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Solar Flares:  Science Fiction in the 1970s

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Solar Flares: Science Fiction in the 1970s

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Author: Andrew M. Butler
Publisher: Liverpool University Press, 2014
Series: Liverpool SF Studies: Book 43
Book Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Science-Fiction
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Synopsis

Science fiction produced in the 1970s has long been undervalued, dismissed by Bruce Sterling as "confused, self-involved, and stale". The New Wave was all but over and Cyberpunk had yet to arrive. The decade polarised sf - on the one hand it aspired to be a serious form, addressing issues such as race, Vietnam, feminism, ecology and sexuality, on the other hand it broke box office records with Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien and Superman: The Movie.

Beginning with chapters on the First sf and New Wave authors who published during the 1970s, Solar Flares examines the ways in which the genre confronted a new epoch and its own history, including the rise of fantasy, the sf blockbuster, children's sf, pseudoscience and postmodernism. It explores significant figures such as Joanna Russ, Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler. From Larry Niven's Ringworld to Thomas M. Disch's On Wings of Song, from The Andromeda Strain to Flash Gordon and from Doctor Who to Buck Rogers, this book reclaims seventies sf writing, film and television - alongside music and architecture - as a crucial period in the history of science fiction.


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