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Science Fiction and Fantasy

Green Suns and Faerie

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Flieger-mr

With the release of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and forthcoming film version of The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien’s popularity has never been higher. In Green Suns and Faërie, author Verlyn Flieger, one of world’s foremost Tolkien scholars, presents a selection of her best articles—some never before published—on a range of Tolkien topics. The essays are divided into three distinct sections. The first explores Tolkien’s ideas of sub-creation–the making of a Secondary World and its relation to the real world, the second looks at Tolkien’s reconfiguration of the medieval story tradition, and the third places his work firmly within the context of the twentieth century and “modernist” literature.

 


Mesmerists, Monsters, and Machines

| Filed under: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Willis Book Cover

Using key canonical science fiction narratives, Mesmerists, Monsters, and Machines examines the intersection of the literary and scientific cultures of the nineteenth century. In this original and refreshing approach to the study of early science fiction, author Martin Willis maintains that science fiction was just as important in defining the culture of the nineteenth century as other critics maintain it was in shaping the twentieth century.

 


The New Ray Bradbury Review, No. 2

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Bradbury Book Cover

Like its pioneering predecessor, the one-volume review published in 1952 by William F. Nolan, The New Ray Bradbury Review contains articles and reviews about Bradbury but has a much broader scope, including a thematic focus for each issue. Since Nolan composed his slim volume at the beginning of Bradbury’s career, Bradbury has birthed hundreds of stories and half a dozen novels, making him one of this country’s most anthologized authors. While his effect on the genres of fantasy, horror, and science fiction is still being assessed (See Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction, Kent State University Press, 2004), there is no doubt of his impact, and to judge from the testimony of his readers, many of them now professional writers themselves, it is clear that he has affected the lives of five generations of young readers.

 


Brainwashing

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Seed Book Cover

This study reviews 1950s science fiction, Korean War fiction, and the film The Manchurian Candidate. Seed provides new interpret-ations of writers such as Orwell and Burroughs within the history of psychological manipulation for political purposes, using declassified and other documents to contextualize the material. He explores the shifting viewpoints of how brainwashing is represented, changing from an external threat to American values to an internal threat against individual American liberties by the U.S. government.

 


The Alternate History

| Filed under: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Hellekson Book Cover

The Alternate History: Refiguring Historical Time examines alternate history science fiction using the eschatological, genetic, entropic, and teleological historical models. Hellekson’s original approach explains much of the appeal of alternate history and distinguishes among the many varieties of the genre. In her measured consideration of a range of writers, Hellekson displays a deep and broad knowledge of the major works in this genre—those by famous or neglected writers alike.

 


Interrupted Music

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Music Book Cover

In Interrupted Music Flieger attempts to illuminate the structure of Tolkien’s work, allowing the reader to appreciate its broad, overarching design and its careful, painstaking construction. She endeavors to “follow the music from its beginning as an idea in Tolkien’s mind through to his final but never-implemented mechanism for realizing that idea, for bringing the voices of his story to the reading public.” In addition, Flieger reviews attempts at mythmaking in the history of English literature by Spenser, Milton, and Blake as well as by Joyce and Yeats. She reflects on the important differences between Tolkien and his predecessors and even more between Tolkien and his contemporaries.

 


Splintered Light

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Light Book Cover

Verlyn Flieger’s expanded and updated edition of Splintered Light, a classic study of Tolkien’s fiction first published in 1983, examines The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings in light of Owen Barfield’s linguistic theory of the fragmentation of meaning. Flieger demonstrates Tolkien’s use of Barfield’s concept throughout his fiction, showing how his central image of primary light splintered and refracted acts as a metaphor for the languages, peoples, and history of Middle-earth.

 


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