English 173 - Spring, 2018

Science Fiction

Class Information

Instructor: Ziser, Michael
CRN: 61803
Time: TR 10:30-11:50
Location: 212 Veihmeyer


    Cross-listed as Science and Technology Studies 173: register under either department.

    Are you a hardcore SF aficionado with a desire to learn more about the roots of your favorite genre? Or perhaps a literature lover willing to overcome your skepticism and test your reading powers on genre fiction? Or maybe just an innocent bystander curious what all the fuss is about? This course is aimed at you, and you, and you. Making our way through a pair of short-fiction anthologies and some critical collections, we will savor the history and development of science fiction as literary tradition, from its murky and multiple beginnings through its golden age and down to the present. The emphasis will be on attaining a broad understanding of the literary and cultural issues SF has raised over time, and on exploring as many different authors as the quarter allows. Upon completion of the course, you will be able to confidently navigate the huge SF megatext we are all swimming in.


    weekly writing: 16%
    fan fiction: 14%
    analysis of an sf novel of your choosing: 20%
    thematic syllabus: 15%
    midterm exam: 15%
    final exam: 20%


    Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction, Evans et al, eds.
    The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 1: 1920-1964, Silverberg, ed.
    The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction, Csicsery-Ronay Jr, ed.
    Science Fiction Criticism: A Collection of Essential Writings, Latham, ed. (*recommended)
    Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, James and Mendlesohn, eds. (*recommended)
    one SF novel chosen by you from a supplied list