Some brief overview of this book
As a follow-up to their 1997 collection Political Science Fiction, editors Donald M. Hassler and Clyde Wilcox have brought together twenty-four noted international scholars representing diverse fields of inquiry to assess more recent influential voices and trends in New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction. The terrors and technologies that permeate our daily lives have changed radically in the past decade, highlighting the underlying speculations on our contested future at the core of this genre. Surveying the vast expanse of recent political science fiction, the editors posit that the defining dilemma for these tales rests in whether identity and meaning germinate from linear progressions or from a continuous return to the primitive realities of war, death, and competition for survival.
The collections first section focuses on issues inherent in fiction of personal identity and the new man. From neuroscience to blogs to the polemic on gender and race, this section investigates democratization of political elements that lead to genuine new identities. The subsequent section explores works that evoke the old power centers of empires and nation states, where larger-than-life heroic systems represent a nostalgic symbol for triumphant human advancement. The final section presents idiosyncratic essays on individual writers and concludes with a comic treatment of Americas current situation in international politics as viewed through a science fiction lens.
The writers discussed range from H. G. Wells, Robert A. Heinlein, Ursula Le Guin, and Isaac Asimov to more radical voices such as Iain M. Banks, William Gibson, Joanna Russ, Philip K. Dick, and China Mieville. Whileemphasizing the literature, the collection also addresses political science fiction found on film and television from the original Star Trek through the newest incarnation of Battlestar Galactica.
In addition to the editors, the contributors are Marleen Barr, Peter R. Bergethon, Roberto de Sousa Causo, Doug Davis, Mark Decker, Fred Erisman, Henry Farrell, Carl Freedman, Lincoln Geraghty, M. Elizabeth Ginway, Woody Goulart, James Heilman, Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Wesley Y. Joe, Carter Kaplan, Sándor Klapcsik, Paul Christopher Manuel, Thomas Michaud, Wanda Raiford, Sandy Rankin, Bruce Rockwood, Darko Suvin, Dennis Wilson Wise, and Lisa Yaszek.