As a geometric term, parabola suggests a narrative trajectory or story arc. In science fiction, parabolas take us from the known to the unknown. More concrete than themes, more complex than motifs, parabolas are combinations of meaningful setting, character, and action that lend themselves to endless redefinition and jazzlike improvisation. The fourteen original essays in this collection explore how the field of science fiction has developed as a complex of repetitions, influences, arguments, and broad conversations. This particular feature of the genre has been the source of much critical commentary, most notably through growing interest in the "sf megatext," a continually expanding archive of shared images, situations, plots, characters, settings, and themes found in science fiction across media. Contributors include Jane Donawerth, Terry Dowling, L. Timmel Duchamp, Rachel Haywood Ferreira, Pawel Frelik, David M. Higgins, Amy J. Ransom, John Rieder, Nicholas Ruddick, Graham Sleight, Gary K. Wolfe, and Lisa Yaszek.
Publisher: University Press of New England
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 517 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
In this excellent collection of critical essays, Attebery and Hollinger have recruited a talented stable of known and emerging scholars to pursue implications of the parabola as a metaphor for science fiction. The resulting collection justly deserves the editors claim that the volume provides a significant addition to science fiction scholarship with implications that go well beyond the single genre through a detailed study of what is generally considered to be a key defining characteristic of the [SF] genre. Parabolas of Science Fiction rewards not only scholars of science fiction, but any scholar who is concerned with genre theory. Sarah Canfield Fuller, SFRA Review"
Parabolas of Science Fiction eschews formula, preferring instead to signpost routes through a territory for others to explore the linguistic and formal features and strategies that underpin the dialogical nature of sf. The metaphor of the parabola offers a convenient handle that encapsulates the idea of the borrowings conducted by sf, along with the parable-like connection of sf to the contemporary world. As such, it is a valuable consolidation of several orientations to sf, and perhaps other genre fictions. Chris Pak, Foundation"