Space and Beyond

The Frontier Theme in Science Fiction

by Gary Westfahl


Offers new insights into space and the frontier in science fiction literature and film from famous writers such as Arthur C. Clarke, Gregory Benford, James Gunn, and Jack Williamson, and from noted scholars in the field.

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Cover image for Space and Beyond

January 2000


Pages 224
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics The Arts/General
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Although the exploration of space has long preoccupied authors and filmmakers, the development of an actual space program, discoveries about the true nature of space, and critical reconsiderations of America's frontier experiences have challenged and complicated conventional portrayals of humans in space. This volume reexamines the themes of space and the frontier in science fiction in light of recent scientific and literary developments. From this new perspective, we discern previously unnoticed commentaries from older authors, while newer writers either remain within a reassuring but obsolete tradition, venture into unexplored new realities, or abandon space to focus on other frontiers.

The intriguing contributions to this volume include a previously unpublished interview with Arthur C. Clarke, the world's greatest living author of science fiction; examinations of space opera by veteran author Jack Williamson and scholar David Pringle; surveys of space in science fiction film, and writer and producer Michael Cassutt's account of his efforts to launch a film based on a Clifford D. Simak novel; and speculations about future developments from noted writers Gregory Benford, Jack Dann, James Gunn, and Howard V. Hendrix.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Frontiers Old and New by Gary WestfahlThe Challenge of SpaceSpace vs. Time by Jack WilliamsonBig Dumb Objects and Cosmic Enigmas: The Love Affair between Space Fiction and the Transcendental by Peter NichollsFlying to the Moon in French and American Science Fiction by Danièle Chatelain and George SlusserWhat Is This Thing Called Space Opera? by David PringleOn The Final Frontier by Jack WilliamsonThe Cinema of SpaceThe True Frontier: Confronting and Avoiding the Realities of Space in American Science Fiction Films by Gary WestfahlThe Art of Technology: Contours of Space in the Science Fiction Film by Ira KonigsbergSpace for Resistance: The Disruption of the American Frontier Myth in 1950s Science Fiction Films by Susan A. GeorgeWay Station--The Motion Picture: A Possibly Premature Progress Report by Michael CassuttThe Pioneers of SpaceFlight of Passage: Space Travel as the Metaphoric Crossing of the Threshold by Jeffrey M. WallmanTake Me to Your Leader: A New Future for First Contact Stories by Patrice CaldwellSpace and the Frontier in Leslie F. Stone's "The Fall of Mercury" by Batya WeinbaumSpace Opera without the Space: The Culture Novels of Iain M. Banks by William H. HardestyRe-Mythologizing Outer Space with C. S. Lewis and Cordwainer Smith by Robert GorschPainwise in Space: The Psychology of Isolation in Cordwainer Smith and James P. Tiptree, Jr. by Alan C. ElmsOther FrontiersSocial Science in Space and Time by Clyde WilcoxSpace, Future War, and the Frontier in American Nuclear Apocalypse Narrative by Patrick B. SharpMen and Women in Separate Spaces by Lynn F. WilliamsCyberspace: The Moral Dimension by Janeen WebbNew Worlds for Old by Donald M. HasslerSingularities: Perspectives on SpaceComments on Space and Time by Gregory Benford, Jack Dann and Janeen Webb, James Gunn, and Howard V. HendrixSir Arthur C. Clarke: A Telephone Conversation with Eric S. Rabkin and Questions from Paul A. Carter, Gary Kern, Frank McConnell, Daryl F. Mallett, Melissa Mannion, Joseph D. Miller, and Gary WestfahlIndex



Though wide ranging in perspectives on space and frontiers, ^ISpace and Beyond^R is an archive of often interesting and entertaining reading.—SFRA Review

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