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Science as Colonial Fetish: The Extraterrestrial Indigene in North American Science Fiction of the 1950s and 1960s

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journal contribution
posted on 17.05.2017, 11:20 by Helen Addison-Smith
As its name suggests, Science Fiction has always been fundamentally inspired by the possibilities of science. Critics such as Karl S. Gunthke argue that Science Fiction is “a special form of philosophical literature” that deals specifically with an extrapolated scientific innovation, wherein the author of Science Fiction enjoys a “freer rein to his imagination than those who write only as physicists are able to.” Here, Science Fiction is itself thought of as a type of science, wherein hypothesises are investigated through the experimental medium of fiction. Although Gunthke’s definition could hardly be applied to all Science Fiction – he himself only applies it to texts construed by him as worthy – this sort of remark is far from uncommon in critical readings of Science Fiction.


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