potential immigration of Asians- Asian invasion John W. Campbell Jr. (1910-1971) -Trained in physics MIT -Wrote while studying -Astounding SF magazine where he was the editor -Published hard SF -Was right winged, so didn’t publish left wingers -Also was more strict on women publishing -Psi powers- telepathy, telekinesis, etc -Influence continues into modern SF, as
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