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Solar FlaresScience Fiction in the 1970s$
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Andrew M. Butler

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318344

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317798

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date: 21 November 2017

Home of the Extraterrestrial Brothers: Race and African American Science Fiction

Home of the Extraterrestrial Brothers: Race and African American Science Fiction

Chapter:
(p.78) 6 Home of the Extraterrestrial Brothers: Race and African American Science Fiction
Source:
Solar Flares
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317798.007

The fifteenth century saw the emergence of complex notions of race, essentially coinciding with European exploration of the Americas. Rather than delve into existing material conditions, science fiction prefers to use metaphor to deal with race. Jewish-American writers, from Jack Dann to Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Carol Carr, Harlan Ellison and Avram Davidson, have made significant contributions to science fiction, but their ethnic or racial identity is not evident in the presumed socio-economic location of most of readers, writers, and editors. Most African Americans have been seemingly absent from American science fiction. This chapter explores some of the novels by Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler, the two most significant African American science fiction writers from the 1970s. It also considers some of the African American science fiction music and films of the period. The chapter first examines science fiction's attempt to tackle race relations through metaphor or indirectly in novels by Silverberg, Philip K. Dick and Gardner Dozois, as well as in the Planet of the Apes movies.

Keywords:   African Americans, science fiction, race relations, novels, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, music, films, Planet of the Apes, Robert Silverberg

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