Synopses & Reviews
Locating Science Fiction
is a ground breaking and potentially paradigm-shifting book, a major intervention into contemporary theoretical debates about SF.
Academic literary criticism has tended to locate SF primarily in relation to the older genre of utopia; fan criticism primarily in relation to fantasy and SF in other media, especially film and television; popular fiction studies primarily in relation to other contemporary genres such as the romance and the thriller. This bold new synthesis relocates SF in relation to each of these other genres and media and also to the historical and geographic contexts of its emergence and development.
Locating Science Fiction effects a series of vital shifts in the way SF theory and criticism has conceptualised its subject, away from prescriptively abstract dialectics of cognition and estrangement and towards the empirically grounded understanding of what is actually a messy amalgam of texts, practices and artefacts. Inspired by Raymond Williams's cultural materialism, Pierre Bourdieu's sociology of culture and Franco Moretti's application of world systems theory to literary studies, Locating Science Fiction draws on the disciplinary competences of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Critical Theory and Sociology to produce a powerfully persuasive mode of analysis, engagement and argument.
“Moving through and dialectically sublating earlier concerns such as definition debates, territory fights, and battles between political and aesthetic tendencies, Locating Science Fiction constitutes a new stage and major intervention in science fiction studies. In arguing for the importance of historically situated analysis and explanation, Milner sets new standards not only for scholarship but also for pedagogy.” Tom Moylan, University of Limerick
"A book of calm sly good sense and hard thought about SF... the finest assessment of SF theory yet published."--John Clute, Strange Horizons
"A consistently thoughtful account of its subject. The result never flags in offering consistently interesting insights into SF which do justice to its rich diversity."--David Seed, Key Words
"Worth the attention of all SF scholars for the range and acuity of its conception of the genre as well as its theoretical rigor."--Science Fiction Studies, Volume 40, 2013
"Milner's cogent and authoritative examination ... constitutes a major new contribution to the field of SF studies ... as well as providing ecocritics with an invaluable resource for their own more targeted studies of SF texts."--Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology
In Locating Science Fiction, Andrew Milner looks at science fiction within the context of a host of other genres—including fantasy, romance, and the thriller—and explores the historical and geographic contexts of science fiction’s emergence and development. Bringing in Raymond Williams’s cultural materialism, Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of culture, and Franco Moretti’s application of world systems to literary studies, he offers a persuasive, synthetic, and ultimately new mode of science fiction analysis that will become essential reading.
About the Author
is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Monash University. His previous books include Literature, Culture and Society
(2nd ed, Routledge, 2004) and Re-imagining Cultural Studies
Table of Contents
List of Figures
1. Memories of Dan Dare
Memories of Science Fiction. Literature, Genre and Popular Fiction. Memories of Dan Dare.
Tales of Resonance and Wonder.
2. Science Fiction and Selective Tradition
Academic Definitions of Science Fiction. Modernism, Modernity and Science Fiction.
Non-Academic Definitions of Science Fiction. Rethinking Genre. Rethinking Tradition.
3. Science Fiction and the Literary Field
From the French Literary Field to the Global Science Fiction Field. Ideas and Effects. Science Fiction as Drama. Science Fiction as Prose. The Restricted Economy and Institutionalised Bourgeois Art.
4. Radio Science Fiction and the Theory of Genre
Cultural Materialism as Method. Radio Technology and Science Fiction. Radio Science Fiction Forms: Three Texts. Radio Institutions.
5. Science Fiction, Utopia and Fantasy
The North American Argument. The European Argument. Science Fiction and Fantasy. Utopianism in Popular Science Fiction.
6. Science Fiction and Dystopia
The Antipathy to Dystopia. The Strange Case of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Science Fiction as a Generic Context. Three Intertexts. An Ideal Typology and Some Hypotheses.
7. When Was Science Fiction?
Long Histories of Science Fiction. Science Fiction and the Structure of Feeling. Form and History.
8. Where Was Science Fiction?
Postcolonial Theory and Science Fiction. World-Systems Theory and Science Fiction: The Anglo-French Core. The European Semiperiphery. From the Semiperiphery to Core: North America and Japan.
9. The Uses of Science Fiction
Future Stories and Futurologies. Antipodean Utopias. On the Beach and The Sea and Summer. Anticipations of Phil Chase. Afterword.