New books about science fiction

Cyberpunk culture

The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture
1st Edition
Edited by Anna McFarlane, Lars Schmeink, Graham Murphy

In this companion, an international range of contributors examine the cultural formation of cyberpunk from micro-level analyses of example texts to macro-level debates of movements, providing readers with snapshots of cyberpunk culture and also cyberpunk as culture.
With technology seamlessly integrated into our lives and our selves, and social systems veering towards globalization and corporatization, cyberpunk has become a ubiquitous cultural formation that dominates our twenty-first century techno-digital landscapes. The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture traces cyberpunk through its historical developments as a literary science fiction form to its spread into other media such as comics, film, television, and video games. Moreover, seeing cyberpunk as a general cultural practice, the Companion provides insights into photography, music, fashion, and activism. Cyberpunk, as the chapters presented here argue, is integrated with other critical theoretical tenets of our times, such as posthumanism, the Anthropocene, animality, and empire. And lastly, cyberpunk is a vehicle that lends itself to the rise of new futurisms, occupying a variety of positions in our regionally diverse reality and thus linking, as much as differentiating, our perspectives on a globalized technoscientific world.
With original entries that engage cyberpunk’s diverse ‘angles’ and its proliferation in our life worlds, this critical reference will be of significant interest to humanities students and scholars of media, cultural studies, literature, and beyond.

cyberpunk and visual culture

Cyberpunk and Visual Culture
1st Edition
Edited by Graham Murphy, Lars Schmeink

Within the expansive mediascape of the 1980s and 1990s, cyberpunk’s aesthetics took firm root, relying heavily on visual motifs for its near-future splendor saturated in media technologies, both real and fictitious. As today’s realities look increasingly like the futures forecast in science fiction, cyberpunk speaks to our contemporary moment and as a cultural formation dominates our 21st century techno-digital landscapes.
The 15 essays gathered in this volume engage the social and cultural changes that define and address the visual language and aesthetic repertoire of cyberpunk – from cybernetic organisms to light, energy, and data flows, from video screens to cityscapes, from the vibrant energy of today’s video games to the visual hues of comic book panels, and more. Cyberpunk and Visual Culture provides critical analysis, close readings, and aesthetic interpretations of exactly those visual elements that define cyberpunk today, moving beyond the limitations of merely printed text to also focus on the meaningfulness of images, forms, and compositions that are the heart and lifeblood of cyberpunk graphic novels, films, television shows, and video games.

Science fiction and psychology

Science Fiction and Psychology
• Miller, Gavin

Description
The psychologist may appear in science fiction as the herald of utopia or dystopia; literary studies have used psychoanalytic theories to interpret science fiction; and psychology has employed science fiction as an educational medium. Science Fiction and Psychology goes beyond such incidental observations and engagements to offer an in-depth exploration of science fiction literature’s varied use of psychological discourses, beginning at the birth of modern psychology in the late nineteenth century and concluding with the ascendance of neuroscience in the late twentieth century. Rather than dwelling on psychoanalytic readings, this literary investigation combines with history of psychology to offer attentive textual readings that explore five key psychological schools: evolutionary psychology, psychoanalysis, behaviourism, existential-humanism, and cognitivism. The varied functions of psychological discourses in science fiction are explored, whether to popularise and prophesy, to imagine utopia or dystopia, to estrange our everyday reality, to comment on science fiction itself, or to abet (or resist) the spread of psychological wisdom. Science Fiction and Psychology also considers how psychology itself has made use of science fiction in order to teach, to secure legitimacy as a discipline, and to comment on the present.

sports and monstruosity

Sport and Monstrosity in Science Fiction
Thiess, Derek J.

Description
Sport and Monstrosity in Science Fiction examines fantastic representations of sport in science fiction, both cataloguing this almost entirely unexamined literary tradition and arguing that the reason for its neglect reflects a more widespread social suspicion of the athletic body as monstrous. Combining scholarship of monstrosity with a biopolitically focused philosophy of embodiment, this work plumbs the depths of our abjection of the athletic body and challenges us to reconsider sport as an intersectional space. In this latter endeavour it contradicts the image presented by both the most dystopian films such as Deathrace and Rollerball as well as social criticism of sport that limits its focus to an essentially violent masculinity. The book traces an alternative tradition of sport sf through authors as diverse as Arthur C. Clarke, Steven Barnes, and Joan Slonczewski, exploring the way the intersectional categories of gender, race, and age in these works are negotiated in, for example, a solar wind sailing race or futuristic anti-gravity boxing. These complex athletic bodies display the social mobility that sport allows and challenge us to acknowledge our own monstrously animal bodies and our place in a “cycle of living and dying.”
• Author Information
• Derek J. Thiess is Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Georgia, USA.

The monster theory reader

The Monster Theory Reader

2020 • Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, Editor

Zombies and vampires, banshees and basilisks, demons and wendigos, goblins, gorgons, golems, and ghosts. From the mythical monstrous races of the ancient world to the murderous cyborgs of our day, monsters have haunted the human imagination, giving shape to the fears and desires of their time. And as long as there have been monsters, there have been attempts to make sense of them, to explain where they come from and what they mean. This book collects the best of what contemporary scholars have to say on the subject, in the process creating a map of the monstrous across the vast and complex terrain of the human psyche.
Editor Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock prepares the way with a genealogy of monster theory, traveling from the earliest explanations of monsters through psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, and cultural studies, to the development of monster theory per se—and including Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s foundational essay “Monster Theory (Seven Theses),” reproduced here in its entirety. There follow sections devoted to the terminology and concepts used in talking about monstrosity; the relevance of race, religion, gender, class, sexuality, and physical appearance; the application of monster theory to contemporary cultural concerns such as ecology, religion, and terrorism; and finally the possibilities monsters present for envisioning a different future.
Including the most interesting and important proponents of monster theory and its progenitors, from Sigmund Freud to Julia Kristeva to J. Halberstam, Donna Haraway, Barbara Creed, and Stephen T. Asma—as well as harder-to-find contributions such as Robin Wood’s and Masahiro Mori’s—this is the most extensive and comprehensive collection of scholarship on monsters and monstrosity across disciplines and methods ever to be assembled and will serve as an invaluable resource for students of the uncanny in all its guises.
Contributors: Stephen T. Asma, Columbia College Chicago; Timothy K. Beal, Case Western Reserve U; Harry Benshoff, U of North Texas; Bettina Bildhauer, U of St. Andrews; Noel Carroll, The Graduate Center, CUNY; Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Arizona State U; Barbara Creed, U of Melbourne; Michael Dylan Foster, UC Davis; Sigmund Freud; Elizabeth Grosz, Duke U; J. Halberstam, Columbia U; Donna Haraway, UC Santa Cruz; Julia Kristeva, Paris Diderot U; Anthony Lioi, The Julliard School; Patricia MacCormack, Anglia Ruskin U; Masahiro Mori; Annalee Newitz; Jasbir K. Puar, Rutgers U; Amit A. Rai, Queen Mary U of London; Margrit Shildrick, Stockholm U; Jon Stratton, U of South Australia; Erin Suzuki, UC San Diego; Robin Wood, York U; Alexa Wright, U of Westminster.

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