Bratlinger on Science Fiction

Bratlinger, Patrick. “The Gothic Origins of Science Fiction.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 14.1 (Autumn 1980): 30-43. Web. 28 June 2014.

spaceship cartoon“the conventions of science fiction derive from the conventions of fantasy and romance” (Bratlinger 30).

“Science fiction is thus really anti-science fiction, a form of apocalyptic fantasy verging on religious myth” (Bratlinger 31).

“[S]cience fiction aims at arousing wonder” (Bratlinger 38).

“The wonder-arousing theory contradicts the other main theory that science fiction writers often adopt, which is that their work is in fact scientific, a rational or “cognitive” activity” (Bratlinger 38).

“scale of disaster is … social and often cosmic” for science fiction (Bratlinger 40).

For LonCon3 “Constructing Genre History”

One thought on “Bratlinger on Science Fiction”

  1. I hypothesize that aspects of science fiction come from romance and fantasy. But, fantasy and religious myth are the redefined limits of what was known, and redefined when the limits of human kind fact based hypothesis becomes denser with collective experience.

    Films like gravity become heroic drama, romantic fantasy – tears don’t float away from the human eye in space-surface tension holds them in place. Since there is no speculation it isn’t scifi. The story is ‘post romance’ since the romantic aspect is passe for the storyline, Sandra Bullock’s luck is nearly magical, and George Cloney has no such luck, even if Sandra dreams it.

    Space stuff used to be sci-fi defacto: But, society grew in common knowledge – so, while Buck Rogers going to the moon used to be speculative science based fantasy – but in the 70s & 80s the Buck Rogers brand holder’s created stories instep with the intellegence and perceptual hypothesis of the time.

    I write ‘speculative probability exploitation’ that can be found from and

    My currently available work is a portmanteau of the gangland (space/)timetravel & romance genres’

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