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Shadows of the Future:  H. G. Wells, Science Fiction and Prophecy

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Shadows of the Future: H. G. Wells, Science Fiction and Prophecy

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Author: Patrick Parrinder
Publisher: Liverpool University Press, 1995
Series: Liverpool SF Studies: Book 6

1. Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future
2. Anticipations
3. Utopian and Science Fiction by Women
4. The Detached Retina
5. Charlotte Perkins Gilman
6. Shadows of the Future
7. Tales of the Next Great War, 1871-1914
9. Female Rule in Chinese and English Literary Utopias
10. Look at the Evidence
11. The Angle Between Two Walls
12. The Great War with Germany, 1890-1914
13. View From Another Shore
14. Very Different Story
15. The Mechanics of Wonder
16. Deconstructing the Starships
17. Learning from Other Worlds
18. Demand My Writing
19. Narrating Utopia
20. Jules Verne
21. Speaking Science Fiction
22. Alien Plots
23. Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction
24. The Time Machines
25. Communities of the Heart
26. Philip K Dick
27. A Dreamer and a Visionary
28. Rumors of War and Infernal Machines
29. Attending Daedalus
30. Transformations
31. The Country You Have Never Seen
32. Visions and Revisions
33. Shadows of the New Sun
34. Gateways To Forever
35. Science Fiction and Empire
36. H. G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies
37. Queer Universes
38. Plan for Chaos
39. Animal Alterity
40. Race, Ethnicity and Nuclear War
41. Gothic Science Fiction
42. Future Wars
43. Solar Flares
44. Locating Science Fiction
45. Singularities
46. Stanislaw Lem
47. The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film
48. Irish Science Fiction
49. Lemography
50. Surrealism, Science Fiction and Comics
51. Stanislaw Lem
52. Science Fiction Double Feature
53. Science Fiction Rebels
54. Hard Reading
55. Terraforming
56. Biopunk Dystopias
57. Excavating the Future
58. Sport and Monstrosity in Science Fiction
59. Sideways in Time
60. Dread Trident
61. Final Frontiers
62. Science Fiction and Psychology
63. Science Fiction and Climate Change
64. Biology and Manners
66. Futuristic Cars and Space Bicycles
67. Fighting for the Future

Book Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Science-Fiction
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Synopsis

H. G. Wells - inventor of the concept of the time machine and the phrase "the shape of things to come" - described his life's work as one of critical anticipation. This book unravels the complex layers of meaning in "The Time Machine", and shows how, throughout his life, he sought to exploit the potential of literary and cultural prophecy in new ways.

Described by John Middleton Murry as "the last prophet of bourgeois Europe", he was its first futurologist. In "Shadows of the Future", Wells's assumption of the prophet's role is related to his championing of the modern scientific outlook, and to the theory and practice of science fiction and utopian literature. Parrinder explores the connections between novelty and repetition, between imagining the future and imagining the past, and between prophecy and parody as literary modes. Wells's science fiction is reexamined both as a projection of the cosmology implicit in the writings of Darwin and Huxley, and as a new variation on the Romantic and Enlightenment themes of such earlier authors as Blake, Gibbon and Mary Shelley. Later chapters relate Wells's fiction to his nonfiction and look at the uneasy relationship of his utopianism to literary prophecy, and at the paradoxes inherent in the militant internationalism of the "prophet at large". Finally, Well's influence is traced in a study of the antiutopian fictions in Zamayatin and Orwell, and in a broad account of the connections between science fiction and the scientific outlook down to our time.


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