Roger Luckhust devoted one of his works to the study of American science fiction. He tried to concentrate on the genre and category of fiction elements disclosing the forms and historical elements of fiction formation. Luckhust investigated the development of science fiction in deferent periods of literature domination. The assessment of basic fiction elements is predominantly connected with the combination of cultural-historical facts with techno-scientific changes of the society for the previous centuries. The analysis of this genre focuses on the series of fiction works with the purpose of disclosure of unique qualities of fiction theory.
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The author concentrates on the perception of science fiction at the period of 1960-1990s. The history of technology and science contributes to the formation of contextual material of science fiction. Interference of social sciences appeared to be the basic element of fiction critical theory. Luckhust showed science fiction as genre related to the literature of modernization. Science fiction modulates the transformation of human technological and scientific approaches embodied in popular genres. The interaction of American and British fiction covers the involvement of political, economic and cultural history developed in the state.
Luckhust stressed that Special concerns raised in the book Science Fiction were connected with the genre disclosure of particular historical moments in fiction works instead of globalization. Science fiction is aimed at reflecting the production conditions. In one of the chapters the author showed the influence of Modernism on the science fiction formation in 1960s. He stated that machinic mass production of the USA being popular at that period formed the basic aspects of science fiction themes.
The boundaries of the aesthetic realm were being stretched by new materials and methods drawn from the world of non-art – for example, from industrial technology, and this would challenge the boundaries of high and low art since this distinction was based on a now outmoded “evaluation of the difference between unique and mass-produced objects” (ch.7, p. 147).
Later the development of science fiction turned into the reflection of historical events; such literature situation could be observed in the Golden age of the Science fiction. The book managed to illustrate major examples known from the history of science fiction development such as the embodiment of modernity in the mythological science fiction devoted to Jerry Cornelius written by Moorcock’s and the investigation of technological environment through his work (ch, 8, p. 160).
The contribution of the science fiction to the literature of modernity can be observed on the basis of historical elements substitution. Luckhust strived to note that science fiction texts are to be perceived for the articulation and imaginative reinvention of such categories identities as sexuality, gender, religion, class, race etc. The author highlighted the fact that science fiction is related to the literature of those societies who are technologically saturated. The influence of Mechanism on the formation of Science fiction elements makes it reflect human subjectivity and cultural life. Mechanized modernity starts for the purpose of speed change acceleration and life rhythm transformation. The texts of science fiction are considered to capture various forms of fleeting fantasies of modernity.
Luckhust concentrated on the generalization of the notion “Mechanism”. One should not perceive this primitively reflective only the meaning of machine. It is a complex phenomenon disclosing spiritual and internal processes of humanity. The role of science fiction is quite global and centralized by many critics. (Luckhust, ch. 9) According to general critical position the literature of science fiction impacts the formation both of inner personal world and major spheres of social activities. It is a mixture of unreal world and real aspects of human life. The authors of science fiction works try to show the connection between half-life elements and false reality. The involvement into fiction elements gives an opportunity to evaluate the difference between reality and illusion, timelines and sophisticated traps of unreal conditions (Dick, 1991).
The introduction of Mechanism underwent certain interpretations covering series of metaphorical associations such as superficial, harsh, inflexible, industrial, vulgar etc. The genre of science fiction can be analyzed as one of the elements of cultural and philosophical discourse measuring Mechanism aspects. Science fiction works should contain the literature elements being close to reality even if it is artificial. The disclosure of complex Fantasy or Gothic tropes is to be avoided; the principle forms of science fiction text should be understandable even for the readers of low intelligence. The mixture of standardized literature aspects with global technological changes of the society reflects the time shift of any social group or the state. Thus, China Mieville in the fiction Perdido Street Station managed to combine Victorian era technology and basic elements of the world fantasy. Such fantasies involving Mechanism were at issues for science fiction historians, especially in previous centuries (Mieville, 2001). Taking into account modern position of the literature world and the development of technological era one should stress that science fiction perception was changed. It appeared to be a kind of propaganda for inventors; the manner of fiction presentation was based on qualified judgments and more strict arguments. According to some postmodernists modern world can relate to the one of science fiction. Cultural impact and rapid technological development influence the Mechanism interference with science fiction texts; the authors try to reflect modernized aspects of reality through some artificial forms. Luckhust managed to combine the gradual formation of Mechanism sphere with cultural development of the society.
So, science fiction literature is complicated in structure covering various technological and historical elements through metaphorical associations. As Luckhust managed to show the Mechanism impact on the development and human perception of science fiction literature is quite significant.
- Luckhust, Roger. Science Fiction. Polity, 305 p. 2005.
- Dick, K. Phillip. Ubik. Vintage, 224 p. 1991.
- Mieville, China. Perdido Street Station. Del Rey, 720 p. 2001.