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IST 605: Science Fiction

Understanding Science Fiction

A General Examination of Science Fiction

This title by Adam Roberts is an examination of the history, context, and current debates in Science Fiction. It is a educational title written to guide students through SF as a genre that provides and challenges readers with different interpretations of SF texts, SF history, and more.

Roberts, Adam (Adam Charles). Science Fiction. London ;: Routledge, 2000.

The History of Science Fiction

If you are interested in the history surrounding Science Fiction as a genre, of its roots in ancient history to its golden age in the 1950s, I would recommend starting here with another title by Adam Roberts, the History of Science Fiction. While it may not be the best source for highlighting best works to start reading, it does provide an interesting exploration into historical examples of science fiction and the contexts surrounding them.

Roberts, Adam (Adam Charles). The History of Science Fiction. Second edition. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Science Fiction as a Lens

While this guide is built to be an introductory guide to SF regardless of your background, it is important to consider some specialized examinations into science fiction to help broaden your skills as a reader. The first item displayed is an anthropological examination into SF on understanding how it's used to comment, criticize, and reinterpret real-world issues. Since it comes from a anthropological background, there may be some unfamiliar jargon, but overall I feel this is a helpful source for understanding how SF can be used to discuss real-world issues.

The book that follows examines a similar concept without as much focus on the anthropological lens. It is a more generalized examination of the purpose and use that Science Fiction possess as a cultural force and how it has been used throughout history.

Collins, Samuel Gerald. “Sail on! Sail on!: Anthropology, Science Fiction, and the Enticing Future.” Science-fiction studies 30.2 (2003): 180–198.

Disch, Thomas M. The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made of : How Science Fiction Conquered the World. New York: Free Press, 1998.

Contemporary Science Fiction

This book is a reader for some of the best science fiction novels from 1985 to 2010. While it does miss some notable SF books from the past decade, this book provides a solid introduction to some of the best SF novels from 1985 to 2010. It is a great place to start for a newbie SF reader!

Broderick, Damien, and Di Filippo, Paul. "Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010." Nonstop Press, 2012.