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Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

treating subjects of contemporary significance; and there are a road movie, a musical, a science-fiction thriller, a sex drama, and films in the humanist/realist mode. Mere generic diversity would not, of itself, be a matter for critical applause. However, arguably, no other British director, certainly not in recent times, has shown accomplishment over such a genre range. Contemporaries such as Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Shane

in Michael Winterbottom
As She Climbed Across the Table
James Peacock

academic himself, says: ‘The theme of a closed community, outside the mainstream of modern life, has always had obvious attractions. It explains the appeal of much science fiction, which is concerned with closed communities, whether on a space ship or on an alien planet’ (Kenyon, 1980 : 83). Though his characterisation of science fiction might be rather stereotyped, the link Kenyon draws between it and

in Jonathan Lethem
Sustainability in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital trilogy
Chris Pak

societies shape themselves partly through the utopian potential of the images of the future that they construct. Science fiction (sf) has portrayed a variety of images of the future, from post-apocalyptic narratives of decline to techno-utopian futures and ecotopian images of sustainable societies. These narratives explore many instances of sustainable and unsustainable practices, but issues of energy, oil, water and the extraction of other resources have been persistent themes. Through portrayals of future worlds and societies that explore the embeddedness of individuals

in Literature and sustainability
Detection, deviance and disability in Richard Marsh’s Judith Lee stories
Minna Vuohelainen

’s Judith Lee stories series as an early type of science fiction, understood not so much in keeping with Darko Suvin’s influential notion of cognitive estrangement but as ‘a popular genre’ exploring the possibilities of modern science and with a ‘grounding … in the material rather than the supernatural’.64 Science fiction, Roger Luckhurst explains, ‘is a literature of technologically saturated societies’ that explores ‘the impact of Mechanism … on cultural life and human subjectivity’ and ‘shades into horror or Gothic’.65 The conditions for the genre’s development

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
Anglo-American attitudes in the English fiction of mid-century
Patrick Parrinder

specialised in fantasy scenarios of alien occupation – science fiction. British science fiction at the mid-century would not have existed had it not been for its authors’ ability to sell to the US market. For example, 1951 saw the publication of The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, which became one of the best-known British fantasy novels of the century. From 1954 onwards, Penguin paperback editions of The Day of the Triffids included the following biographical information about the author: ‘From 1930–9 he wrote stories of various kinds under different names almost

in End of empire and the English novel since 1945
Lorna Jowett

woman, is Doctor Who gay? Or NB (non-binary)? (fan tweet cited in Leighton-Dore, 2018 ) New Doctor, new series, new companions … new challenges. It shouldn’t, perhaps, be too challenging. After all, science fiction is supposed to be about the new, the strange, the alien; defamiliarization or estrangement are key strategies for the genre. For various reasons, of course, science fiction, especially in mainstream media such as TV, tends not to live up to its potential of creating new worlds

in Doctor Who – New Dawn
Sylvie Magerstädt

small flickering black and white box in the corner of the average living room’ (Richards, 2008: 53). If this is correct, is there any scope at all for antiquity on the small screen in the early days of television? At first glance, one might have to concede that there is not much, as TV antiquity seems sparse during this period, unlike other cinematic genres such as the western and science fiction, which transferred more easily to the small screen. Yet, on closer inspection, one can find, for example, some important British productions in this period, as well as more

in TV antiquity
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Sounds and images in The Twilight Zone, ‘The Invaders’
Jonathan Bignell

This chapter analyses the unusual and expressive uses of both visual style and sound in an episode of the science fiction series The Twilight Zone , ‘The Invaders’ (CBS, 1961). The episode seems perhaps an odd choice for this volume because, although the use of unconventional, rhetorical camera work and visual design is common in the genre (Britton 2009 ) and offers much for a consideration of the role of the image, an important aspect of sound is not present at all. The episode has no dialogue, though it has some

in Sound / image
Susan Watkins

In 1979, Doris Lessing made the transition to new worlds, publishing Shikasta , the first novel in her Canopus in Argos: Archives quintet (1979–83) and her first novel written entirely in the speculative mode. Science fiction (SF) has always involved extrapolation, so in what ways is writing about new worlds a way of writing about our own? What is the best way of voicing the relation between the familiar and the unfamiliar? Does SF require a different voice or narration? If it does, how might that make a writer like Lessing rethink

in Doris Lessing
Peter Hutchings

, Fisher’s three science fiction films from this period arguably operated more as horror than they did as science fiction. As if to underline the break that occurs in Fisher’s career between the stability of the 1957–1962 years at Hammer and the somewhat more unsettled post-1962 period, Fisher’s two least accomplished late films come in the immediate aftermath of The Phantom of the Opera – the co

in Terence Fisher