Class Notes (836,581)
Canada (509,857)
English (1,425)
ENG237H1 (52)

July 3rd, LECTURE 1.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

Mike Johnstone

July 3 , LECTURE 1, ENG237H1S The Problem of Science Fiction Technology that we don’t really have or not as advanced yet. Interacting with technology. Imagining not yet or come to be. Scifi is based on what is plausible, Fantasy are essentially impossible in our world today. Space. Extrapolation. Explorative. Clear conventions and tropes. Aliens. Androids. Scientific principles. Invested in world view. Rationalists, enlightenment more than religious. Scientific eyes and more of a world view. Human and machine, humanity. What is scifi? What distinguishes it from other genres? Scifi as a literary genre, and how we experience it through different mediums still seem to have a vex of place in our culture. Status and perception. Community. Why science fiction novels are not getting nominated for Booker prize? “These novels are not about now in the way science fiction is.” Robinson is pointing out that the Booker prize is only a genre prize for Historical novels, to the exclusions of modes of fiction, despite claiming to be best fiction. Robinson, key distinction, value of scifi is about now. As much as scifi is about the future, it is about now. Reflection and commentary about now. Relevance. Cultural value that other genres don’t. Distinct problem that at least scifi written in common wealth is not being recognized. Scifi gets kind of ignored, actively dismissed. Science fiction tends to be marginalized, kept away from the center of true proper literary worthiness. Adam Roberts, supporting Robinson’s opinion. “The literary apartheid keeping genre science fiction away from the respectable literary establishment.” Alison Flood. “not aware of science fiction, arguing that science fiction has become a self-enclosed world. According to Mullan, “it is in a special room in book shops, bought by a special kind of person who has special weird things they go to and meet each other.”” Community that appreciates and reads science fiction. Separated itself and talks to itself. Culture and community related to science fiction. Isn’t mainstream, legitimate. Revealing not just ignorance. “What [The Year of the Flood] absolutely is not, [Atwood] insists, is science fiction- a statement she has made repeatedly since the 2003 publication of Oryx and Crake, a novel that shares the same future as Flood and some of the same characters. Science fiction takes place “somewhere far in space, far, far away in a distant galaxy,” she explains…” she writes speculative fiction. Backlash from science fiction. Sees this at very political. If it is not science fiction, can be considered for award like for the Booker. Science fiction can be devalued. Valued as vital commentary on modern world, profound impact on science and technology. Introduction to the Course Reading Science Fiction: Madeline Ashby’s “The Education of Junior Number 12” How and when do we know (or suspect) that a work is SF? What are the signs or codes or clues that tell us a work is SF? What expectations and assumptions do we bring to works of SF? “You’re a self-replicating humanoid, vN.” (PDF 2) What this story does right away will get clue or indication that we’re reading this, but the world is different from ours. Right in the first sentence, immediately situates in the world that is not his or her own. We don’t have self replicating humanoids called vN. Important significance of humanoid: something human characteristics, resembles a human but not one. Shift the meaning. Good parallel. Distinctions are being challenged and blurred. Still not “human”. Concerns about what is human and what is not. Difference and similarity. vN is an entirely new term and coinage in this particular story. Identify this new thing is. Indicate what kind of world we are in. Our world is different from our own. Signals this difference, advanced technology, space flight, anything like that. Signaling that it is science fiction and their world is different from our own in some way. “Javier always spoke Spanish the first few days… That part’s titanium. You with me, so far?” (PDF 2) Builds the world. Techno-science language. Slightly not human, not truly organic either. Suspicion that it’s a machine, something technological. Machine that seemingly human like, skin and muscle and skeleton. It is also compared to organics. About robot android figure. Start to bring expectations to the story to see the story at work. Language and science fiction often functions in specific ways. Normal familiar words and meanings of words can take on new significance in scifi. Repurposed and repositioned in science fiction. Clear concepts of scifi language at the start. Self-replicating humanoid, even the notion of muscles come very difficult. What are muscles? Language gets repurposed. Creates new meanings and new expectations. “Junior nodded. He plucked curiously at the clothes Javier had stolen from the balcony of a nearby condo…. Havier had stripped out of its plastic. His son sucked on the chipset.” (PDF 2) New world. Changes. Javier is talking to someone or something, explaining what it is and how it is constructed. Technology and science, Javier is a point of view character, seeing through his eyes. He is our access to this world. Third paragraph reveal t
More Less

Related notes for ENG237H1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.