Speculative Literature: Science Fiction

Class by Class Outline

I           Class Day One

A         Introduction to the Class

1.      presentation of the syllabus

2.      reading list discussion

3.      MITSFS (MIT Science Fiction Society)

B         The Fields of Science Fiction

1.      adventure

2.      histories

3.      minorities

4.      socio-political/commentary

II         Class Day Two

A         Robert Heinlein

B         Other Juveniles

1.      Nowlan

2.      Anderson

3.      Tom Swifties

III        Class Day Three – Future Histories

A         The Past Through Tomorrow

1.      short stories

2.      novels

B         Known Space

1.      short stories

2.      novels

C         Foundation Trilogy: Presentation of a culture

D         Cities in Flight

1.      as a story

2.      as a logue

IV        Class Day Four

A         Minorities as an Oppressed People

1.      Slan

2.      Anne McCaffrey

3.      Methusalah’s Children

4.      Norstrilla

B         Minorities as a Ruling Elite

1.      Foundation Trilogy

2.      Telepath (The Whole Man)

3.      Rite of Passage

V         Class Day Five

A         The Changing Society

1.      John Brunner

2.      Robert Heinlein

3.      Clifford Simak

a.       A Choice of Gods

b.      City

B         The Stagnant Society

1.      Arthur C. Clarke

a.       The City and the Stars

b.      Imperial Earth

2.      The Dispossessed

VI        Class Day Six

A         Religion as a Positive Force

1.      Lord of Light

2.      Stranger in a Strange Land

B         Religion as a Destructive Force

VII      Class Day Seven

A         Technology the Destroyer

1.      Shockwave Rider

2.      Rite of Passage

B         Technology the Creator

1.      The Long Result

2.      When Harlie was One

VIII     Class Day Eight

A         Man

1.      as a machine

2.      as an animal

3.      as ‘something else”

4.      as a divine inspiration

B         Machine

1.      as a sentient

2.      as a tool

3.      as a god

IX        Class Day Nine – No Class Today (Beyond IQ)

X         Class Day Ten

A         The Year 2000/2100

B         The Media – in and out of Science Fiction

C         Fandom

D         The Web




Reading List