Drawing on a wide range of examples from the literary and visual canons—short stories, novels, films, television programs, video games, graphic novels, artworks, and more—in both cult and popular culture, this extensively illustrated book examines how science fiction has provided a human response to science, exploring every reaction from complacency to exhilaration, and from hope to terror. Across five chapters, this volume reviews the role played by science fiction in exploring our world and a multitude of ideas about our relationship with the human condition. Science Fiction encompasses a fascinating range of themes: machines, travel, aliens (the Other), communication, threats, and anxiety. Edited by Glyn Morgan and featuring a range of essays by experts on the subject, as well as interviews with well-known science fiction authors and reproductions of classic ephemera, graphics, and objects throughout, it also focuses on the darker elements of this fascinating genre: the anxieties, fears, dystopias, monsters, and apocalypses that have populated science fiction from the beginning.
Ultimately, science fiction asks what makes us human, and what lies in the future to test, threaten, and even destroy humanity. This publication has these questions at its core, making it especially relevant for contemporary readers in an age preoccupied with climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, the development of nuclear missiles and military technologies, and other global challenges.
Glyn Morgan is the project curator for the “Science Fiction” exhibition at the Science Museum, London. He is a former editor of Vector, the Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association. He frequently contributes to journals, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Science Fiction Studies Review, and European History Quarterly. His publications include Imagining the Unimaginable: Speculative Fiction and the Holocaust and as editor, Sideways in Time: Critical Essays on Alternate History Fiction.