Science Fiction in Literature and Film

This course will trace the development of science fiction (SF) in literature and film, providing an insight into the conventions of the genre and, in particular, how the key themes of the science fiction genre have been successfully adapted for the screen. Texts have been chosen from a range of historical periods to enable a consideration of the cultural and historical contexts in which key science fiction texts were produced, and how this effects their development. The course will analyse in detail the formal and generic characteristics of the science fiction novel, and will provide an introduction to the visual aspects of the science fiction film. The course will integrate themes such as encounters with the alien or other (War of the Worlds, 2001, Monsters), the imagination of dystopia (The Dispossessed, Code 46, Moxyland), the future of humanity (Mad Max 2, 2001, Code 46) and questions of human subjectivity, transcendence, love and loss. The module will also constitute an ongoing investigation of the relationship between science fiction film and ‘literary’ SF texts, considering both how the genre is represented through the cinematic form and what happens in terms of narrative structure, plot and characterisation when presented in an audiovisual format.