How Far Science Fiction Is Intrinsically Utopian? (2004)

* This is my course essay for Utopia Module of 2003/4 MA course in Science Fiction Studies in the University of Liverpool

Literary utopia is one of the forefathers of the genre of science fiction. Brian Aldiss calls these texts 'honourable ancestors'[1]; Edward James lists them along with 'future war stories' in the category of 'The Tale of the Future', one of the three predecessors help developing science fiction[2]; In Gary Westfahl's analysis of Gernsbackian generic models of science fiction, the model of utopia, which is built by Edward Bellamy (directly in his utopian work Looking Backward, 2000-1887 (1888)) and Jules Verne (indirectly but providing an expanding and improving vision of future world), is listed as well[3]. A most recent example is the 'Chronology' of The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (2003), Thomas More's Utopia (1516) and Francis Bacon's New Atlantis (1627) are the first two earliest titles shown in the list[4]. But as the decline, even the 'disappearance'[5] of utopian literature happened in the 20th century, the sf genre has been gradually rising up at the same time. Since these two genres are so strongly connected, it might raise the readers' curiosity that how many intrinsic qualities of utopia there are in science fiction.

To find the answer to this question, we can firstly seek for the theoretical analyses of both genres. Glenn Negley and Max Patrick define utopia from the viewpoint of state politics, and point out three attributes of utopia: (1) it is fictional; (2) it describes a particular state or community; (3) its theme is the political structure of that fictional state or community.[6] This definition of utopia could apply to those texts dealing with political or ideological issues but not suitable for the whole sf genre. Raymond Williams classifies four kinds of texts as under the label of utopia according to the way the narrated utopia is established: (1) the paradise; (2) the externally altered world (by natural event); (3) the willed transformation (by human effort); (4) the technological transformation. Williams himself excludes the previous two types because such environments are built by supernatural or natural intervention.[7] We can see that what Williams's emphases in his categorisation, especially the fourth one, are adequate for science fiction as utopian literature. As for the definition of science fiction, here I adapt Hugo Gernsback's basic definition: 'a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision'[8]. It explains one of the common features in modern science fiction writing as well as gives the general audience an impression that 'works of science fiction are uniquely valuable not simply in predicting but in creating and shaping the future'[9]. Comparing the characteristics of both genres, we can find out that despite science fiction, at least those before the 1960s, may often lack the discussions of political or ideological issues, nor does it provide a grand but detailed image of a perfect (or worst) society, it still describes a futuristic vision which foretells to the reader what the life of mankind will be changed because of a certain advance in science or technology. From this point of view, science fiction can be regarded as utopian to an extent.

Here I take Gernsback's Ralph 124C 41+ (1911) for the example of early genre sf. In its original foreword, Gernsback writes:

This story which plays in the year 2660, … It is intended to give the reader as accurate a prophecy of the future as is consistent with the present marvelous growth of science. The author wishes to call especial attention to the fact that while there may be extremely strange and improbable devices and scenes in this narrative, they are not impossible, or outside of the reach of science.[10]
Here we can clearly see that Gernsback's opinion to his imagination of the year 2660 is not merely better than his contemporary but also could 'come true' because of the reach of science. This text perfectly fits Williams's 'technological transformation' as well as provides an anticipation of a bright future. There are a variety of inventions which improves the human life. One can obtain education during her sleep, travel from Brest to New York via underground tube, eat crops produced by accelerated growing farms, purchase goods with personal credit, and fly into the space. Even if she is near death in an emergency, her body can be preserved and later restored to life and seek for treatment. While the hero Ralph or the narrator explains a new invention, he is not only speaking to Alice or other people, but also all the readers of this story. When readers realise the merits science will bring in, they are more willing to support researches in science or technology in order to build such a utopian future. Thus the text also implicitly contains an urge to build an ideal society with high technologies.

Although not obvious, there are still some descriptions in this novel potential to form a political plotline. The hero Ralph, the most brilliant one among the ten greatest scientists in this world who are allowed to append the plus sign to their names, is just like a piece of public property:

He was but a tool, a tool to advance science, to benefit humanity. He belonged, not to himself, but to the Government – the Government, who fed and clothed him, and whose doctors guarded his health with every precaution. He had to pay the penalty of his +. To be sure, he had everything. He had but to ask and his wish was law – if it did not interfere with his work.[11]
This description implies that the society does not apply 'technocracy'; even though scientists can enjoy lots of special privileges, including using criminals under capital punishment in dangerous experiments, they are still under the rule of politicians. However, when Alice is kidnapped and Ralph wants to start an interstellar trace himself, he is still able to violate the order of the Planet Governor, performing a heroic deed. It could be interesting to see a conflict between a genius 'mad' scientist and the global hegemony, but nothing happens after Ralph back to Earth. From the law of prohibiting intermarriage of Terrestrials and Martians, and Fernand's description of the Martian Llysanorh in his letter, the reader can sense that there could be some discussions about racism developed in this utopian society, but Gernsback either ignore it or does not recognise it at all.

William Gibson's 'The Gernsback Continuum' (1981) is generally regarded as a negative reply to Gernsbackian technological utopia. At the beginning of the story, the narrator's description of the whole event: 'the whole thing is starting to fade, to become an episode. When I do still catch the odd glimpse, it's peripheral; …'[12] shows that the spectacular images appeared everywhere in all cities he visited are in fact shallow and hollow. However, this phenomenon, denominated as 'American Streamlined Moderne' or 'raygun Gothic'[13], becomes an artistic cultural movement worth chronicling in the history, and the narrator is hired to take pictures for a project titled 'The Airestream Futuropolis: The Tomorrow That Never Was'[14]. All these names are as flashing as the cityscapes designed by populists who obtain their ideas from covers of pulp sf magazines like Amazing Stories.

Why these designs are so popular? Just because the people who live in the cities want them: 'The designers were populists, you see; they were trying to give the public what it wanted. What the public wanted was the future'[15]. These citizens are 'Heirs to the Dream', who live in their own dream world, where 'we'd gone on and on, in a dream logic that knew nothing of pollution, the finite bounds of fossil fuel, or foreign wars it was possible to lose'[16]. All they care about are themselves, their happiness, maybe added on the haunt of 'semiotic phantoms', 'bits of deep cultural imagery that have split off and taken on a life of their own'[17]. The narrator considers this world, the American society of ''80-that-wasn't', is a near-dystopia, and it could be even worse due to being 'perfect'. Although the story leads to a dystopian conclusion, what interests me most is that it is the same William Gibson, the author of Neuromancer (1984), who writes this. The appearance of the world in the cyberpunk novel is as gorgeous as that in 'The Gernsback Continuum', but the characters, such as Case and Molly, not only survive but also enjoy such an environment, just like the people in the world of Fahrenheit 451 (1953) happily live in a society without books but pseudo-interactive television programmes. What is more, even the readers are attracted by this fantastic world; the reason could be as simple as 'it is really cool'. To them, the society of simulacra is undoubted utopia; they can imagine the feelings of 'Heirs to the Dream', revelling in the fancy world without caring about responsibilities or possible crises. Hence, it is confusing if we have to classify this story as either utopian or dystopian, due to the fact that even the author himself shows the ambiguity.

A more unambiguous example of the utopian sf writing concerning magnificent future city life is Robert Silverberg's 1985 novella 'Sailing to Byzantium', though it is better-known as a science fictional romance story and its reflection and interpretation to the poem with the same title composed by William Butler Yeats. In this version of 50th century, there are only five cities on Earth, but these five are the replicas of famous cities in the 'history'. Like exhibitions in the museum, the cities 'on display' are constantly changing; when a new city is re-constructed, one of the older five has to be torn down. The cities are maintained by dummy humanoids or androids called 'temporaries', and the genetic cloned citizens, can enjoy their eternal lives by travelling around like tourists, experiencing various living styles and different historical events in the cities. It does not matter whether these cities provide true depictions of their originals, for example, in the zoological garden of Alexandria:

Here were camels, rhinoceroses, gazelles, ostriches, lions, wild asses; and here too, casually adjacent to those familiar African beasts, were hippogriffs, unicorns, basilisks and fire-snorting dragons with rainbow scales. Had the original zoo of Alexandria had dragons and unicorns? Phillips doubted it. But this one did; evidently it was no harder for the backstage craftsmen to manufacture mythic beasts than it was for them to turn out camels and gazelles.[18]
Events are performed and re-performed in a similar way:

There was a constant round of court receptions, banquets, theatrical events, each one much like the one before. The festivals in honour of past emperors and empresses might have given some form to the year, but they seemed to occur in a random way, the ceremony marking the death of T'ai Tsung coming around twice the same year, so it seemed to him, once in a season of snow and again in high summer, and the one honouring the ascension of the Empress Wu being held twice in a single season. Perhaps he had misunderstood something. But he knew it was no use asking anyone.[19]
It might be wrong from a logical viewpoint, but to people in the 50th century, all the creatures are equally amazing, since they have lost so many real things, or we can say that everything is real to them, and they merely want to enjoy it. For this reason, a great emperor has to die twice or more per year, and nobody cares about him, who in fact only a worthless temporary. So this world is definitely a utopia of simulacra, a theme park never closes, and would periodically change its facilities for new and better amusement.

The protagonist Charles Phillips is a 1984 New Yorker who was 'abducted' into the 50th century as a 'visitor'. He falls in love with a female citizen named Gioia, a short-timer who cannot enjoy the never-ending life because of a genetic defect or some other unknown reason. She is always travelling cities after cities, seeking for new attractions, since her time is limited. After detecting some indications of becoming old, Gioia left Charles and avoided him from then on. At the first stage of his tracing after her, Charles is very angry at the world and the citizens and also seeks for a way to go back to the 20th century. Not only because he gets homesickness, but also he feels like a guinea pig with 'primitive emotions' which is put into simulated rebuilt cities in order to make more fun for the citizens.

And here I am, complicated, unpredictable, edgy, capable of anger, fear, sadness, love and all those other formerly extinct thing. Why settle for picturesque architecture when you can observe picturesque emotion, too? What fun I must be for all of you! And if you decide that I was really interesting, maybe you'll ship me back where I came from and check out a few other ancient types – a Roman gladiator, maybe, or a Renaissance pope, or even a Neanderthal or two ---[20]
This part of conversation is the largest conflict and the fiercest accuse of the utopia in the whole story, however, it does last even for five minutes. When Gioia's friend Belilala asks for his forgiveness, he retreats, owing to both her genuine care about him and his fear of them, of their 'brittleness, slyness, and elegance'[21]. Later in the ancient city Mohenjo-daro, he is capable of putting his feet in their shoes:

It is a miracle, he told himself, that this city is here in this place and at this time. And it is a miracle that I am here to see it. …, and he wished now that he had not spoken to her so sharply. The city was alive. Whether it was the actual Mohenjo-daro of thousands upon thousands of years ago, ripped from the past by some wondrous hook, or simply a cunning reproduction, did not matter at all. Real or not, this was the true Mohenjo-daro. It had been dead and now, for the moment, it was alive again. … Some day, when this dream had ended and his hosts had returned him to the world of subways and computers and income tax and television networks, he would think of Mohenjo-daro as he had once beheld it, lofty walls of tightly woven dark brick under a heavy sky, and he would remember only its beauty.
Charles surrenders himself to this utopia, only his memories about home support his will to go back. After he met two other 'visitors', especially the one from the 25th century, he was told that visitors are ingenious constructs more complicated than the cities and the temporaries, 'marvellously stuffed with the thoughts and attitudes and events of our own times'[22], therefore, strictly speaking, the person 'Charles Phillips' does not exist; he is merely an illusion with the personality of 'Charles Phillips'. However, his emotions are real, his feeling are real, and most of all, his love to Gioia is real, so of course, he 'exists' in this utopia, in the way the software exists in computers, and what is more, he also learns that he is immortal as citizens, thus makes Gioia left him. Hence Charles realises that there is no possibility and no need to 'go back'. He finds Gioia, persuades her to give up her 'real', ageing body, becoming a visitor to her own world.

In this novella, the only challenge to the simulacra utopia is the definition of existence. Charles and Gioia face it and decide to continue existing as 'minds' rather than die along with flawed bodies. In this case, the utopia triumphantly wins people's hearts, but there is still a hidden criticism of it. Since both protagonists experienced a limited life, they are closer to the 'ordinary people', i.e. more human, and they can comprehend the meaning of life better than others, so that they would treasure their immortality. Does this imply that utopia is more meaningful to those who have gone through an imperfect situation? On the other hand, there are more examples in science fiction genre that narrating people give up their utopian lives but desire for the defective humanity. In Cordwainer Smith's future history, after five thousand years of utopia governed by the Instrumentality, mankind starts a movement of 'Rediscovery of Man', 'reconstructing the old cultures, the old languages, and even the old troubles'[23] including vulnerable bodies, conflicts between the good and the bad, and chances to being hazards. A later instance is in Iain M. Banks's 'The State of the Art' (1989). A member of Culture named Linter decides to give up his life in the Culture and wants to live even 'die' on Earth. He demands the ship to modify his body in order to fit the Earth environment. Linter's confession can be the standard response to the question that why science fiction favours humanity over life in utopia:

It's alive. I'm alive. If I did die tomorrow it would have been worth it just for these last few months. I know I'm taking a risk in staying, but that's the whole point. I know I might feel lonely and afraid. I expect that's going to happen, now and again, but itlll be worth it. The loneliness will make the rest worth it. We expect everything to be set up just as we like it, but these people don't; they're used to having good and bad mixed in together. And that gives them an interest in living, it makes them appreciate opportunities … these people know what tragedy is, Sma. They live it. We're just an audience.[24]
What Linter wants is not just being an audience but participating in the live 'performance'. Both Silverberg and Banks use the adjective 'alive' to describe their ideal society; one is utopian, the other is imperfect human. Silverberg's cities are indeed alive, but they are simulacra located in a virtual reality, too perfect to have purposes. The Earth society mentioned in Banks's story is alive as well, but since it is our own flesh and blood, a world with good and bad and everything we can touch, it is approachable, and we can, even must do something to make it go on.

To some extent, science fiction is actually against traditional utopia. James Edward indicates two utopian attributes sf writers object to: (1) 'the idea of "perfection"'[25], which I have discussed in the previous section; (2) 'the feeling that the utopian writer is aiming for a largely static society'[26]. It is a belief among sf contributors 'to create a better world'[27]. First of all, this shows the determination that mankind must be in a constant progress. Second, it implies that to make a better world, one has to criticise the probable flaws in the society either in her contemporary or in the near future, and then try to find a method to solve them. If there are not any satisfactory solutions, there are still expectations of the possible future. This is what science fiction writers have done. And finally, since there is always a weakness in the world, and people are meant to be facing it, the society thus cannot turn to static or 'perfect', a status either is unpractical or could evolve to 'dystopias'. Mike Resnick's Kirinyaga (fixed up in 1998) provides an example of what a probable failure a static utopia based on belief and ideology can be.

The Kirinyaga stories are set in an outerspace colony with the same name for the Kikuyu tribe. It is an experiment of a perfect land for the people living strictly under the tribal tradition. In this world, Koriba, the mundumugu – the witch doctor – has the utmost authority. As a herbal practitioner, he cares about the health of tribal people; as a priest, he dispels curses, gives blesses, and interprets the oracle of his god Ngai; as a mentor, he gives advices to adults and teaches children with stories and fables; and, most important of all, he is also the defender of tradition, guarding the new utopia against outer interference, preventing the Kirinyaga society falling into another Kenya, the land where too many European influential factors had 'tainted'.

However, there are always crises. In the first story 'Kirinyaga' (1988), the Maintenance coming down to the tribe to interrogate Koriba, because he strangled a new born baby in the tribe. In Koriba’s point of view, the baby must die due to the fact that it was born with a terrible curse – it came out feet-first. The tradition must be obeyed, or 'the result is a mechanized, impoverished, overcrowded country that is no longer populated by Kikuyu, or Maasai, or Luo, or Wakamba, but by a new, artificial tribe known only as Kenyans'[28]. He uses a fable about hyenas to persuade the Maintenance investigator, and he succeeded in this round. But similar cases are destined to happen again. Koriba can only hope the new generation to fight against the civilised in order to secure the Utopia, and such an action could be violent:
Once before the Kikuyu have had to fight for their freedom. Under the leadership of Jomo Kenyatta, whose name has been forgotten by most of your parents, we took the terrible oath of Mau Mau, and we maimed and we killed and we committed such atrocities that finally we achieved Uhuru, for against such butchery civilized men have no defense but to depart.

…, for I will invoke not only the strength of Ngai but also the indomitable spirit of Jomo Kenyatta. I will administer a hideous oath and force you to do unspeakable things to prove your fealty, and I will teach each of you, in turn, how to administer the oath to those who come after you.
According to the later stories, all his efforts are futile. Not only because the gap in ideology is becoming wider and wider between Koriba's and that of the fellow folks (the reader can detect this difference between Koriba and Koinnage the chieftain even in the first story), but also due to the fact that this utopia is completely against nature in the very beginning. Kirinyaga is actually a terraformed colony whose environment can be tuned by orbital Maintenance. Both the chief and the mundumugu are able to use computers to contact with it. In such a situation, there is no possibility to get rid of outside interference, since it always exists. What is more, the population in this colony are utopians emigrated from the Earth. Even though they might have the same ideology to live in the way as their ancestors, they had been influenced by the civilisation, so that not everybody has as strong faith as Koriba does. Not to mention Koriba himself had obtained degrees from Cambridge and Yale; thus he knows more 'tricks' to deal with the Maintenance as well as manipulate his authority to rule over this promised land. As the time goes by, more and more people challenge the old customs and Koriba's authority, and finally he gives up, going back to his family. The utopian illusion breaks like bubbles.

After the appearances of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Galaxy, sf writings are more concerned about social issues besides the scientific and technological improvement. While Judith Merril redefined 'speculative fiction' in 1966, emphasising the 'sociological' qualities in science fiction, the 'better world' in sf could be more based on political and ideological hypotheses, i.e. more related to utopianism. There are also theories about the relationship between utopian literature and science fiction worth noting. The first is Tom Moylan's 'critical utopia'. In Moylan's thesis,
Science fiction demonstrates our incapacity to imagine the future and brings us down to earth to apprehend our present in all its limitations. Especially in the work of the 1960s that broke beyond the adventure narratives and clichéd stereotypes of 1920s and 1930s to experiment with more open narrative strategies while retaining the deeply socially critical concerns of the 1950s, a critique of the present was developed in a literary from that proved especially capable of resisting the affirmative culture of contemporary capitalism even as much of science fiction was reabsorbed into that consumer culture in print and, especially, in film.[30]
Therefore a new type of utopia – critical utopia – comes out. It firstly provides balanced and detailed presentation to both the utopian and the original yet-to-improved societies, and is more critical than traditional utopian works while depicting the 'utopian' worlds[31]. And he used four texts for support – Joanna Russ's The Female Man (written in 1968 but published in 1974), Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed (1974), Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) and Samuel R. Delany's Triton (1976) – all of which are important science fiction works as well[32].

Hoda M. Zaki offers a more practical method to examine the utopianism in science fiction texts. In her research, she distinguishes four attributes of utopian literature: (1) the critique of the reader's society; (2) the description of an ideal community; (3) the anticipations of the future; and (4) the attempts to establish ideal societies[33]. Zaki herself uses these four features to examine Nebula winning novels from 1965 to 1982, and finds out that all the novels in consideration (except Gene Wolfe's The Claw of the Conciliator (1982), which overlaps the fields of sf and fantasy so that is omitted, and Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and The Dispossessed, both are discussed in another chapter), though had better not be categorised as utopian literature, contains the first three attributes of the utopian thought[34]. As a matter of fact, these three features play an important role in speculative fictions, though the presentation varies in different texts.

Take Frederik Pohl's Gateway (1976) for example. The life on Earth is extremely bleak and desperate, the only hope is to win the lottery and become a 'prospector' in Gateway, an abandoned alien space base with nearly one thousand spaceships. After joining the Gateway Enterprise, there are more life-and-death gambles in one's fate. Since scientists cannot find out the method to pilot those ships, prospectors can only let their ship automatically fly to the unknown destination, and if they are fortunate enough, back to the station. But the soul of this novel is located in the short pieces of letters, computer programme codes, lecture transcripts, classifieds, notes of scientific knowledge and mission reports. Through these short takes, Pohl can make readers feel the atmosphere, get familiar with the life in Gateway, and understand his critique, anticipation, and even sarcasm without explicit accusations. Utopian or dystopian images are thus regenerated in science fiction.

As more sf writers contribute their efforts on world-building, science fiction is almost no longer the sort of literature of single ideas. Colourful characters, detailed descriptions, information dumps, twisted plotlines, rich the contents of the sf texts, making the imagined societies or anticipated futures more realistic and believable. And, of course there are more criticisms for all kinds of issues of nowadays hidden in them. We can combine two academic assertions together to conclude the relationship between science fiction and utopias: 'science fiction vitalizes the pre-science-fictional literary utopia by making the genre of utopia more concrete and novelistic, and therefore more critical in theoretical stance'[35], and what is more, 'utopia is not a genre but the socio-political subgenre of science fiction. Paradoxically, it can be seen as such only now that SF has expanded into its modern phase, "looking backward" from its englobing utopia'[36] (Suvin's italics).

[1] Aldiss, Brian and David Wingrove, Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction (London, House of Stratus, 2001), p. 54.
[2] See James, Edward, Science Fiction in the 20th Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 17-23.
[3] Westfahl, Gary, The Mechanics of Wonder: The Creation of the Idea of Science Fiction (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1998), p. 81.
[4] James, Edward and Farah Mendlesohn, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. xx-xxvii (p. xx).
[5] I borrow this term from Zaki, Hoda M., Phoenix Renewed: The Survival and Mutatation of Utopia Thought in North American Science Fiction, 1965-1982 (Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, Inc., 1988), p. 112.
[6] Cited from Moylan, Tom, Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination (London: Methuen, 1986), p. 32.
[7] Ibid., p. 32-33.
[8] Cited from Westfahl, op. cit., p. 38.
[9] Westfahl, op. cit., pp. 61-62.
[10] Gernsback, Hugo, 'Preface to the 1950 Edition', in Gernsback, Ralph 124C 41+: A Romance of the Year 2660 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), pp. xiii-xv (p. xv).
[11] Gernsback, Ralph 124C 41+: A Romance of the Year 2660, p. 35.
[12] Gibson, William, 'The Gernsback Continuum', in Gibson, Burning Chrome (London: HarperCollins, 1995), pp. 37-51 (p. 37).
[13] Ibid., p. 38.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid., p. 40.
[16] Ibid., p. 47.
[17] Ibid., p. 44.
[18] Silverberg, Robert, 'Sailing to Byzantium' in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (Jan 1985), my citation is from the electronic version purchased from Fictionwise Publications: http://www.fictionwise.com/, pp. 29-30.
[19] Ibid., pp. 61-62.
[20] Ibid., pp. 70-71.
[21] Ibid., p. 71.
[22] Ibid., p. 133.
[23] Smith, Cordwainer, 'Alpha Ralpha Boulevard' in James A. Mann ed., The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith (Framingham, MA: The NESFA Press, 1993), pp. 375-399 (p. 375).
[24] Banks, Iain M., 'The State of the Art', in Banks, The State of the Art (London: Orbit, 1993), pp. 99-205 (p. 136).
[25] James, Edward, 'Utopias and Anti-utopias' in The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, pp. 219-229 (p. 222).
[26] Ibid.
[27] Cited from Ibid.
[28] Resnick, Mike, 'Kirinyaga' in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (Nov 1988), my citation is from the electronic version purchased from Fictionwise Publications: http://www.fictionwise.com/, p. 29.
[29] Ibid., pp.56-57.
[30] Moylan, op. cit., p. 42.
[31] Ibid., p. 44.
[32] Ibid., p. 41.
[33] Zaki, op. cit., p. 112.
[34] See ibid., pp. 51-79.
[35] Freedman, Carl, Critical Theory and Science Fiction (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 2000), p. 85.
[36] Suvin, Darko, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979), p. 61.

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