Category Archives: Science Fiction

#9 – The Dystopia Classic

Dystopian fiction has become a popular subgenre of sci-fi in its own right, but the earliest dystopian novels shared some unique elements in common, inverting the standard tropes of the hero’s journey. In this episode, we explore what has made … Continue reading

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#8 – The Dawn of Cinema

At the same time science fiction came into its own as a genre, cinema was doing the same. Here, we see an overview of the most notable sci-fi films of the silent and pre-Code eras, and how they influenced the … Continue reading

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#7 – H. P. Lovecraft and Cosmic Horror

H. P. Lovecraft brought the Gothic horror of the previous century into the modern era with his new genre of cosmic horror, which placed humankind at the mercy of vast and inscrutable alien entities. Despite a tarnished legacy, he is … Continue reading

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#6 – Pulp Fiction

The hallmark of early science fiction was the pulp magazines, which continued the tradition of larger-than-life adventure stories. Despite the sometimes silly and over-the-top writing style, this was an important step in the development of the genre. Book recommendation: The … Continue reading

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#5 – H. G. Wells and the Dawn of Science Fiction

H. G. Wells was in many respects the first real science fiction author, where earlier writers wrote more or less in existing genres. This episode is an overview of his work and legacy. Excerpt on Wells’s Law. Book recommendation: The … Continue reading

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#4 – The Roots of Sci-Fi in Adventure

Jules Verne was perhaps the first author to systematically incorporate the latest science into his work, becoming one of the biggest minds behind the idea of science fiction. Yet his focus wasn’t so much on sci-fi as it was on … Continue reading

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I’m Starting a Podcast!

A long time ago–around the time I started this blog, actually–I decided I was going toread all the classic novels of science fiction. It was a long list, so it’s taken me eight years to get through it, but I’m … Continue reading

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Dystopia as an Inverted Hero’s Journey: Act III

Act II Generally, in the traditional hero’s journey, The Ultimate Boon (or its equivalent), will be the climax of the story. What’s left is simply the denouement, and it will be covered very quickly if it is written out at … Continue reading

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Dystopia as an Inverted Hero’s Journey: Act II

Act I — Act III The second act of the traditional hero’s journey is usually (though not always) the adventure proper, from the time the hero leaves the ordinary world to go on his quest, to his victory over the … Continue reading

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Dystopia as an Inverted Hero’s Journey: Act I

Introduction — Act II This is the second post in my series analyzing dystopian literature as an inversion of the famous hero’s journey. If you want to know more about what I’m talking about, look at the previous post, but … Continue reading

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