Science Fiction, Children's Literature, and Popular Culture

Coming of Age in Fantasyland

by Gary Westfahl


Examines representative works of science fiction, children's literature, and popular culture to explore the experience of growing up in contemporary society.

Print Flyer

April 2000


Pages 176
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics The Arts/General

In a constantly changing world, individuals are forever growing to meet the challenges and developments that emerge around them. In contemporary society, technology is at the heart of change. Literature, too, reflects the evolution of culture and increasingly represents and considers technology. And as children become young adults, their reading helps shape their understanding of the world. This book examines representative works of science fiction, children's literature, and popular culture to show how these works reflect the process of growing up in a technological world.

The volume looks at the simple picture books and comic books that appeal to small children; the formulaic adventures that fascinate older children; the films and television programs that are watched by children and young adolescents; the music videos and programming that appeal to young adults; and the popular novels that interest older readers. Included are discussions of Superman, the Hardy Boys, Star Trek, science fiction films, and music videos. The book points to similarities among popular culture, science fiction, and children's literature and demonstrates the relevance of these works to contemporary society.

Table of Contents

How Charlie Made Children Hate Him: Fantasy and Reality in Stories for Small Children
The Three Lives of Superman--and Everybody Else
Mystery of the Amateur Detectives: The Early Days of the Hardy Boys
Giving Horatio Alger Goosebumps, or, from Hardy Boys to Hapless Boys: The Changing Ethos of Juvenile Series Fiction
From the Back of the Head to Beyond the Moon: The Novel and Film This Island Earth
Opposing War, Exploiting War: The Troubled Pacifism of Star Trek
Even Better than the Real Think: Advertising, Music Videos, Postmodernism, and (Eventually) Science Fiction
Legends of the Fall: Going Not Particularly Far Behind the Music
Hollywood Strikes a Pose: Seven Tales of Triumph, Treachery, and Travail in Old Tinseltown
In Defense of Stone Tablets: Isaac Asimov Explains Why Science Fiction is Skeptical about "New Information Technologies"
Partial Derivatives: Popular Misinterpretations of H. G. Well's The Time Machine

Other Titles of Interest

Space and Beyond cover imageTolkien's Legendarium cover imageThe Road to Castle Mount cover image
Back in the Spaceship Again cover imageStrange Constellations cover imageSpiritual Exploration in the Works of Doris Lessing cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips