Science fiction is a modern art form closely tied to advances in science and technology. It generates an imaginary space where a new development in science can be imaginatively tested for its possible effects on humanity. Some scenarios are cautionary, while others are hopeful and exhilarating. When combined with the fantasy genre, these stories set the imagination free to soar. This seminar will examine a series of great science fiction and fantasy narratives, including novels, short stories, movies, and TV shows. Whether the topic is robotics, artificial intelligence, space exploration, alien languages, enhanced intelligence, surveillance, time travel, or the future of gender, each of the works we consider will have a particular take on an alternate reality that humans may inhabit.
1. Chiang, Ted. Stories of Your Life and Others. Vintage Books, 2016. ISBN-10: 1101972122.
2. Clarke, Arthur C. Childhood’s End. Del Rey Books, 1987. ISBN-10: 0345347951.
3. Herbert, Frank. Dune. Ace Books, 1990. ISBN-10: 0441172717.
4. Liu, Cixin. The Three-Body Problem, Tor Books, 2016. ISBN-10: 0765382032.
5. McCaffrey, Anne. Dragonflight. Ballantine Books, 1986. ISBN-10: 0345335465.
6. Willis, Connie. To Say Nothing of the Dog, or, How We Found the Bishop’s Bird Stump at Last. Bantam Books, 1998. ISBN-10: 0553575384.
Other readings will be posted at Box@UA. Registered students will receive the link to that site to download these readings.