The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit? There is no British empire standing on its hind legs, but metanationals having even greater influence and power, not to mention economic and political domination spanning two planets. The pure technical aspects of terraforming and extra-terrestrial colonization immediately turn to issues of global politics.
Robinson employs a full-blown array of discourses from quantitative to social sciences; his trilogy is a virtual enyclopedia of interactions between cognition and estrangement. The issue here is not that Wells's work is inferior because of outdated premises and tropes of Martians having the capacity to invade us or even existing in the first place; of paramount importance is the historicity of the novum Suvin , 63 , both authors providing validation of it by the cognitive logic of their times.
We can say that novum as innovation, as newness, is the concrete result of the dialectic between cognition and estrangement, further cementing the concrete truth of science fiction.
Estrangement, cognition, and novum are, in Suvinian terminology, flexible, fluid, and dialectical to the degree that their usage in his definition is hospitable to both Wells's tripods from Mars and Robinson's terraformation of Mars. Thus it is safe to say that the prolific experiments of the genre in the s can accommodate the definition to a great degree. However, it is highly ambiguous as to how far Suvinian hospitality goes when we reach the realm of interstitial fiction and slipstream in general, not to mention postmodernist works suffused with science fiction motifs and themes, such as William Burroughs's Nova Express and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.
In fact, it does not take long for Suvin to switch from policy of inclusiveness to policy of exclusiveness. The minds, along with everything else, have been forever changed. It is highly unlikely anyone would object to separating Tolkien's mythopoetical oeuvre from both Wells and Robinson, at least when it comes to literary categories. The novum of Mars is not sufficiently validated by cognitive logic, Bradbury's Mars is a planet with a breathable atmosphere, science proper is lacking in the narrative.
On the other hand, the Force infusing every speck of the galaxy, far, far away is metaphysical in nature, and therefore not even a novum in the proper Suvinian sense. The deconstructionist twist throughout the subsequent developments of the genre is that estrangement in the narrative experiments of New Wave and slipstream takes over the hierarchy and uses any form of cognition for the embrace of the strange, instead of its 21 The concept of interstitial fiction in the 21st century consciously demolishes these demarcation lines and tries to do exactly what Suvin is against — misshaping.
Whereas the films are seen as a space opera par excellence, numerous background stories are pure Suvinian science fiction, in which the Force has a marginal role. In fact, the whole critical history of the genre is replete with these binary structures. Another critic in the s faced the challenge of delimiting the tendency of the genre by proposing a new term for it — structural fabulation. The deconstructionist process of overturning the cognition-estrangement hierarchal relations was well underway at this point, and since both Suvin and Scholes were, at the time, among the first SF critics who employed modern methods of literary criticism, it is interesting to point out that Scholes had already anticipated the increasing tendency of science fiction gravitating towards the estrangement pole.
Specifically, his stress on human beings of flesh and blood existing among the mutable technological environments enables him to see thematic affinities between officially recognized SF works and non-SF writers, such as Burroughs and Pynchon. With so many affinities being made between SF and non-SF authors in subsequent decades, some critics have started to draw the bridge between the constructed literary realms of science fiction and mainstream fiction.
This is nothing but the continuation of structural fabulation - fictionalization language of metaphors and humanism being prioritized over the explicitness of technology and science. Scholes's praising of works in terms of their literary quality, such as Flowers for Algernon, demonstrated the genre's capacity to move beyond the tropes of the pulp literature and the Golden Age of SF; in fact, the novel can be said to stand on the threshold of New Wave, and thus needs to be understood more in terms of fabulation, rather than cognition.
The fluctuation between Suvin's cognition and Scholes's fabulation becomes all the more relevant when the crisis of the Golden Age of SF concretized in the genre-breaking s, a time when both the writers and the critics27 felt the need to revise the conceptual apparatus dealing with the fantastic, science fiction, and mainstream. Genre Development Like any genre, SF is a synchronic and diachronic system, a group of texts with its own set of structural tendencies and reading conventions. The turbulent history of SF, from adventure space opera stories in the s to the cyberpunkian landscapes of the s and beyond, is nothing but a series of generic continuities and discontinuities, negation of certain trends and affirmation of others.
As Suvin stated, it is precisely the novum that makes SF historical, making the genre uniquely related to the perturbations of post-WWII, cold war, the Space Age, information explosion, digital revolution, etc. Stepping into the hermeneutic circle of SF is all the more bewildering because of the complex web of historically objective interrelations which permeate every utterance of an SF text; however, for the present study, aiming at locating the genre explosion and following the shock wave to the end of the millenium and beyond, it is first and foremost essential to recognize basic systemic features of genre development, and their connection to literary consciousness; the rationality behind Andrzej Zgorzelski's article can have interesting applications for the subsequent development of this type of literature; if anything, it is fascinating seeing both the negation and affirmation of these concepts.
Furthermore, before tackling the specificities of the New Wave negations, and their direct relations to historical dilemmas, it is essential to see how breaking the rules on a generic level increases the literariness of a text. Therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate these developments on an abstract level first. For the purpose of my study on New Wave which acts as a direct opposition to the variants of the Golden Age of SF, his concise thoughts on the genre alone can greatly help us understand the basic internal workings of these changes.
As any genre is a product of its time and thus subject to the dynamics of stability and change, it has its own evolution and periods of punctuated equilibria, meaning that relatively stable periods of generic continuities can be suddenly interrupted by oppositional and deviant tendencies and conventions. Zgorzelski, among other critics who began to seriously employ modern methods of literary criticism into the realm of science fiction since the s, adds an important factor of intersubjectivity to a genre variant.
The active reception, the reaction, the reading conventions themselves have become an essential element in genre analysis. Both the structural and historical analyses are significant here, but when it comes to a genre like SF, the intersubjective recognition of it plays a much more important role than is usually acknowledged. Zgorzelski likes to point out that we cannot locate the actual genre of SF before the 20th century simply because of the lack of awareness of it as a genre in its own right — its own system.
Therefore, he immediately denies Brian Aldiss's suggestion that the real beginning of science fiction can be pinpointed to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The themes and motifs are simply irrelevant to him if they, as genre variants, do not have an impact upon the general reading public. Shelley's novel is still too embedded in the tradition of Gothic literature, and even though we can say that SF is an offshoot of Gothic fiction with its emphasis on the strange and unknown topos, and even though the theme of science as being dangerous to humans, not to mention a scientist being the actual protagonist, bears structural affinities with SF, the emergence of the genre per se does not happen with the emergence of particular genre variants only.
The notions of tradition and continuity play a major role in the emergence of a genre — the utopia, for instance, stands as a group of texts which discontinue the extant genre. The author designates E. The theme of human dependence on technology is a utopian genre variant and presents the same issue as Shelley's theme of dangerous science being a Gothic genre variant, namely that such a particular emergence of a variant does not create a genre in itself.
According to Zgorzelski, we can only talk of science fiction per se when the term appeared in the title of the famous magazine Astounding Science Fiction in , and when the term was well established by the release of numerous science fiction magazines in the following decades.
The editor simply could not use it because of the readers themselves. In the late s, however, SF had already become something recognizable as a genre mainly because of its antithetical relationship with the tradition of the fantastic and other genres in the pulp magazine realms, such as detective, horror, and fantasy stories.
In other words, it had become a convention in and of itself. If we follow his model on new structural changes and especially the readers' recognition, placing the beginning of actual SF in the s does not seem controversial. If we modify his notion29 of genre and variants to some degree, we can observe groundbreaking developments during the New Wave explosion and slipstream fiction. The core of Zgorzelski's article presents severe conceptual problems when the genre tries to escape its magazine boundaries and enter the mainstream and when it becomes subjected to 28 That is to say, the introduction of the Suvinian novum, but on a macro scale of world-building.
The novum is, in this case, of course, the result of non-cognitive estrangement. As with Suvin, we are again forced to modify the concepts, negate them, deconstruct them, and observe how the genre proves to be a malleable territory. The structural changes within the excess of New Wave works would, according to Zgorzielski, have to signal nothing less than the appearance of an entirely new genre. In reality, new and oppositional genre variants have only strengthened the dialectics of cognition and estrangement.
Readers faced with The Handmaid's Tale have to either choose to accept one set of reading conventions or both simultaneously, the novel and readers in turn occupying the domains of the dystopian novel and speculative fiction. Zgorzelski's structural approach to the evolution of the genre definitely has merits when we apply it to the period of SF prior to the subversive s, but after the onslaught of postmodernism, even the perspective of a unified, monologic reader accepting 30 For example, J.
Ballard's representation of outer space as space totally hostile to humans and, worst of all, irrelevant to the serious issues of science fiction. By now it means so many things to so many people that … I prefer not to use it at all, when I am talking about stories. This is not to say that Zgorzelski's paper should be thrown into the shredder; it is merely interesting to point out the ramifications the turbulent development of the genre has had on these concepts.
By not seeing the genre as a continuing deviation from the fantastic aspects, by not seeing it as a realm where cognition reigns supreme, critics, readers, and writers are suddenly confronted with fiction of literary value of an unprecedented degree. If anything, the soaring heights of the mainstream taught science fiction writers and readers that breaking genre formulas is actually a mark of high literary quality, and not something to be feared by purists clinging to static conventions.
Thomas Kent, in his Interpretation and Genre: The Role of Generic Perception in the Study of Narrative Texts, studied precisely this tendency of certain texts to break genre formulas and to change readers' expectations in the process. Rather than focusing on structures and taxonomies, literary hermeneutics takes precedence, i. His scrutiny of Herman Melville's and Mark Twain's novels, among others, certain dime novels, and postmodernist works proves invaluable for the SF genre, even though it does not directly fall under his analysis.
Kent employs the terms automatization and foregrounding to explain the difference between texts that follow a certain genre formula, that are predictable, and those that shatter the 33 Kent specifically uses the critiques of F. Symbolism and American Literature , and R. Lewis The American Adam to demonstrate the interpretative field of highly competent readers. Using the model of Saussurean linguistics, the concept of syntagmatic and paradigmatic foregrounding34 helps us see the emergence of certain generic expectations.
Paradigmatic foregrounding establishes certain generic markers; it depends upon the text whether the following sequences will follow the markers or not; if the text is then syntagmatically foregrounded, the next set of conventions is differentiated from the previous one — different expectations occur. The story can be transformed into a psychological case study.
Owing to the readers' broadening of expectations, these texts fare better in the aesthetic valorization than their genre-formulaic counterparts. Something similar occurs in later decades when John W. Campbell takes the editorial reigns of Astounding Science-Fiction, albeit with one big caveat: his guidelines are significantly more sophisticated and less pulpy Ballard, Michael Moorcock, Brian Aldiss, et al. Combinations supported by linearity are syntagm. The syntagm is always composed of two or more consecutive units […] Those [relations] formed outside discourse are not supported by linearity.
Their seat is in the brain; they are part of the inner storehouse that makes up the language of each speaker. It is in fact disingenuous to equate Beadle and Adams to Campbell; the comparison is relevant only to highlight the need for formulas in such texts. The experimental decade of the s can be summed up as the interplay between setting up the generic markers via the aforementioned paradigmatic foregrounding and their annullment by syntagmatic foregrounding. Philip K.
There are two types of texts that greatly interest us for a discussion of genre's development, de-formed texts and epistemological texts. In Kent's analysis, paradigmatic de-formed texts can be found in the works of Mark Twain, the most famous ones being Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. The meaning is then constructed out of this combination, but this is not the meaning of automatized texts, but meaning stemming from a multi-layered hermeneutic field. What brings us closer to our purpose of New Wave SF37, slipstream, and postmodernist fiction in general are the so-called epistemological texts.
Uncertainty, vacillation, doubt, incomprehensibility, and other elements of epistemological contention are at the forefront here, the ambiguity becoming the subject matter of the text. Whilst the uncertainty of de-formed texts is mainly experienced by the readers, the uncertainty existing at the formal level, epistemological texts are literally suffused with the wavering perceptions of characters. When SF switches focus from outer space to inner space and opens itself up to mainstream narrative deformations, epistemological texts play an even greater role in climbing up the rungs of the aesthetic ladder.
In actuality, these texts exhibit such a radical break with generic tradition they can hardly be called science fiction anymore — Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren or J. Ballard's Atrocity Exhibition are pieces that can stand on their own as mainstream postmodernist fiction. Furthermore, postmodernism has a special category for texts which transform generic conventions into the subject matter of the text , namely meta-fiction. Dick's Valis, not only bewilder the reader, but presuppose that she is cognizant of the very make-up of such texts — the genre itself becomes the subject matter.
To sum up, Kent's analysis can be used to trace the explosion of the genre from New Wave SF to slipstream by delineating three lines of development, three aforementioned types of texts, i. These three categories are tools that can help us grasp the fluidity of SF for their emphasis on reader reception, and not so much on structure. Cognitive Metaphor Hermeneutics or, more specifically, reader reception became the focal point of discussion in SF literary criticism only when writers like Samuel R.
Delany foregrounded the simple but essential relationship between text and meaning. The essays in The Jewel-Hinged Jaw mostly deal with the problems of reading science fiction, interpreting it, and seeing the subtleties of the genre in simple sentences an average non-SF reader takes for granted. Out of two different realms of literature follow two different sets of reading protocols.
The road from Suvin to Delany is thus a road from text-as-artifact to the interaction between text and reader. The method that he proposes for better understanding of SF texts is actually quite simple — close reading. The real meaning, the actual dynamic between reality and fiction, between cognition and estrangement, between the literal and the metaphoric meaning behind any SF text begins at the sentence level.
Dick, discover an implosion of cultural, social, political, economic, even racial backgrounds when forefronting passages of certain SF texts which are detailed in meaning, but not directly expository in their narrative nature. However, this very background is the crux of the reading problem here. The dilating doors are not explained by Heinlein; this novum is there as part of the world-building artifact, implying a wide variety of functional and societal differentiations between the author's and the reader's empirical world, and that of the story. The subtlety in difference may even reveal an altered physical appearance of the beings who populate the fictional world — maybe rectangular doors would be a hindrance, an impracticality in this fictional world.
Out of this singular response we can infer that the average life expectancy of the novel's society is vastly greater than in our own empirical world; in addition to that, the technology accompanying this world is highly advanced. For Delany's purposes, it causes much less confusion than other terms, i. Freedman notes that the initial sentences of Dick's Ubik build an entire world in front of us As SF tends towards cognitively fictional world-building, neologisms, such as we find in abundance in cyberpunk works, definitely need to be annexed to the category of style if we wish to properly evaluate the genre.
(DOC) New Wave in Science Fiction or the Explosion of the Genre | Janez Steble - zopusalawyky.ga
Dick are paradigmatic to the New Wave SF sensibilities, this type of approach to style and reading greatly increases our capacity to find, in the above-posited passage on Runciter's wife, the postmodern notion of effacement between life and death — and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
We are still dealing with sentences, moving from one word series to another along the syntagmatic axis. The kernel of SF subjunctivity lies in the expansion of meaning that flows from a series of words. In naturalistic fiction the dog is simply meaningless, and in fantasy the meaning is restricted to magical means of modification; detailed biology is irrelevant. Indeed, the expanded repository of meaning gives SF greater verbal freedom by default, and this freedom is one of many sources of aesthetic pleasures of the genre.
There is one more literary concept left to deal with, and probably the most important, to conclude the theoretical outline needed to grapple with the generic turbulences of SF. The problem with this definition is that it is too Aristotelian, and merely allows a relation between the two terms. As Star Wars visually demonstrated, the sentence can be literalized to some degree — Princess Leia's home world Alderaan explodes when the monumental space station Death Star fires upon it.
This is a perfect example how the hierarchical order of two terms in a metaphor is deconstructed in an SF text. Leia does not actually own the planet, we cannot say that it is literally hers, but on the other hand it does literally explode; in fact, the film focuses more on the process of its destruction, rather than further explicating her relation to the planet.
The destruction of the planet moves the plot and the characters. In mundane fiction, on the other hand, the sentence would read as a woman experiencing anguish, sense of loss, existential issue, etc. The state of the woman is important, not whether her experience is compared to a world or to something else. In mundane fiction the second 41 For Aristotle metaphor has a cognitive function as it shows a common genus between the two terms. Hierarchy thus exists in both science and mundane fiction; there is never really a pure relation.
This tension is what creates such an explosion of meaning in a simple sentence; the minutiae of details in world-building stories, such as Dune, convey significantly more to readers than just substituting one term for the other. As Adam Roberts explained, recognizing SF as a metaphorical discourse is the first step, but more important than that is to move beyond Aristotelian relations and recognize the dialectics contained inside the metaphor according to Paul Ricoeur who, in his The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-Disciplinary Studies in the Creation of Meaning in Language, saw it in a creative, affective, imaginative, and cognitive way Roberts Because the second term takes ontological precedence in SF metaphor, it is open to otherness43 and playful cognition.
In the second half of the 20th c. Le Guin's The Dispossessed is, among many things, a metaphor for a modern utopian project; Joanna Russ's The Female Man is a cognitive metaphor for women's struggles and perceptions in the postmodern world. The So-Called Golden Age of SF — Seeds of Dissolution The Golden Age of SF is a ripe period to directly witness the growth of the genre and its inherent characteristics that the previous chapter delineated in the conceptual triad of cognition, estrangement, and metaphor.
Before plunging into the literary excursions of New Wave directly, the following section describes the main concepts that the authors of the Golden Age developed. The s ushered in an explosion in the genre, and thus stands as an important period which provides insights into issues that defined New Wave. These opposing trends, however, only found their voice a decade later, most notably in the magazine New Worlds.
Periodization and Underlying Concepts Any discussion of a prolific SF period has to start with a caveat. The issues of chronology and accuracy pertaining to this period are inherent in the entire history of the genre, not just the Golden Age. The subsequent periods, especially slipstream, contain nothing but revisions of the genre, which directly affect historical perception. For our purposes, time is thus not so much of the essence, but the ideas these times engendered or, rather, the relations between them. The concern about positing the Golden Age prior to the s has mainly to do with the fact that the previous decades stand more as an initiation period of science fiction, rather than being the literature of ideas proper.
In order for the genre to explode, it needed to be liberated from the very medium from which it originated. Gary Westfahl, in fact, locates the explosion in the s with the onslaught of hardback and paperback releases, science fiction films and television shows , Literary awareness of the genre started with the exclusivity of the pulp magazines, most notably with the editorial policies of Hugo Gernsback and John W. Before the s, Silverberg notes that the genre was more or less centred around the latter's Astounding Science Fiction.
Even before that, Hugo Gernsback in his pioneering Amazing Stories postulated basic tenets for the genre. SF to him was not merely about predicting the future, but about creating the future in the process; it was not merely entertainment, but also education and inspiration providing stimulating ideas for scientists.
Before the s, then, the guidelines of Gernsback and Campbell formed the skeleton of the genre. The irony is that their efforts helped to establish SF as a genre in and of itself, separated from fantasy, detective, and horror stories, yet simultaneously entrenched it in a magazine format and limited it to an exclusive science-savvy audience. Therefore, exclusivity of any sort is simply unbearable for this literature. In the s, simultaneous with the flourishing of hardbacks and paperbacks, there was a rise of numerous magazines trying to envelop the multiple tendencies and interests of the audience seeking a sense of wonder in science fiction.
Dick, Walter M. Disch, Norman Spinrad and Ursula K. LeGuin were all mustering in the wings. Ashley , viii Most of these authors, if not all, played a significant role in conceptually and aesthetically advancing the SF literary field, especially in later decades. At the beginning of the s, however, they were mostly restricted to the confines of magazine publishing, especially in serialized novels.
By the end of the decade, most of these magazines had folded48, supplanted by the ever increasing demand and supply for book publishing. Ballantine and Doubleday stepped into the breach, publishing novels that would make SF an acknowledged literary field 48 Of 23 titles in , only six made it to the end of the decade. One of the few survivors was Campbell's Astounding; in fact, the latter is still ongoing under the name Analog Science Fiction and Fact. These houses managed to reprint some works of U. Clarke and John Wyndham, among others. The nationalized ghetto of pulp serials was finally beginning to shatter.
Just a few titles, such as Martian Chronicles, Childhood's End, Space Merchants, Fahrenheit , should give us a clue as to the importance of the decade and its lasting influence. Closer inspection of the above-mentioned titles, released in the wake of the withering of the magazine-dominated market, reveals similarities and affinities with the New Wave iconoclastic experiments. Academics of the s, as we saw, would later find both confirmation and rejection of their structural theories applied to the elusive s.
Adventure, 2. Science, 3. Campbell, scientific accuracy being put above literary flair, not to mention characterization. Asimov, Heinlein, and L. Sprague de Camp, who were scientists and engineers, were his main contributors Latham , At first, authors of this calibre gathered around Galaxy under the editorship of Horace Gold. Just as science can be divided into hard and soft, so can science fiction be partitioned into correlative branches of science, depending on the work's subject matter.
Again, any such division is nothing but a hindrance in the slippery- slope realm of the subsequent slipstream. One of the outcomes of the New Wave debate was that SF from the '60s onwards became simplistically divided into those two territories. As we shall see later on, Jameson's thematic distinctions underlie the entire genre. If the s attempted to bury its hard SF roots under efflorescent stylistics and psychedelics, the s and the s once again confirmed it.
Brian McHale speaks of this as the reaction of each successive phase of SF against the dominance of the preceding phase , To avoid further confusion, it is best to start with a simple but tentative definition: […] a work of sf is hard sf if a relationship to and knowledge of science and technology is central to the work. Such works are usually characterized by attitudes found in previous examples of hard sf, but may instead be characterized by attittudes in opposition to or in argument or dialogue with such attitudes.
The primary characteristic for defining a work as hard sf is its relationship with science. The basic SF principle of extrapolation comes to the fore here - projection, extension, expansion of known data, of known empirical facts onto the fictional plane of the unknown. In delineating the development of hard SF, Gary Westfahl notes that we can distinguish two aspects again, tentatively explicated of hard sf, microcosmic , and macrocosmic hard SF To put it bluntly, microcosmic deals with the intricacies of spaceships, macrocosmic with the ecologies of worlds.
Even though both types of the subgenre more or less fail at providing the holy grail of accuracy53, what was most troublesome for the New Wavers were mostly the 50 It can be said that any hard SF before the s was essentially microcosmic in scope due to the technological and scientific limitations of the genre's milieu. Fascinating developments in New Wave, however, reveal a negation of the negation of this dominance.
There are a few hard sf stories we need to consider before we move to the essential cosmic visionaries of the Golden Age of SF. The plot revolves around the highly oblate planet Mesklin, which has immense gravity, focusing on the points of view of the indigenous life forms and a human explorer. The meticulous details of the exotic planet54 provide the novel with a much-needed mimesis hard SF strives for. Fear of heights is part of their collective fear, for a tiny fall is fatal.
They are central in helping a stranded human explorer reach a probe of scientific value. Along this journey they act more or less as creatures who can learn a great deal from the scientific acumen of humanity. In the end, human science helps them understand the hostile environment of the planet, and eventually they overcome their collective fear. Clement, a high school teacher, uses the protagonist as a mouth-piece for didacticism and the general attitude of hard SF.
The novel clearly illustrates the presupposition that the universe consists of objective and immutable laws, indifferent to the whims of the creatures who inhabit it — a definitive staple of the subgenre. The novel's imagination and accuracy are well formed for the planet Mesklin, but the Mesklinites themselves are presented like humans with a level of technology and mind-set of the Earth of centuries ago.
Neglect of linguistic, psychological, and anthropological issues — easily subsumed under the 54 Arhur C. Clarke's first published novel The Sands of Mars is also an early distinguished example of planetary world-building. Her purpose for this transgression is to urgently visit her brother. The captain, the only one required to pilot the ship, needs to maintain a strict schedule to deliver the medical supplies to the colonies.
The relentless laws of nature, however, do not allow deviations, so the girl must be ejected into space for the vessel to maintain sufficient fuel to reach the colonies. At the end, she is convinced her death is the only feasible course of action and is willingly blown out of the airlock. Needless to say, the story has engendered controversies and various interpretations.
The girl's decision is simply her predestined fate. The issue is the same as in Mission of Gravity, yet emphasized. If there is a necessity to maintaining the supply line, then economic efficiency clearly outweighs individual needs, not to mention that the girl is obviously poor enough to be forced into illegal actions. According to Godwin and Campbell,57 the appeal to basic human emotions is irrelevant; the laws of mass and acceleration are neutral and eternal. The hard SF core of Astounding dictated the overt rationality of the science-savvy mentality, yet it is the covert mind-set of colonialist, masculine, and capitalist political values that become some of the main targets for the New Wavers.
The unconscious and uncritical conflation of natural and social laws, coupled with an obsession regarding technological change, resulted in numerous writers of the decade and beyond becoming convinced of the unchangeability of political and economic values. One of the most important contributions of the New Wave SF, then, is to consciously subject these laws to critique.
However, as the Golden Age drew to its peak, the need for cosmic engineering and mapping of future history arose. Individuality started playing a defining role, as does the human project of manifest destiny across the stars. Macrocosmic hard SF finds its champions and its heralds of doom. All were trained and schooled in scientific disciplines, Asimov with a PhD in biochemistry, Heinlein being an engineer, and Clarke with a degree in mathematics and physics. All were associated with Campbell's Astounding, yet at the same time were in many ways the true precursors to New Wave sensibilities, especially Clarke and Heinlein.
The history of SF is rife with contradictions even at its most classic stage. Robert Scholes and Eric S. Rabkin note that E. Rabkin , Ron Hubbard's Dianetics operation in California, to name a few. This is not to say that pseudo-philosophy and the deviation from the cold equations of hard SF did not occur even in the most rationalist writings of Astounding; however, the drive towards consistency and rational storytelling is what, for the moment, interests us in elucidating the ideas culminating the end of the Golden Age of SF.
These can be said to be the specific culminating points of the Golden Age of SF of the s63, the themes that mark the rationalism of SF so blatantly rejected by later decades. It comes as no surprise that John W. Campbell was instrumental in specifically forming Future History and Psychohistory They are basically concepts of macro-history. The term future history was coined by Campbell in upon the release of Heinlein's stories representing a fictional projection of human history into the future, ranging from the year to Wells to Frank Herbert.
Heinlein's future history, specifically, comes with a chart, revised and edited numerous times throughout his career. This inaugural edition even contains some handwritten revisions. Technology has facilitated the revision process from word processors, to computers, to the luxurious, light-weight, laptop computers we cherish today. And so the associated costs have remained low — our subscription price has barely changed. Throughout the s, the graduate students successfully published semi-annual volumes. Though our editions have more than doubled in length, they appear now merely annually, and the subscription price remains accessible to the slimmest of budgets.
We would like to thank all scholars who submitted an article during this time and who also waited patiently for a response during a transitional period of reconfiguring the journal as well as our graduate student staff. We hope that our rebranded journal will be a successful reflection of us. Since we had received a variety of submissions, we decided not to focus on a single theme for this issue.
As Kristi has noted, we have only relatively recently created a graduate-student-run conference that is VI. We hope you will enjoy the diversity of excellent scholarship ranging from Renaissance poetry to contemporary cinema and more. In the meantime, bonne lecture! Often, the chimera is depicted with the wings of a phoenix. In addition to continuing to publish high quality articles centered around traditional and cutting edge literary themes, the journal will be introducing a book review addition.
Look for our first book reviews starting Fall ! Subscriptions will also include access to current and archived journals. Carrell Co-editor and PhD student. Furthermore, his approach to poetic creation was far more inclusive and required no prescriptive declaration or manifesto. For Marot, poetry was practical and performative, a rhetorical devise not a mystical rite. By its very nature, the Renaissance is inclusive and aimed at elevating and ennobling the bourgeois in an era of metropolitan embourgeoisement. One of the major problems with the implementation of the Renaissance into France is that it crossed the Alps in the hands of an aristocratic social elite who had been inoculated in this new way of thinking during their diplomatic travels as part of the Valois campaigns in Italy.
Of course, Rabelais published both Pantagruel ca. Both he and his father employed the form to the veneration and exaltation of womanhood. Also, unlike the Petrarchan sonnet, the superlative lyrical form in which the present desiring lyrical subject evokes a necessarily non-present desired object,13 the rondeau with its witty, varied takes on a refrain allows — even calls — for an exchange and interaction between men and women.
This is certainly the case with the two rondeaux to be examined at present, whose complicity and conversation extend over two compositions. One struggles to imagine higher praise that could be lavished on a middleclass woman than this: comparison with the greatest French woman of letters. The brute matter laboriously culled from the French earth gangues of raw ore, language, his verse through the gift of learning has been transformed and belongs in the worthy hand of the worthy woman who possesses the golden.
Davis, like Marot before her, is quick to cite Christine de Pizan as one of the first to turn this dichotomy on its head — beginning at the top. Women, still beholden to men and their households, were not to seek or find any glory in their artisanal or artistic creation She admits finding herself taken aback surprise, v. My mind had grown weary as I had spent the day struggling with the weighty tomes of various authors whom I had been studying for some time.
I looked up from my book and decided that, for once, I would put aside these difficult texts and find instead something amusing and easy to read from the works of poets. However, Christine, aided by the Three Ladies, is able to create a text that initially seems to accept and then undercuts these very charges. Jeanne Gaillarde, in thus beginning her response, subversively accepts the comparison to Christine and continues her poetic reply. Using the pluperfect subjunctive Si je fusse… v. The conclusive stanza also begins with Si…; however, this time, it is neither conditional nor hypothetical but rather affirmative in nature.
The golden age of Renaissance Lyon — its humanistic printers, intellectual freedoms, women writers, etc. Humanism and social reform may well have arrived via aristocratic diplomats who warped these ideas according to their limited feudal worldview. However, the earliest pens of the French Renaissance in literature insist on a more widespread and inclusive idea of reform, one that would call into question education, philosophy, the status of women, the possibility of bourgeois achievement, religious practice,.
The intricately sculpted tufa stone used to create the majestic palaces of the Loire Valley is certainly a stunning testament to achievement and ideals of beauty at the highest reaches of the Renaissance. Still, the more lasting effects of the Renaissance, or Early Modern period, is its modernity: its focus on individuals and opportunity, the capacity of all mankind and the need foster a society where all could live, co-exist and strive in a constantly urbanizing world.
Lyon was a supreme model of this new order and Marot the ideal literary mouthpiece to announce this change in climate to the Francophone world. The Renaissance remains concerned with philology, rediscovery, learning, debate and creation. A translator of Ovid, Virgil and Petrarch, Marot did not diverge from that element of the Renaissance. Still, he recognized that humankind and matters of the mind exceed the dusty artifacts we so readily yield as signs of intellect and progress. A woman, a singular mind seule entre ung million held the merit of the Renaissance. Short-lived as it may have initially been ca.
Marot opened a door and made a space for Jeanne. Women were offered a space, in letters and society, which they had been previously denied. Present and with a voice in the salons of subsequent generations, women — even educated, bourgeois women — would dictate the direction of French letters for centuries as we ushered in the modern era.
Notes 1. Virgil was. See Weber —16 and Castor 24—50 for discussion of theories of Divine Fury and the favorable conditions of inspiration. That is, he was trained as a craftsman or artisan by his poet father. See bibliography for details on the Mantovani thesis. Once I begin my textual analysis below, however, I will hold to the original text.
Saulnier details and hypothesizes on her poetic exchanges with other male poets of the time. Among these poets is Nicolas Bourbon, to whom Marot would address a liminal poem in a later edition of the text. He was allowed to return to the kingdom, via Lyon, should he publicly denounce his heretical actions of the past, which he did in December Works Cited Balsamo, Jean. Jean Balsamo. Bourgeois, Louis. Paris: Fayard, Calvin, Jean. Francis Higman. Castor, Grahame. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Chamard, Henri. Paris: Didier, Saint-Etienne: PUF, Davis, Natalie Zemon. Society and Culture in Early Modern France.
Palo Alto: Stanford UP, De Pizan, Christine. Maurice Roy. Paris: Firmin Didot, The Book of the City of Ladies.
Rosalind Brown-Grant. London: Penguin Classics, Du Bellay, Joachim. Jean-Charles Monferran and Ernesta Caldarini. Du Guillet, Pernette. Complete Poems: A Bilingual Edition. Karen Simroth James. Marta Rijn Finch. Rymes Elise Rajchenbach. Febvre, Lucien. Paris: Albin Michel, Ferguson, Margaret.
Denis Hollier. Geisendorf, Paul F. Werner L. New York: Harper, Huchon, Mireille. Hudson, Robert. Enzo Giudici.
Mantovani, Thierry. Paris: Flammarion, — Paris: Bordas Classiques Garnier , — Martin, Daniel. Mayer, C. Nauert, Jr. Humanism and Culture in Renaissance Europe. Preisig, Florian. Mireille Huchon. Romier, Lucien. Saulnier, V. Francis Goyet. Vignes, Jean. Michel Jarrety. Paris: PUF, Villey, Pierre. Weber, Henri. Paris: Nizet, Dick continues to play with the reader here, but more is going on than mere obfuscation. Think about what Rachael, Luba Luft, and these policemen have said about Deckard. Even if he is not an android, what evidence is there that could cause him to be mistaken for one?
Chapter 11 What argument does Phil Resch offer at the end of the chapter to try to convince Deckard that he is human? Besides creating suspense, what is Dick trying to accomplish by increasing the confusion? How does Resch seem to show Luba that she is right about him? What signs are there that Deckard is beginning to have doubts about his profession?
Chapter 13 What slip does J. Isidore make that makes Pris think he is like an android? What is the function of science fiction in this period? What kind of comment is Dick making on SF? How has he changed? What lesson about life does Mercer try to teach him? Why do you think Dick put his title into the form of a question?
How does Rachael say she feels about Pris? Why is this significant? How about her feelings for Deckard? Chapter 17 What important and tragic fact about androids do we learn only at this point? Why has Dick postponed giving us this information? Chapter 18 What effect does the revelation about Mercer have on the novel?
Why does Pris look so much like Rachael? Copyright Paul Brians SF need not involve technological innovation: it has been a long-standing principle that social change can provide the basis for SF just as well as technical change. It is also the product of debates within the feminist movement in the 70s and early 80s. Atwood has been very much a part of that movement, but she has never been a mere mouthpiece for any group, always insisting on her individual perspectives. Dystopias are a kind of thought experiment which isolates certain social trends and exaggerates them to make clear their most negative qualities.
They are rarely intended as realistic predictions of a probable future, and it is pointless to criticize them on the grounds of implausibility. Atwood here examines some of the traditional attitudes that are embedded in the thinking of the religious right and which she finds particularly threatening. But another social controversy also underlies this novel. During the early 80s a debate raged and continues to rage, on a lower level about feminist attitudes toward sexuality and pornography in particular.
Outspoken feminists have taken all kinds of positions: that all erotica depicting women as sexual objects is demeaning, that pornography was bad though erotica can be good, that although most pornography is demeaning the protection of civil liberties is a greater good which requires the toleration of freedom for pornographers, however distasteful, even that such a thing as feminist pornography can and should be created. The sub-theme of this tangled debate which seems to have particularly interested and alarmed Atwood is the tendency of some feminist anti-porn groups to ally themselves with religious anti-porn zealots who oppose the feminists on almost every other issue.
Contemporary Islamic women sometimes argue that assuming the veil and traditional all-enveloping clothing is aimed at dealing with sexual harassment and sexual objectification. The language is feminist, but the result can be deeply patriarchal, as in this novel. Without some sense of the varying agendas of midth-century feminists and the debates among those agendas this novel will not make much sense. Women who participated in the movement from the late sixties and early seventies responded to this novel strongly, often finding it extremely alarming.
Younger women lacking the same background often found it baffling. Humor is in short supply in this novel, but it is a satire nonetheless. Her jokes are dark and bitter, but they are pervasive. There are numerous biblical references in the following notes. You should provide yourself with a Bible, preferably a King James Version, which is what Atwood uses most of the time. Or use a great searchable Web Bible. Genesis is one of several passages that make clear that in patriarchal Hebrew times it was perfectly legitimate for a man to have sex and even beget children by his servants slaves , particularly if his wife was infertile.
It is unknown how widespread was the custom described here, of having the infertile wife embrace the fertile maidservant as she gave birth to symbolize that the baby is legally hers. Atwood extrapolates outrageously from this point, as is typical of dystopian writers: it is highly unlikely that the puritanical religious right would ever adopt the sexual practices depicted in this novel; but she is trying to argue that patriarchal traditions which value women only as fertility objects can be as demeaning as modern customs which value them as sex objects.
She makes clear that this is a reductio ad absurdum, a theoretical exercise designed to stimulate thought about social issues rather than a realistic portrait of a probable future by comparing herself to Jonathan Swift, who in A Modest Proposal highlighted the hard-heartedness of the English in allowing the Irish masses to starve by satirically proposing that they should be encouraged to eat their own children.
It is not so obvious what the application of the third epigraph is to this novel. It seems to say that no one needs to forbid what is undesirable. Can you interpret it any further? Read the first sentence. What can you tell about the period just from this sentence? People generally sleep in gymnasiums only in emergencies, after disasters. Some major change has taken place, probably not for the good. Sometimes the scraping process was not complete enough to obliterate all traces of the original text, which could be read faintly underneath the new one.
What is suggested by the fact that the immediate supervisors of the girls are women but these women are not allowed guns? The setting has shifted. It is now much later. How does the narrator pun on it? In the gospels, Martha was one of two sisters. She devoted herself to housework while her sister Mary sat and listened to Jesus. The irony here is that Jesus praised Mary, not Martha; but the new patriarchy has chosen Martha as the ideal. What evidence is there on the second page of this chapter that the revolution which inaugurated this bizarre society is relatively recent?
What evidence to reinforce that idea was presented in the opening chapter? The automobile names are all biblical. How are we informed that this society is under attack? It is mentioned many other times in the Bible as one of the twelve traditional divisions of the land of the Hebrews. Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
One can imagine a fundamentalist group calling itself Gilead because of these associations; but the original context in Jeremiah the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians causes considerable irony. Baptists have a long-standing tradition of local control and individualism. Can you guess at the function of the black-painted vans? What power does Offred have over men, powerless as she is? How traditional is this kind of power? Has the elimination of pornography stopped women from being regarded as sex objects?
Why is it ominous that the number of widows has diminished? What is its essential rationale? How are the Japanese women different from the women of Gilead? Is Atwood idealizing them? What do you think the point of the contrast is? What is the function of the Wall? Why have the doctors been executed? The rule that the evidence of one single woman is not adequate is based on Islamic tradition.
Be careful not to leap to the conclusion that Atwood is mocking the concept of date rape; her attitude is far more complex than that. But why is this reference especially appropriate to the present context? What relevance does this memory have to her present situation? The next passage is too fragmented to make much sense now, though more context will be provided later. What can you guess about its meaning now?
Stories are rarely told in the present tense, as this one is. If a narrator speaks in the past tense, we can be fairly confident that she knows the end of her own story, and that she has survived to tell it. How about women? The Shape of Things to Come is the title of one of H. What feelings does she have as she looks back on the early days of her affair with Luke? Nolite te bastardes carborundorum will be explained in Chapter Note that a posting lasts two years. This will be important later. Why are the words to the hymn Amazing Grace now considered subversive?
What sorts of memories does she keep returning to in this chapter? Deuteronomy requires that for a couple to be stoned to death on account of adultery there has to be two witnesses to the act. For Paul on hair, see 1 Corinthians The old sexist society was said to reduce women to mere physical objects. Has this changed? If Offred was parted from her daughter when she was five and she is eight now, the separation must have happened three years ago. Since at eighteen months the pattern of change was not clear to Offred, the revolution which established Gilead must have been quite recent.
It is difficult to believe that such a thorough transformation of society in such a short time, but it is important to remember that this is not a realistic novel, but a satirical dystopia. She is remembering scenes from the end of World War II, in which women who dated the Nazi occupiers had their heads shaved in public. What do you think about her comments on boredom as erotic?
Offred lets herself go back in time to when she was in training with Moira. Does anyone blame women for being raped today? What do her dreams about her husband and daughter have in common? The mention of a Montreal satellite station reminds us that Atwood is a Canadian, but Montreal is evidently outside of the territory controlled by Gilead. What other locales seem to be on the edge of Gilead?
You should be able to gradually construct a rough map of its territory. Why are we never told her real name? Why was the family warned not to look too happy when they are trying to escape Gilead? Why is the Bible kept locked up? In what era were Bibles routinely sequestered from the general population? Note the series of unflattering phallic images Offred runs over. When we return to the scene in the sitting room, the Commander has just read Genesis The scene ends with Second Chronicles Why is this verse chosen as the ritual ending of all Bible readings?
In thinking about the missing cushions, Offred is referring to 1 Corinthians What are the odds that any baby will be seriously deformed? What has caused this situation? The name of Jezebel, the wicked wife of King Ahab, is sometimes used as a label for any shamelessly wicked woman see 1 Kings The film shown the women about the former way of giving birth follows the same pattern as other themes in this novel: ambivalence about feminist reforms.
Tropes Crossing: On Some Québec SF Writers from the Mainstream
Some women have argued strongly for natural childbirth, but others see this as a step backward. And many positions in between are advocated. Atwood points out that it was modern medicine that first made pain relief possible during childbirth, though it was at first denounced by preachers who cited the passage quoted at the end of this paragraph, from Genesis Anesthetics used during childbirth can be harmful to the infant, but they can also be very beneficial for the mother. Reality is more complex, she seems to be saying. Birthing stools were once in widespread use and have been reintroduced by women who argue that giving birth in a sitting position is both more natural and more comfortable.
It has been slightly but significantly altered. How valid is the use of sadistic porn films by the Aunts to argue against the old society? What do you think her attitude toward them is? What are the main tensions between Offred and her mother? These distinctions are part of the crux of the novel, which is about a society which reacted to the older feminists by repression and which the younger women did not sufficiently combat. Why did she rebel against her mother as a young woman?
How does she feel about her mother now? How does Offred try to defend herself against her terror when she first enters the study? Playing scrabble seems like an absurdly trivial form of transgression; why is it significant in this setting? Why does she lie about her reaction when the Commander asks her to ki ss him? What do you think of this idea? In ancient medicine, hysteria was a disease of women, caused by unnatural movements of the womb.
How does Offred describe the sound of her beating heart? What do these occasional dark comments tell us about the state of her mind underneath her usual bitterly sarcastic narrative? What does she say these magazines offered? How do the pictures of the women impress her? How have his feelings changed toward her? Loaves and Fishes refers to a miracle story told in the Gospels see the account in Mark Note how the memory of the ice cream store leads Offred to thoughts of her daughter.
See a Problem?
The Soul Scroll machines are most obviously like Tibetan prayer wheels, which are turned to activate the prayers inside them; but they are also reminiscent to the old Catholic practice of paying priests to say prayers for the repose of the dead. What do Ofglen and Offred see immediately after they have revealed their true views to each other?
Why would a totalitarian dictatorship prefer computer banking to paper money? Note the statement by the newsstand clerk that sex-oriented enterprises can never be gotten rid of entirely. She turns out to be right later. The law prohibiting the ownership of property by women reinstates the law as it stood in the 19th century and earlier. Many of the extreme aspects of Giladean culture have actually existed in the past.
Her opponents in the abortion demonstrations must have been her allies in the anti-porn demonstrations. Why did Offred find her mother embarrassing when she was an adolescent? How has her attitude changed now? Why was Offred afraid to ask Luke how he really felt about her losing her job? There is a traditional Jewish prayer for men which thanks God for not having made them women. This prayer is satirized and parodied in this chapter. What has changed about the holidays the Fourth of July and Labor Day? Why would Offred like to be able to have a fight with Luke?
Taliths are the prayer shawls worn by Jews. Arranged marriages seem hopelessly exotic to many Americans, but in Western civilization they were the rule rather than the exception until a couple of centuries ago. Evaluate and respond to the arguments that the Commander at the Prayvaganza makes against the old dating and marriage system. What kind of work do the women in the Colonies do?
How does Nick reassure Offred when the black van comes? This is the real end of the story, of course, told as a parody of a scholarly symposium. Note the date, two centuries from now. The jarring shift to pretentious scholarly jargon, while amusing to scholars, may be off-putting for most readers; but Atwood is trying to avoid fatalism and sensationalism at the same time.
She is also parodying the ponderous, self-conscious attempts of scholars to be humorous. In fact, the Northwest Territories through referendum already held will be divided into two massive land areas known as Denendeh and Nunavut. Anthropology has traditionally been carried out by whites on minorities. Here an evidently Native American scholar has as her specialty studying whites, a deliberately ironic twist.
Other names suggest that this conference is in fact dominated by Native Americans. Scholars tend to read what they already know into what they are less familiar with. Certainly plenty of scholars have analyzed Krishna as a Christ figure. The Iranian example is one of the main inspirations of this novel. Anthropologists are famous for their refusal to judge the societies they study. How do you feel about it? Atwood takes the opportunity to point to current tendencies which could lead in the direction depicted in the novel.
Note the Canadian references in this section. But for us, the identification is irrelevant, it is the knowledge that Offred survived and the rebellion eventually triumphed that matters. The final call for questions is traditional, of course, but also serves here as an invitation to further discussion of the issues Atwood has raised. Marleen S. Lanham, Md. When Neuromancer by William Gibson was first published it created a sensation.
Or perhaps it would be more precise to say that it was used to create a sensation, for Bruce Sterling and other Gibson associates declared that a new kind of science fiction had appeared which rendered merely ordinary SF obsolete. Informed by the amoral urban rage of the punk subculture and depicting the developing human-machine interface created by the widespread use of computers and computer networks, set in the near future in decayed city landscapes like those portrayed in the film Blade Runner it claimed to be the voice of a new generation.
Interestingly, Gibson himself has said he had finished much of what was to be his body of early cyberpunk fiction before ever seeing Blade Runner. Of course by the time symposia were being held on the subject, writers declared cyberpunk dead, yet the stuff kept being published and it continues to be published today by writers like K.
Jeter and Rudy Rucker Perhaps the best and most representative anthology of cyberpunk writers is Mirrorshades. One of the main sources of its vision was William S. Ballard, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, or Samuel R. Real punks did little reading, and the vast majority of young SF readers preferred to stick with traditional storytellers such as Larry Niven, Anne McCaffrey and even Robert Heinlein.
Heavy Metal comics and Max Headroom brought more of the cyberpunk vision to a young audience than did the fiction. Yet Neuromancer is historically significant. Most critics agree that it was not only the first cyberpunk novel, it was and remains the best. If his plots and characters are shallow and trite, that mattered little, for it is not the tale but the manner of its telling that stands out.
His terminology continues to pop up here and there. Whereas an earlier generation borrowed names from its favorite author, J. Gibson produced his vision in a time when many people were becoming haunted by the idea of urban decay, crime rampant, corruption everywhere. The fiction may not be widely read, but through movies and comics it has created one of the defining mythologies of our time. In he returned to Cyberpunk with Virtual Light and in published another novel set in Japan, Idoru. In classic SF, a strongly independent individual often overcomes huge obstacles to solve problems affecting vast masses of people.
In what ways does Neuromancer depart from this pattern? In the eighties, the American image of Japan underwent a profound transformation. For generations it had been on the margins of our imagination: as the exotic land of cherry blossoms and geishas, later as the war machine sending out kamikaze bomber pilots in World War II, and later still as the source of every sort of cheap, shoddy, imitative gadget. All of these were shallow images, of course. Japan industrialized not long after northern Europe, and Western influences had been strong for centuries.
But the success of brands like Sony and Toyota changed everything. Japan suddenly became perceived as the cutting edge of modernity. Whereas the rest of the world had looked toward the U. Not that the new image was any more profound or less stereotyped, but it was certainly different. Chiba City in this novel has developed into a small section of the megapolis.
Today Japan has half the population of the U. Urban sprawl is a reality. The opening image of the book, comparing nature to technology, sets the tone of the narrative. His body—which he treats as almost an alien entity with which he is not friendly terms—is a kind of case for his mind and for the cyberspace with which it fuses, no more significant in itself than the case of a computer CPU. Why is it significant that Ratz is ugly? How is a cyberspace cowboy similar to a traditional cowboy?
Case is a classic illegal hacker; but his present dilemma is caused by a classic crime-novel situation, a crook attempting to skim the proceeds from organized crime. Presumably the Russians developed the mycotoxin fungal poison as a chemical warfare weapon. It has blocked his ability to experience cyberspace. Why has he come to Japan? What characteristics make Case an anti-hero? What does he do for a living? The possibility of an underground market for body parts has been around since organ transplants became commonplace and has often been treated in SF.
Repeated references to war in Europe suggest it has been devastated in the recent past, probably by nuclear weapons. Although the computer images in the novel have had more impact, the biological ones are almost as important.
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The Yakuza is the biggest Japanese organized crime syndicate, their Mafia. Hong Kong is famous for its tailors who can cut and deliver a custom-made suit in hours. Can you guess why the wearing of glasses would be an affectation rather than something normal in this society? The pioneering Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky specialized in shapeless blobs, lines, and smears in bright colors. More Kandinsky. What is it? A taser stuns its victims with an electrical shock, but is not meant to be lethal. In Japan gasps of pure oxygen could at one time be had from streetside vending machines.
What is Case trying to sell now? Why can Ratz crush a shatterproof plastic ashtray to shards in his hand? Such femme fatale assassins are a mainstay of modern futuristic fiction. What is her characteristic implant? Molly tells Case that his surgery is being paid for in software. Later we learn the horrifying truth. Note the mechanical crab in the courtyard.
Endorphins are natural chemicals which provide pleasurable feelings and suppress pain. Note that his surgery was carried out mostly without incisions. To what is the sex Case experiences with Molly compared? Note how Molly is presented as dominant, highly competent, and—most important—better informed than Case. Such women are very common in contemporary action fiction. Why do you think they are so popular with male readers? What is her job? What is Case trying to find out from Deane? Arpanet, the ancestor of the Internet was first constructed in an attempt to work around this problem. Screaming Fist was a turkey shoot because the Soviet military had been informed in advance that it was coming.
Zaibatsus are the giant Japanese corporations which traditionally employ their male workers for life. Why was killed? The New-York to Washington D. The silent train they rode on is a maglev magnetic levitation vehicle of the kind which has been tested in various places. A powerful electrical charge turns the rails into electromagnets which actually lift the train above them a fraction of an inch, reducing friction essentially to zero and allowing for great speed at a low expenditure of energy.
How has Armitage tried to guarantee that Case will not betray his employers? Krill is the tiny shrimp on which baleen whales live. The Japanese process it into various fish and meat imitations. It has been proposed as a source of protein for an over-populated world. New York is enclosed by a dome, but typically Gibson introduces this fact by observing its malfunctioning: a freak wind blowing a piece of newspaper along the street. The cerebral cortex is the most complex and vital part of the brain. The team is being slowly assembled. His nickname suggests death alluding to a flat line on an intensive-care room monitor because he experienced brain death three times.
We will learn more about the monstrous Peter Riviera later. A mandala is a complex Buddhist symbol, often in circular form. Here they are a metaphor for unreachable distant centers of power on Earth. What distinguishes simstim addicts from cyberspace explorers like Case? Tally Isham is a simstim star. The Hosaka computer can function somewhat like the computer on the Starship Enterprise: query it vocally and it will tell you what it knows.
The answer is given in multimedia form. What does it mean that people are now having epicanthic folds surgically created? Rambali alludes to the fact that terrorists depend on the news media to publicize their causes, but the media concentrate so exclusively on their acts of terror that the message they are trying to convey is usually suppressed.
How have the Panther Moderns short-circuited this process? Why do you think Gibson chose Atlanta as media headquarters? Strobe lights are known to induce seizures in certain people when pulsed at precisely the right frequency. Computer viruses are written mostly to do simple kinds of mischief today; but in the novel viruses are tools which can penetrate secure computers, retrieve information, and cover their traces.
How did Molly break her leg? How does Case fool the security system into letting Molly take the construct? Note how Linda Lee continues to haunt him. Debates rage about whether such a construct would possess consciousness, but research goes on toward developing AI. Molly and Case are both bent on learning who Armitage is working for. The tip that Wintermute is involved leads them to its parent corporation: Tessier-Ashpool S. Cyberpunk seldom depicts travel to other worlds, but takes high-orbit space colonies for granted.
An archipelago is usually a group of islands. What is the meaning of the term here? How was he used by the military? Why does the Mercedes talk to its passengers as it takes them into Istanbul What is the significance of the existence of letter-writers? How many different kinds of mutual distrust can you find in this chapter among the various characters? Riviera has had an implant which allows him to project onto the retinas of his victims whatever he chooses—far-fetched, but not so unscientific as mental telepathy. What is significant about the horse that they see?
How does Riviera deceive Case while Terzibashjian captures him? A seraglio is a harem. How do we learn that Germany was hit with at least one nuclear weapon during the war? What does the last line of this chapter signify? The scene now shifts from Istanbul to Paris. What subliminal image does Riviera project to Case to symbolize his opinion of Molly?
It was inspired in part by the movement founded during the early s by Marcus Garvey, who advocated a return of blacks to Africa. Rastas refer to White civilization, and the U. The rasta dialect is used by the characters in this chapter. Without rotation, an orbiting space station is in free-fall, and this creates an apparently weightless environment familiar from televised orbital missions.
However, if such a station is spun around a central axis, centrifugal force pushes everything toward the rim. The closer to the rim one is, the stronger the apparent gravity is; whereas at the center of rotation, freefall weightlessness prevails. Note the various visual games Riviera continues to play. What reveals that Dixie Flatline is in fact bothered by knowing that he is dead?
Who has persuaded the rastas to cooperate with the team, and how? Gibson has no hesitation about using rather dated slang in his narrative mixed with futuristic locutions. Where is he really? What does Wintermute reveal to Case about its true nature? The description of the plants tumbling over the balconies of Freeside strongly suggests traditional images of the Hanging Garden of Babylon. The blue sky overhead is artificial, a recording made in the French sea resort of Cannes.
Why does the pseudo-death of Deane haunt Case so much? How does Case react to trees and grass? What bizarre style does he encounter worn by three Japanese wives? What does Case learn about Linda from Wintermute in this chapter? Wintermute seems to be behaving like an old-fashioned melodrama villain: manipulating the protagonist by endangering the woman he cares about. Snuff films have a long-standing status as an urban legend—nobody has ever found an authentic commercial example—but they are commonly cited as the quintessence of pornography.
Why did she kill the Senator? This story makes clear what Molly has to gain by remaining an outlaw. Origami traditional Japanese paper-folding cranes have come to be symbols of peace because of their association with the anti-nuclear bomb campaigns in Japan. What do they have in common? Cath had hoped to seduce Case with this drug. What goes wrong with her plan? Case learns for the first time what his real mission is, from the police. Since both the pilot of the biplane and the gardening robot have struck, to whom is Case speaking in the last lines of this chapter?
When Case loads the Chinese icebreaker software, Dixie Flatline observes from outside it that it appears invisible—reassuring for the team.