The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction

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9780819568892: The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction

As the world undergoes daily transformations through the application of technoscience to every aspect of life, science fiction has become an essential mode of imagining the horizons of possibility. However much science fiction texts vary in artistic quality and intellectual sophistication, they share in a mass social energy and a desire to imagine a collective future for the human species and the world. At this moment, a strikingly high proportion of films, commercial art, popular music, video and computer games, and non-genre fiction have become what Csicsery-Ronay calls science fictional, stimulating science-fictional habits of mind. We no longer treat science fiction as merely a genre-engine producing formulaic effects, but as a mode of awareness, which frames experiences as if they were aspects of science fiction. The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction describes science fiction as a constellation of seven diverse cognitive attractions that are particularly formative of science-fictionality. These are the "seven beauties" of the title: fictive neology, fictive novums, future history, imaginary science, the science-fictional sublime, the science-fictional grotesque, and the Technologiade, or the epic of technsocience's development into a global regime.

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About the Author:

ISTVAN CSICSERY-RONAY JR. is a professor of English at DePauw University, where he teaches courses in world literature and science fiction. He is coeditor of the journal Science Fiction Studies and the book Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams (2007).

Review:

"The book overflows with insights, striking readings, provocative stances, productive ambiguities, and eminently quotable phrases..."--Roger Luckhurst, Science Fiction Studies

"Csicsery-Ronay writes clearly and usefully.... (He) provides a readable synthesis, mixing explication with advocacy, and providing examples from almost every domain in SF: it is a synthesis that almost anybody who teaches or writes about SF--or any critic who reads it for pleasure--may need." --Stephen Burt, Contemporary Literature

"...after reading Seven Beauties, it is difficult to conceive of that which is not sf...Csiscery-Ronay offers a means of thinking about the appearance of sf elsewhere. For the readers, spectators and subjectiles of the twenty-first century, such an attempt to bridge the generic gulf could not be more timely. That this is a paradoxical bridge, one that folds into a mobius strip of returns, makes Seven Beauties only the more exciting, as it offers new tricks to the old dogs of genre theory."--Darran Jorgensen, Science Fiction film and Television

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