is a miscellaneous collection of essays on
science fiction. Shippey's introduction is a survey of some of
the defining characteristics of science fiction. Two of the essays
take postmodernist approaches and talk about Gibson a lot; neither
of these appealed much to me, but that's probably just prejudice on
my part (I never understood all the fuss about Neuromancer
suffer nonsense like "In Neuromancer
we are seeing evidence of a
new, perhaps the final, stage in the trajectory of science fiction"
poorly). On specialised subjects, one essay looks at the relationship
between Starship Troopers
, The Forever War
and the Vietnam war,
while another considers the origins of the "underpeople" in the work
of Cordwainer Smith. More general essays look at the appearance
of museums in works of science fiction, at "the fall of America"
as a recurrent theme, and at the role of linguistics and language.
All of the essays (even the postmodernist ones) are light on jargon,
and Fictional Space
may interest readers of science fiction who
wouldn't normally touch literary criticism.
- Related reviews:
- more literary criticism
- more science fiction