Reading List for Science Fiction Course (ENGL 451)

After much deliberation---and with your feedback, both here and twice on Twitter---I have finalized the reading list for my upcoming Science Fiction class. Actually, I finalized it months ago, but I haven't had a chance to post it here until now. This list isn't everything we're reading; there'll be short stories, critical essays, other nonfiction… Continue reading Reading List for Science Fiction Course (ENGL 451)

Fall 2011 Course Description for ENGL 451: Science Fiction

Often dismissed by its critics as low-brow pulp, science fiction is nonetheless a rich, dynamic literary genre which deserves our attention. In this class we will move beyond the stereotypes of science fiction in order to examine novels, stories, comics, films, and videogames that question the global commodification of culture, the fetishization of technology, and… Continue reading Fall 2011 Course Description for ENGL 451: Science Fiction

So Many Universes in My Head

I've been wondering, how many universes can I hold in my head at once? I'm talking about fictional universes, of course. And by universe, I mean a world set apart by its own physics and cosmology. So, realist narratives all occupy the same universe (Sherlock Holmes and Tony Soprano exist in the same universe). But… Continue reading So Many Universes in My Head

The sky is falling, but my phones are tapped, so I’m okay and you are too

I caught snippets of the Diane Rehm Show today, and there was a panel of experts discussing the domestic war on terror. There's the predictable apologist for the Bush administration, spouting the standard refrain that because there's been no terror attack on the U.S. since 9/11, all that illegal wiretapping and surveillance and profiling and… Continue reading The sky is falling, but my phones are tapped, so I’m okay and you are too