Parrinder on Science Fiction

Science Fiction by Patrick Parrinder 1980, 2003. Routledge.

“Despite perennial complaints that the genre is becoming ‘respectable’, it would seem that the benefits resulting from these developments far outweigh any drawbacks” (Parrinder xvii).

Science fiction, though in many ways a highly conventional kind of writing, is one that cannot be defined uncontroversially. At first glance, it might appear to invite self-evident definition, as detective fiction is fiction about detectives and the art of solving crimes. Yet this is not the case, as is proved by the innumerable attempts that have been made to define it. On close inspection science fiction turns out to be a highly self-conscious genre: that is, the way it has been defined has an unusually close and symbiotic relationship with the way it has been written. (Parrinder 1)

RocketThen I moved to the section on teaching science fiction.

“Though it is imaginative writing, SF cannot be mistaken for an ‘art for art’s sake’, since its contacts with the intellectual realities of science, politics, and society are too close. … SF is responsive to modern society and tends to look to satisfying visions of the future…” (137).

“…the choice of a few early texts, from Lucian to the nineteenth century, not only proves stimulating in itself but greatly helps students to confront and question their own implicit notions as to what science fiction is” (Parrinder 140).

For LonCon3 Constructing Genre History

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