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The Status of Science Fiction as Literature

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Title: The Status of Science Fiction as Literature
Author(s): Janes, Adrian
Subject(s): Libraries --Special collections --Science
Abstract: In this discussion I want to say something about where science fiction has been and where it is now and then comment on where I think it stands in relation to what we ordinarily call "good" literature. But as in all discussions ot science fiction, it is necessary to start with some definition so you will know what I am talking about. Definitions vary widely, and any one if taken literally will lead to some contradiction. Some go so far as to include Arrowsmith, ghost stories, or the Book of Revelation. I don't include any of these. My definition is pretty standard: fiction that has in it some reasonably logical extrapolation of the science of the time, usually coupled with intent. For example, I would exclude Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, even though it has some scientific trapping, because Stevenson intended to present an allegory, and I would also exclude Gulliver's Travels. But I would include Bishop Godwin's The Man in the Moone; a Discourse of a Voyage Thither, which was published in 1638, because it is an account of space travel even though highly impractical.
Issue Date: 1960
Publisher: Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info: In F.B.Jenkins (ed). 1960. Collecting science literature for general reading; papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, November 6-9, 1960. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 171-180.
Series/Report: Allerton Park Institute (7th : 1960)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1495
ISSN: 0536-4604
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1959.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-07-16
 

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