Speculative Fiction Studies Project


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Speculative Fiction Studies Project

This project contains the beginning of what I hope will be a thorough examination of the themes, terminology and ideas found in short works of science-based fiction.  I have begun by limiting my study to short works of science fiction, first published before 1970.  My focus is on stories and serialized novels first published in magazines. I have begun to include pre-1970 television programs.  It is interesting to compare the thematic elements, the terminology changes and the ideas explored, while using a controlled vocabulary that is quite different from tagging.

The purpose of this project, is comparative studies of themes, fears, beliefs and ideas, as expressed in speculative literature over time. I will try to avoid stories that focus on: alternate history, fantasy, horror, the bizarre, or are limited to examination of the human condition. I will include utopian works generally considered as speculative work more than science fiction.

The sections are as follows:

The Prisoner: Old and New   a comparative essay

Publication timeline contains a complete list of the short works that have been examined.
      It is organized by year, so as to add another level of comparison.

Subject index       A - Z        all in one file, index to more than 2000 short works published before 1971.

Date a story is set in - timeline

Each alphabetic entry is structured as follows:
                key word heading, subheading
                     “Name of short story”  Author  First publisher  Date of publication
                                     population control, parenthood fitness test
                                            "The Education of Tigress McCardle" C.M. Kornbluth Venture 1957
                                     population control, send to alternate universe
                                           "The Transfinite Choice" David Masson  New Worlds    Aug. 1966
                                     pornography, addiction to
                                            "Patent Pending" Arthur C. Clarke  Tales from the "White Hart" 1954
                                     porpoises. see: dolphins
Many of these stories are available in audio files, full text on line, or at least, discussed in Wikipedia
The publishing information is available at Internet Speculative Fiction Database
          “The ISFDB is a community effort to catalog works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. It links together various types of bibliographic data: author bibliographies, publication bibliographies, award listings, magazine content listings, anthology and collection content listings, and forthcoming books.”


 Internet Sources 

Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (SFE)   http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/

 Free Speculative Fiction Online   www.freesfonline.de/

 Internet Archive    https://archive.org/details/texts

Project Gutenberg   https://www.gutenberg.org/

 Technovelgy: Where Science meets Fiction   http://www.technovelgy.com/

                                                                                                                                               creative copyright  Carol Hamill

                                                                            picture from World Con 2015