Saturday, March 12, 2005

[SF] The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of

By Thomas M. Disch
** (out of 5)

The subtitle is 'How science-fiction conquered the world' but this isn't the history I was expecting. Rather it's a survey of trends in science-fiction over the last 120 years coupled with some first-hand gossip about the quirks of famous SF writers.

After a weird opening chapter about America as a culture that celebrates lying and then an unconvincingly argued chapter on Edgar Allan Poe as the progenitor of science-fiction, Dreams then settles into its stride of identifying a subset of science-fiction and looking at the prominent books inside it.

Those trends include: Space Flight, The Bomb, Feminism, Religion, Militarism and Alien Contact. Dreams also identifies the future of SF as lying with fan-fiction, a sentiment that the creator of the revamped Battlestar Galactica agrees with.

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