SF in Dimension



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by Alexei and Cory Panshin

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More by Alexei and Cory Panshin

Heinlein in Dimension

SF in Dimension

This collection of essays displays the talent and insight that make the Panshins the obvious and worthy successors to Damon Knight and James Blish in the field of science fiction and fantasy criticism. The Panshins document the evolution of a new and fruitful paradigm and offer a challenge to all conventional opinion about science fiction. They demonstrate that the conception of science fiction as fiction about science was fatally compromised from the outset. They trace the continuity of science fiction with man's most ancient and meaningful stories, the great fantasy of the past, and find this continuity in symbols of transcendent mystery.

Nearly half of this book is devoted to studying the works of Robert Heinlein, extending and reconsidering the analysis begun in Heinlein in Dimension, and concluding with a long discussion of The Number of the Beast.

The Panshin team applies theories of human psychological development to show the deeper meanings of the stories of Heinlein and other authors. They say: "In the mirror of a science fiction story may be seen a reflection of the author. In the mirror of science fiction stories may be seen a reflection of an era. And in our reading of science fiction—the stories we choose and what we make of them—may be seen a reflection of ourselves. We read science fiction to know ourselves better."

Contents

Preface: SF in Dimension
Part 1: The Nature of SF
The Magic of Their Singing
The Elizabethan Theatre in 1590
The Short History of Science Fiction
Searching for the Heartland
The World Beyond the Hill
Part 2: SF in the Seventies
Fragmentation
Science Fiction: New Trends and Old
The Special Nature of Fantasy
Reflections and Commentaries
Heinlein Reread
Reading Heinlein Subjectively
Time Enough for Love
"Found in Space," by R. Monroe Weems
Part 4: The Renewal of SF
Retrospection
Fiction and Human Development
The Unicorn and the Mirror
Farwell to Yesterday's Tomorrow
Intuition and Mystery
A New Worldview
Part 5: A Season of Change
The Past and the Future of SF
The End of the Ghetto?

Dealing with Higher Realities
The Death of Science Fiction: A Dream
References


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