Accidental Tourists in Speculative Fiction

Fall 2001, Sharon Goetz

(I no longer have the syllabus with the reading schedule, or rather, I would if I dug out my old FrameMaker 5 installation CD. Use open formats, everyone!)

What kinds of perspective on place does one gain upon taking an unexpected journey? Which kinds of sites does one visit in speculative fiction, and does the range of possible realms differ from those one finds in more mainstream narratives? What can one learn along the way geographically, ethnographically, and psychologically? We will ponder these questions and others as tourists ourselves, reading and exploring alien landscapes. Due attention will be paid to honing writing skills and the niceties of correct grammar and syntax.

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Charnas, Suzy McKee. “Listening to Brahms.” In Vanishing Acts, edited by Ellen Datlow, 16-42. New York: Tor Books, 2000.

Chiang, Ted. “Story of Your Life.” In Starlight 2, edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, 257-313. New York: Tor Books, 1998.

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Lethem, Jonathan. “Access Fantasy.” In Starlight 2, edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, 198-215. New York: Tor, 1998.

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Willis, Connie. “The Last of the Winnebagoes.” In The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Sixth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois, 186-228. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.

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