Alien Theory: The Alien as Archetype in the Science Fiction Short Story (Paperback)
  • Alien Theory: The Alien as Archetype in the Science Fiction Short Story (Paperback)
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Alien Theory: The Alien as Archetype in the Science Fiction Short Story (Paperback)

(author)
£52.95
Paperback 424 Pages / Published: 15/06/2006
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From the early days of pulp magazines to contemporary works of science fiction, the subject of the alien has been a fertile and enduring-if not also the most vital-element of the genre. In Alien Theory, author Patricia Monk asserts that the creation of the alien in short fiction contributes substantially to humanity's understanding of its present status and future potential in the universe. By employing a Jungian and archetypal approach to these stories, Monk attempts to direct the attention of readers to the significance of the vast body of imaginative fiction about the alien, arguing that studying the alien will reveal why this archetype is necessary in the development of humanity's understanding of its own intrinsic nature as a sapient being. When a science fiction writer writes about aliens, Monk asserts, he or she is saying something that can-and should-be taken seriously by readers. Furthermore, it is being expressed in a particular story-telling mode that deserves to be treated with respect. By discussing the creation of the form of the science-fictional alien, its psyche and the context in which aliens and humans interact, Monk brings into focus a topic that has not been given the rightful discussion it deserves. In addition to examining the alien in the science fiction short story, novella, and novelette, Monk evaluates its role in pre-postmodernist and postmodernist criticism and theory. The author also draws on relevant writings by editors, writers, and fans-including editorial letter columns and reviews-to place the stories in the context of science fiction. By drawing on all of these sources, Alien Theory brings into focus a topic that will be of interest not only to academics and students, but also to the general reader.

Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 9780810857469
Number of pages: 424
Weight: 617 g
Dimensions: 229 x 169 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Monk, a former professor of English at Dalhousie U. in Nova Scotia, examines instances of aliens (often not studied seriously) in short stories, novellas, and novelettes and what they convey about human existence. Viewing the alien as an archetype, she focuses on hard science fiction from 1900 to the present that was published in magazines, anthologies, and single-author collections. She provides an overview of the concept of the Other in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, and describes conceptions of the alien in pre- postmodernist and postmodernist criticism and theory, creation of the alien and its context, and how it is used as a fictional character alongside human characters. The book is aimed at academics, students, and general readers. * Reference and Research Book News, November2006 *
Those who feel the need for a volume that provides full and engaging information on the microcosm of the alien in short works of science fiction will find this book the perfect resource. * CHOICE, March 2007 *
Patricia Monk's wide-ranging, intelligent, well-documented, and interesting study readily serves as an exemplary bit of scholarship and literary criticism in handling a very large and extensive sf topic. * Science Fiction Research Association Review *
The book is unique and useful in referring to science and how-to-write essays and fan letters as well as fiction....I would strongly recommend the book for any teacher or student desiring a thorough examination of aliens. Patricia Monk shows that the stories science fiction tells about aliens can add to our understanding of ourselves and of each other. * The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts *
The 47-page bibliography is an accurate index of the vast range of materials on which Patricia Monk has drawn, and her frequent references to discussions of aliens in sf magazine articles and letters to the editor are particularly valuable....All in all, Alien Theory is a major study that will prove a useful point of departure for future studies. -- Patrick A. McCarthy, University of Miami * Science Fiction Studies *

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