Scotland as Science Fiction

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Bucknell University Press, Oct 26, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 208 pages
Out of the mainstream but ahead of the tide, that is Scottish Science Fiction. Science Fiction emphasizes “progress” through technology, advanced mental states, or future times. How does Scotland, often considered a land of the past, lead in Science Fiction? “Left behind” by international politics, Scots have cultivated alternate places and different times as sites of identity so that Scotland can seem a futuristic fiction itself.

This book explores the tensions between science and a particular society that produce an innovative science fiction. Essays consider Scottish thermodynamics, Celtic myth, the rigors of religious “conversion,” Scotland’s fractured politics yet civil society, its languages of alterity (Scots, Gaelic, allegory, poetry), and the lure of the future. From Peter Pan and Dr. Jekyll to the poetry of Edwin Morgan and the worlds of Muriel Spark, Ken Macleod, or Iain M. Banks, Scotland’s creative complex yields a literature that models the future for Science Fiction.

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Energy Transformation in MacDonald Stevenson Barrie and Spark
Didactic Fantasy from MacDonald and Lindsay to J Leslie Mitchell
Grays Lanark and Lindsays A Voyage to Arcturus
Stands Scotland Where it Did? in the Culture of Iain M Banks
Ken MacLeods Engines of Light
The Cosmic CosmoPolis in Naomi Mitchisons Science Fiction Novels
Margaret Elphinstones The Incomer and A Sparrows Flight
Matthew Fitt and Iain M Banks
Geddes MacDiarmid and Morgans A Home in Space
Science Fiction without Stereotypes in Fitt and Crumey
Alba Newton and Alasdair Gray
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About the author (2011)

Caroline McCracken-Flesher is professor of English at the University of Wyoming. Her recent publications include Possible Scotlands: Walter Scott and the Story of Tomorrow (2005), The Doctor Dissected: A Cultural Autopsy of the Burke and Hare Murders (2011), and the edited Bucknell volume, Culture, Nation, and the New Scottish Parliament (2007).

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