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Hard Reading: Learning from Science Fiction

Tom Shippey


This book makes an argument for the intellectual ambition and intellectual achievement of science fiction, a genre consistently undervalued by professional literary critics. It is pointed out repeatedly how much the genre owes to developments in anthropology, history, and other “soft sciences”; how the authority of the hard sciences is both asserted and challenged; and how the authority of ancient myths and modern values are likewise interrogated, with widely variant results. Science fiction, it is argued, has been a collective “thinking machine” for authors and readers alike, often (and espec ... More

Keywords: Genre, Soft sciences, Myths, Values, Conventions, Rhetoric

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9781781382615
Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781382615.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tom Shippey, author
Saint Louis University