This semester examines the intertwined evolution of science fiction and fantasy (SFF). These two strands emerge together and can rarely be considered separately. We will discuss the key issues of each major strand of SFF in the past century and earlier, to get a sense of how the genres have changed and influenced each other. We will look at the features of subgenera such as space opera and planetary romance, the Golden Age of Scifi, Epic Fantasy, New Way Scifi, Heroic Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Contemporary Fantasy and literary sci fi and fantasy.
Student read primary texts in this course with an emphasis on identifying connections and similarities across the stories, in order to understand why these stories are seen as part of the same tradition. Texts include: Edgar Allan Poe, H G Wells, Lord Dunsany, H P Lovecraft, Leigh Douglass Brackett, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Patricia A. McKillip, J. R. R. Tolkein, Samuel Delany, Philip K. Dick, Robert E. Howard, Lynn Abbey, William Gibson, Charles Stross, Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Carol Emschwiller, Kathe Koje, Michael Cunningham, and Kazuo Ishiguru.