Miscellaneous Stuff

This is just a place for me to put things that don’t quite fit anywhere else but are relevant to the course.

  • Here is a list of the texts suggested in students’ extra credit essays:
    • 2001: A Space Odyssey [movie]
    • After Earth [movie]
    • Amazing Stories [magazine]
    • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
    • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    • The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
    • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
    • Snowpiercer [movie]
    • The 100 [TV show]
  • If any of you are interested in exploring weird fiction further, here’s a link to a StoryBundle with several weird fiction novels and collections: https://storybundle.com/fiction. I haven’t read any of these myself yet, but Jeff Vandermeer (who wrote or edited some of them) is well-known within the genre. (As a side note, his recent Southern Reach trilogy is great – at least the first two books are. I haven’t gotten a chance to read the final book yet.)
  • I read two quotes from P. D. James about detective fiction in class on Tuesday, 11/25. I’m putting them here so you can refer to them as you read through The City & the City. I’ll ask you guys next week to think about how the book functions as a detective story / mystery / police procedural and how that works with or against thinking about it as speculative fiction of some sort.
    • The detective story “fundamentally is concerned with the bringing of order out of disorder and the restoration of peace after the destructive eruption of murder.”
    • “…the detective story produces a reassuring relief from the tensions and responsibilities of daily life; it is particularly popular in times of unrest, anxiety and uncertainty, when society can be faced with problems which no money, political theories or good intentions seem able to solve or alleviate. And here in the detective story we have a problem at the heart of the novel, and one which is solved, not by luck or divine intervention, but by human ingenuity, human intelligence, and human courage. It confirms our hope that, despite some evidence to the contrary, we live in a beneficent and moral universe in which problems can be solved by rational means and peace and order restored from communal or personal disruption and chaos.”
  • Some people seemed disappointed that “Think Like a Dinosaur” wasn’t actually about dinosaurs, so here’s a short story that is: Michael Swanwick’s “Triceratops Summer.” (This takes you to the story in Google Books; when I checked, all pages were viewable this way.)
  • You might enjoy this chart about instances when science fiction has accurately predicted the future.
  • I mentioned the singularity in class today, but I didn’t get into too much detail. Here are a few resources to check out if you’re interested in learning more:

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