Visions and Re-Visions

BookVisions and Re-Visions

Visions and Re-Visions

(Re)constructing Science Fiction

Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies, 32

2005

October 1st, 2005

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Renowned science fiction scholar Robert M. Philmus offers in Visions and Revisions a fresh and provocative literary analysis of science fiction writing. He critically examines the works of some of the most prominent writers to have written in the genre—including Evgeny Zamiatin, Karel Capek, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, and Stanislaw Lem, along with English-language authors from H.G. Wells to Ursula Le Guin—and reveals how their works illustrate the fundamental elements of science fiction writing. The former editor of Science Fiction Studies, Philmus casts his expert eye on a diverse range of short stories and novels by the premier arbiters of the craft, with close readings that draw upon the theories of New Criticism as well as post-Modern. Featuring essays such as “Stanislaw Lem’s Futurological Congress as a Metageneric Text,” “Kurt Vonnegut: Historiographer of the Absurd: The Sirens of Titan,” “Ursula K. Le Guin and Time’s Dispossession,” and “Time Out of Joint: The World(s) of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle,” the volume provides an in-depth textual examination that reveals why science fiction is a “revisionary genre.” Visions and Revisions will be of immense value to scholars of literature and science fiction studies.

About The Author

Robert M.. Philmus is an acclaimed SF scholar and writer. Before retiring he was a Professor of English at Concordia University. He is also a former editor of the highly influential SF publication Science Fiction Studies.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Contents7
Key to Abbreviations8
Acknowledgments9
Preface11
1. Swift, Zamyatin, and Orwell and the Language of Utopia15
2. Generic Configurations of A Story of the Days to Come42
3. Re-visions of The Time Machine63
4. Stanislaw Lem's Futurological Congress as a Metageneric Text80
5. Karel Capek's Can(n)on of Negation93
6. Olaf Stapledon's Tragi-Cosmic Vision128
7. C. S. Lewis and the Fictions of 'Scientism'149
8. Kurt Vonnegut, Historiographer of the Absurd: The Sirens of Titan164
9. Jorge Luis Borges and the Labyrinths of Time187
10. 'Elsewhere Elsewhen Otherwise': Italo Calvino's Cosmicomic Tales204
11. Ursula K. Le Guin and Time's Dispossession238
12. Time Out of Joint: The World(s) of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle264
Afterword: A Revisionary Construction of Genre, with Particular Reference to Science Fiction298
Notes326
Works Cited402
Index415