Span of Mainstream and Science Fiction: A Critical Study of a New Literary Genre

Span of Mainstream and Science Fiction: A Critical Study of a New Literary Genre

by Peter Brigg


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From the 1960s (when the advent of what many call the postmodern style made establishing genres more difficult) to the present day, writers have been incorporating science—not only the commonly thought of science and technology but also the “soft” sciences such as psychology and sociology—into what was previously considered mainstream fiction. This book examines works by Thomas Pynchon, Doris Lessing, and others who incorporate science in fiction and exemplify the movement of mainstream fiction writers toward a new genre termed “span.” It also examines works by some science fiction writers who are edging closer to the border of science fiction and slowly over into span. This book maps the boundaries of the new span genre of fiction and thus helps define texts that fall outside the realms of mainstream and science fiction. Diagrams are included and a bibliography and index.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786413041
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 10/22/2002
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Peter Brigg is an associate professor of English at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. He is president-elect of the Science Fiction Research Association.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

1 Introduction to Span Fiction 5

2 Doris Lessing: Experiments in Alternate Reality 25

3 Thomas Pynchon: Science in Life 57

4 A Bridge Takes Shape: Other Writers 99

5 Border Skirmishes: Span and Science Fiction 172

6 The New Alignment 188

Notes 193

Bibliography 199

Index 205

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