This Is Not A Science Fiction Textbook

Mark Bould and Steven Shapiro


Page count:
Published on:

In the new millennium, science fiction has moved from the margins to the mainstream. At the same time, it has undergone massive transformations. No longer can it be derided as indigestible technobabble or escapist trash or a white man's playground—not that it ever really was. Sf is rich and diverse, serious, and fun. A vital bridge between technoscience and culture, it is an early warning system, a method for imagining differently, and a way of experiencing our increasingly science-fictional world. It is the vernacular of the 21st century.

This Is Not A Science Fiction Textbook brings together leading sf scholars, including some of the most exciting new critical voices, to introduce the genre for the general reader. Its first part outlines some key ideas used to think about sf, such as Estrangement, Extrapolation, and Alterity. Its second part maps some of the genre's global history, from the Enlightenment and European colonialism to Indigenous and African Futurisms. Its third part surveys sf at the turn of the 2020s, organised by concepts, movements and new academic disciplines, from Afrofuturism and Animal Studies to Queer Theory and the Weird—and each chapter, whether it is on Climate Fiction or Neurodiversity, is accompanied by an introduction to a major contemporary novel and film.

Mark Bould and Steven Shapiro

Mark Bould is Professor of Film and Literature at UWE Bristol. Founding editor of the Science Fiction Film and Television journal and the Studies in Global Science Fictionmonograph series, he is a recipient of the Science Fiction Research Association's Lifetime Achievement Award and the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award. His most recent books are M. John Harrison: Critical Essays (2019) and The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe Culture (2021).

Steven Shaviro is DeRoy Professor of English at Wayne State University Department of English. He has published eleven previous books, including Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics (MIT Press), and numerous stories and articles. He was awarded the Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Award in 2017 for his book Discognition.