Science Fiction: A Collection of Critical Essays (20th by Mark Rose

By Mark Rose

A suite of severe technological know-how fiction essays.

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Extra info for Science Fiction: A Collection of Critical Essays (20th Century Views)

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But there are also great differences between these kinds of fiction, which must be investigated.  As opposed to dogmatic narrative, speculative fabulation is a creature of humanism, associated from its origins with attitudes and values that have shaped the growth of science itself.  And Book IV is a speculation beyond all dogma.  Since More, speculative fabulation has grown and developed.  But it has never flourished as it does at present‐for reasons that it is now our business to explore.  Formal changes, to be understood, must be seen in the light of other changes in the human situation.

But it is only a qualification.  Not only is his work erratic in general, and sometimes constructed in an almost incomprehensible manner, but he often heavily overwrites, even in his best work.  In this latter the most effective stuff is clear and simple‐Arthur Clarke’s The Sands of Mars or Robert Heinlein’s The Man Who Sold the Moon and so on. This raises a small but itself significant issue: what constitutes authenticity?  Still, there are limits, and I trust that we would all have an uneasy feeling if we read about Sir Walter Raleigh greeting the Queen by raising his bowler hat.

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 the preaching is so crude that it is rather rare for anyone to like it except those who approve of it as a tract. ) Another side to this future‐ discoveries‐and‐explorations theme is even more traditional‐simply that an active and educated literature has usually, or often, been written by the man who has kept his imagination at the frontiers of expanding knowledge.  Yet, if one wishes for a physical object to write about, I cannot but feel that the rocket is preferable to the rood‐screen.

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