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Science Fiction (PCHL-Polity Cultural History of Literature) [Paperback]

Roger Luckhurst
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 May 2005 PCHL-Polity Cultural History of Literature
In this new and timely cultural history of science fiction, Roger Luckhurst examines the genre from its origins in the late nineteenth century to its latest manifestations. The book introduces and explicates major works of science fiction literature by placing them in a series of contexts, using the history of science and technology, political and economic history and cultural theory to develop the means for understanding the unique qualities of the genre.

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Science Fiction (PCHL-Polity Cultural History of Literature) + The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (1 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745628931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745628936
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 15.4 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 791,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"An exciting, argumentative and invaluable overview of the most interesting literature out there. Roger Luckhurst does an excellent job of embedding SF in history." China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station and Iron Council "This is a well–conceived, impressively researched and eloquently argued study of Anglo–American science fiction. Combining a sweeping command of cultural–historical contexts with incisive close readings of individual texts, Roger Luckhurst illuminates over a century′s worth of print and mass–media SF. Whether discussing popular concerns about the pervasive power of "Mechanism" in the nineteenth century or avant–gardist critiques of the media–saturated "Society of the Spectacle" in the 1960s, Luckhurst′s consistent emphasis on how SF registers the impact of techno–scientific change gives his study a remarkable coherence. In sum, this is an essential and timely volume" Rob Latham, University of Iowa "This is a refreshing and lively survey of a very broad field. It usefully situates science fiction in its relevant cultural context and makes a valuable contribution to the history of the genre." David Seed, Liverpool University

From the Back Cover

In this new and timely cultural history of science fiction, Roger Luckhurst examines the genre from its origins in the late nineteenth century to its latest manifestations. The book introduces and explicates major works of science fiction literature by placing them in a series of contexts, using the history of science and technology, political and economic history, and cultural theory to develop the means for understanding the unique qualities of the genre. Luckhurst reads science fiction as a literature of modernity. His astute analysis examines how the genre provides a constantly modulating record of how human embodiment is transformed by scientific and technological change and how the very sense of self is imaginatively recomposed in popular fictions that range from utopian possibility to Gothic terror. This highly readable study charts the overlapping yet distinct histories of British and American science fiction, with commentary on the central authors, magazines, movements and texts from 1880 to the present day. It will be an invaluable guide and resource for all students taking courses on science fiction, technoculture and popular literature, but will equally be fascinating for anyone who has ever enjoyed a science fiction book.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Astounding resource 24 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Luckhurst's encyclopaedic knowledge is matched by his incisive judgment, intellectual generosity and clear writing style. A superb starting point for anyone who wants to know more about the history and diversity of science fiction.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary! 1 Oct 2012
By Neil Easterbrook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Luckhurst's cultural history of sf (since 1895) is an extraordinarily rich discussion of literature within its rich cultural contexts. I think it's the best such book available--very sophisticated, comprehensive, and scholarly, but so well-written that every fan of the genre will be able to read it easily. It contains many insights. The only weakness to point out is that the book is focused on anglophone lit exclusively, with only passing reference to other languages, film or tv. However, I cannot recommend the book with greater enthusiasm. Top Marks!
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