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Futuristic Cars and Space BicyclesContesting the Road in American Science Fiction$
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Jeremy Withers

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621754

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621754.001.0001

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Murderous Cars, Space Bikes, and Alien Bicycles in the Golden Age

Murderous Cars, Space Bikes, and Alien Bicycles in the Golden Age

(p.65) Chapter 2 Murderous Cars, Space Bikes, and Alien Bicycles in the Golden Age
Futuristic Cars and Space Bicycles

Jeremy Withers


This chapter focuses on several works from the ‘Golden Age’ of the 1950s in which bicycles prominently appear. After first examining cars and walking in some works by Ray Bradbury, the discussion turns to a novel by Robert A. Heinlein, a novelette by Poul Anderson, and a short story by Avram Davidson. This chapter argues that these three texts favor portrayals of ‘low-tech’ bicycles as pragmatic, reliable machines worthy of continued use and appreciation, and of bicycles as potent pieces of technology capable of inspiring awe.

Keywords:   walking, Golden Age, Ray Bradbury, Poul Anderson, Avram Davidson, Robert Heinlein

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