Pub. Date:
Young Adult Science Fiction

Young Adult Science Fiction

by C. W. Sullivan III


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At the close of the nineteenth century, American youths developed a growing interest in electricity and its applications, machines, and gadgetry. When authors and publishers recognized the extent of this interest in technology, they sought to create reading materials that would meet this market need. The result was science fiction written especially for young adults. While critics tended to neglect young adult science fiction for decades, they gradually came to recognize its practical and cultural value. Science fiction inspired many young adults to study science and engineering and helped foster technological innovation. At the same time, these works also explored cultural and social concerns more commonly associated with serious literature. Nor was young adult science fiction a peculiarly American phenomenon: authors in other countries likewise wrote science fiction for young adult readers. This book examines young adult science fiction in the U.S. and several other countries and explores issues central to the genre.

The first part of the book treats the larger contexts of young adult science fiction and includes chapters on its history and development. Included are discussions of science fiction for young adults in the U.S. and in Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and Australia. These chapters are written by expert contributors and chart the history of young adult science fiction from the nineteenth century to the present. The second section of the book considers topics of special interest to young adult science fiction. Some of the chapters look at particular forms and expressions of science fiction, such as films and comic books. Others treat particular topics, such as the portrayal of women in Robert Heinlein's works and representations of war in young adult science fiction. Yet another chapter studies the young adult science fiction novel as a coming-of-age story and thus helps distinguish the genre from science fiction written for adult readers. All chapters reflect current research, and the volume concludes with extensive bibliographies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313289408
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/30/1999
Series: Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy Series , #79
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 726,399
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

C.W. SULLIVAN III is Professor of English at East Carolina University. His previous books include The Dark Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Ninth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (1997), and Science Fiction for Young Readers (1993), and Welsh Celtic Myth in Modern Fantasy (1989), all available from Greenwood Press.

Table of Contents



History and Criticism

Technological Fiction for Youth: 1900-1940 by Francis J. Molson

American Y.A. Science Fiction Since 1947 by C.W. Sullivan III

Young Adult Science in Canada by Greer Watson

The Janus Perspective: Science Fiction and the Young Adult Reader in Britain by K.V. Bailey and Andy Sawyer

German Science Fiction for Young Adults by Franz Rottensteiner

Australian Science Fiction for Children and Adolescents by John Foster

Topical Approaches

The Young Adult Science Fiction Novel as Bildungsroman by Michael M. Levy

Women in Heinlein's Juveniles by Marietta A. Frank

Young Adults, Science Fiction, and War by Martha Bartter

No Grownups, Please: A Study of the American Science Fiction Film by James Craig Holte

Science Fiction in Comic Books: Science Fiction Colonizes a Fantasy Medium by Donald Palumbo


History and Criticism by Michael M. Levy

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