Science Fiction, LMC3214: Cyberpunk, William Gibson, and Retrocomputing Demo

After my students took their second exam yesterday, I lectured on cyberpunk to accompany their readings: William Gibson’s “Burning Chrome” and Bruce Sterling’s “Preface” to Mirrorshades. I talked about its historical and cultural moment, proto-cyberpunk examples in the SF genre, and the movement itself. In particular, I contextualized the cyberpunk movement in terms of postmodernismContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: Cyberpunk, William Gibson, and Retrocomputing Demo”

Science Fiction, LMC3214: Revised Schedule for Last Week of Class

This is the last week of my Science Fiction class. I decided to make some changes to the final week of class to cover the necessary material and to strike out into new territory. Here’s the revised schedule for Monday through Thursday: Monday: 9:20-10:20 Exam 2. 10:20-11:20 Lecture on Cyberpunk and short discussion of WilliamContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: Revised Schedule for Last Week of Class”

Science Fiction, LMC3214: Concluding Aliens and Feminist SF, Review for Exam 2

In today’s class, we finished watching James Cameron’s Aliens and discussed how it fits into our earlier discussions on feminist SF (Ripley as strong female hero, challenging stereotypes: Ripley, Vasquez, Ferro, and Dietrich vs. Gorman and Hudson, alternative modes of reproduction, the human role in alien reproduction–“impregnate,” remaking motherhood, what does it mean to beContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: Concluding Aliens and Feminist SF, Review for Exam 2”

Science Fiction, LMC3214: Alien, Aliens, Giger

Today, we began watching James Cameron’s 1986 film Aliens, and I lectured on Ridley Scott’s earlier 1979 Alien and how these figure into feminist SF via their characters, themes, and source material: H.R. Giger’s “Necronom IV.” I shared pictures of my visit to Gruyères with the class, too (for the juxtaposition of quaint, medieval Swiss townContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: Alien, Aliens, Giger”

Science Fiction, LMC3214: Lecture on Feminist SF and Readings by Zoline, Russ, and Tiptree, Jr.

For today’s class, my students came prepared to discuss three readings: Pamela Zoline’s “The Heat Death of the Universe” (New Worlds, July 1967), Joanna Russ’ “When It Changed” (Again, Dangerous Visions, 1972), and James Tiptree, Jr’s “The Women Men Don’t See” (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dec 1973). Before discussion, I treated the classContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: Lecture on Feminist SF and Readings by Zoline, Russ, and Tiptree, Jr.”

Science Fiction, LMC3214: Concluding New Wave SF with Philip K. Dick and Star Trek’s “The City on the Edge of Forever”

In today’s class, I lectured on Philip K. Dick’s life (2-3-74) and work (characteristics: ontological, epistemological, entropy, empathy, religion, and the “little man”) to conclude my discussion of New Wave writers began in the last class. Then, I lectured on Star Trek and used Harlan Ellison’s “The City on the Edge of Forever” as aContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: Concluding New Wave SF with Philip K. Dick and Star Trek’s “The City on the Edge of Forever””

Science Fiction, LMC3214: New Wave Lecture and Three Story Discussion

Today’s class was like an exclamation point in two ways. First, there was the long stroke of lecture. I lectured on the origins of the New Wave in New Worlds, Judith Merril’s England Swings SF, and Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions. I gave my students background on semiotics, modernity/postmodernity, and modernism/postmodernism to anchor the New WaveContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: New Wave Lecture and Three Story Discussion”

Science Fiction, LMC3214: Forbidden Planet

Today, I showed my Science Fiction students the Fred M. Wilcox classic film from 1956, Forbidden Planet. Afterwards, I lectured about the tension that I see in the film between Golden Age emphasis on hard SF (space travel, harnessing atomic power, computers, chemistry, and metallurgy) and New Wave focus on inner space (cognition, mental power,Continue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: Forbidden Planet”

Science Fiction, LMC3214: Golden Age, Part 2 and SF Film Lecture

In today’s class, I covered large swaths of background material on Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, and Tom Godwin. Then, I gave the class a rough sketch of the development of SF film through the SF-film boom of the 1950s as preparation for tomorrow’s viewing of Forbidden Planet. After lecture, we discussed the readings fromContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC3214: Golden Age, Part 2 and SF Film Lecture”

Science Fiction, LMC 3214: Exam 1 and Lecture on Golden Age SF Part 1

Today, my students bravely wielded their pens and Blue Books to endure their first exam in our Science Fiction class. The exam covered Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein through the early SF film serials. The exam had twenty short and long answer questions. A few students completed the exam in the allotted 60 minutes, but I gaveContinue reading “Science Fiction, LMC 3214: Exam 1 and Lecture on Golden Age SF Part 1”