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The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction
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Book description

Science fiction is at the intersection of numerous fields. It is a literature which draws on popular culture, and which engages in speculation about science, history, and all types of social relations. This volume brings together essays by scholars and practitioners of science fiction, which look at the genre from these different angles. After an introduction to the nature of science fiction, historical chapters trace science fiction from Thomas More to more recent years, including a chapter on film and television. The second section introduces four important critical approaches to science fiction drawing their theoretical inspiration from Marxism, postmodernism, feminism and queer theory. The final and largest section of the book looks at various themes and sub-genres of science fiction. A number of well-known science fiction writers contribute to this volume, including Gwyneth Jones, Ken MacLeod, Brian Stableford Andy Duncan, James Gunn, Joan Slonczewski, and Damien Broderick.

Reviews

‘Overall, the volume is a major achievement. There’s no other book like it on the market, and it will surely become the first point of reference for students coming to the study of SF. The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction is highly recommended.’

Source: Alien Online

‘The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction … appears to be structured as an undergraduate teaching resource, although one accessible to both the interested lay reader and to readers and fans with more than a basic knowledge of sf. This, in itself, is something of a feat, and that the Companion pulls it off admirably is a credit to its editors and contributors.’

Source: Vector

'This is a solid, intelligent, sophisticated scholarly assessment from a major academic publisher. Every bit the intellectual equal of other titles in the Cambridge series, it will likely become one of the most referenced secondary works in the study of sf, especially in pedagogical contexts.'

Source: Science Fiction Studies

'… an ideal introductory companion for the uninitiated … a range of interesting themes … This book is thought provoking, informative and intelligent. It successfully reveals the critical intricacy of this much-maligned genre … This is an excellent addition to any collection supporting the study of modern English literature and a superb source book for librarians seeking to develop the definitive science fiction collection.'

Source: Reference Reviews

'… this is a coherent, well-edited collection, which covers all of the bases and is more than fit for purpose. The production of the book alone, given its scope, must have been a mammoth task and the fact that the whole comes together so well does real credit to its editors.'

Source: Foundation

'A thoughtful compilation of ideas about the genre, a bit of history, some politics and good guides make The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (Cambridge, £24.99) worth the read.'

Source: New Scientist

'… this is one of the best literary companions I have discovered … a comprehensive and clearly accessible guide to current sf writing … Science fiction does what so few of such reader's guides manage. it coveys both rigorous academic erudition and a genuine love and interest in the subject … will do much for the academic study of science fiction in future years.'

Source: English

'… it does an excellent job cataloguing and condensing in a mere 300 pagesthe basics as well as some current trends in Science Fiction (Studies). … the book suceeds in offering a comprehensive and inspiring introduction to Science Fiction (Studies). Next to the many brilliant essays it collects it's greatest strength lies in the rich topical surveys of sf literature each contribution supplies, whetting the reader's appetite for these novels which might otherwise slip her/his attention.'

Source: Anglia

'… a comprehensive analysis of a literary genre which stands at the intersection of numerous fields. … it retains coherence in style and purpose throughout …'

Source: Revue d'études anglophones

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