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Urban Studies and Planning Faculty Publications and Presentations

Science fiction -- History and criticism

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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

Science Fiction Cities, Carl Abbott Dec 2013

Science Fiction Cities, Carl Abbott

Urban Studies and Planning Faculty Publications and Presentations

This essay argues that cities can also be front and center as vividly imagined worlds whose characteristics play active roles that help to structure the arc of the story, forcing and constraining the choices that the characters make.


Rocky Mountain Refuge: Constructing "Colorado" In Science Fiction, Carl Abbott Jul 2012

Rocky Mountain Refuge: Constructing "Colorado" In Science Fiction, Carl Abbott

Urban Studies and Planning Faculty Publications and Presentations

Colorado has long functioned in American culture as the epitome of the American West, identified both as a safe refuge and as a place for starting over. This essay examines the ways in which writers of speculative fiction have drawn on Colorado's historically constructed identity as the setting for stories of refuge and retreat. The discussion examines parallels in the use of the Colorado setting by sf writers Robert A. Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Walter M. Miller, Jr., Leigh Brackett, and Ursula K. LeGuin, by political novelist Ayn Rand, and by mainstream thriller writers Stephen King and Justin Cronin ...


Cyberpunk Cities: Science Fiction Meets Urban Theory, Carl Abbott Jan 2007

Cyberpunk Cities: Science Fiction Meets Urban Theory, Carl Abbott

Urban Studies and Planning Faculty Publications and Presentations

The science fiction subgenre of cyberpunk developed in the 1980s and 1990s with a strong interest in urban settings. A reading of important cyberpunk novels shows the way in which the ideas of formal urban theory, such as the idea of global cities, cities as communication systems, and the Los Angeles school of urban studies, have been incorporated into this facet of popular culture. The analysis suggests that science fiction can help planners to understand the influence of a range of social theories on public understanding of planning issues.


Falling Into History: The Imagined Wests Of Kim Stanley Robinson In The "Three Californias" And Mars Trilogies, Carl Abbott Apr 2003

Falling Into History: The Imagined Wests Of Kim Stanley Robinson In The "Three Californias" And Mars Trilogies, Carl Abbott

Urban Studies and Planning Faculty Publications and Presentations

Analyzes Kim Stanley Robinson's two science fiction trilogies, the "Three Californias" trilogy '(Wild Shore, Gold Coast,' and 'Pacific Edge),' published during 1984 - 1990, and the Mars trilogy '(Red Mars, Green Mars,' and 'Blue Mars),' published during 1993 - 1996, to show how they incorporate themes of the complexity and contingency involved in settlement of the frontier associated with the "new Western history" of the 1980's - 1990's. The Mars trilogy co-opts the American West's status as a place of resource development when Robinson narrates the conquest of nature through technology. The Orange County trilogy explores, inter alia, intentional ...