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14 November 2010 @ 12:41 pm
Help me organize my Science Fiction course  
Poll #1644450 Science Fiction Course Topics

I'm trying to organize the Science Fiction course I'm teaching in the spring. We're using The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction (2010) as the sole text. I've decided to divide the course into 16-20 daily "themes;" each theme will consist of two stories. But there are way, way too many themes to fit into a single term, and (of course) the stories in them overlap. I've listed a bunch of themes below. Which ones seem most appealing to you? Choose as many as you like. (There are more choices than are available on a single poll, so I've had to insert three of them. Vote on as many as you want.)

Aliens are better than we are.
4(4.6%)
Aliens invaded, and things went to hell.
5(5.7%)
Aliens: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
5(5.7%)
And about that Bomb...
5(5.7%)
Artificial Intelligence.
7(8.0%)
Clash of cultures.
12(13.8%)
Crazy robots.
4(4.6%)
Has it come to this?
2(2.3%)
How bad can things get?
9(10.3%)
I am writing this; see me?
2(2.3%)
I remember (and I don't want to).
7(8.0%)
In the eye of the beholder.
7(8.0%)
Life in the electronic metaphor.
4(4.6%)
Love, when possible.
8(9.2%)
Mad scientists.
6(6.9%)

Same question, more choices.

Parents and children.
7(7.1%)
Pets in space.
2(2.0%)
Reality's not all it's cracked up to be.
5(5.1%)
Robots and religion.
5(5.1%)
Sex after the Singularity.
4(4.0%)
SF is where the crazies hang out.
2(2.0%)
Space perverts.
3(3.0%)
The future (and present) of culture.
15(15.2%)
The future (and present) of gender.
14(14.1%)
The future will suck because the present sucks.
3(3.0%)
Then came the war.
4(4.0%)
These are our children?
6(6.1%)
Things to do in Utopia.
9(9.1%)
This is your wake-up call.
6(6.1%)
Time travel means knowing too much.
14(14.1%)

Same question, more choices.

Time travel means trying to save -- what?
10(10.5%)
What can we discover, and do we want to?
12(12.6%)
What did you do after the end of the world?
10(10.5%)
What did you do after the Singularity?
3(3.2%)
What did you do to save the human race?
6(6.3%)
What do you mean by "human?"
15(15.8%)
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
8(8.4%)
What's our next step?
4(4.2%)
Where did we come from? Where are we going?
10(10.5%)
Who am I, anyway? Who are you?
7(7.4%)
Who will we be tomorrow?
10(10.5%)
 
 
Current Location: On my way to grade papers
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Dvorak, New World Symphony
 
 
 
clever blog titlejulia_reynolds on November 14th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
I really wish I could audit this course.
Kenken_schneyer on November 14th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
You're sweet to say so. Remind me in a month or so, and I'll send you the completed syllabus.

(Actually, you know, it might be fun to do a free online version of the course for my friends in the summer. I don't think I'd want to grade all the papers, but maybe we could do a mutual-comment thingy...)
clever blog titlejulia_reynolds on November 14th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
Ken, that is a great idea! We could use Skype and use a yahoo group. Seriously, I would love to do help with that if you have time to teach the course.
tactical_gracetactical_grace on November 15th, 2010 12:38 am (UTC)
I like all of them, but tried to limit my selection to favorite themes.

I don't much like the 'I am writing this' theme, assuming it refers to fourth-wall-breaking hijinks that nobody has really managed to get right since Breakfast of Champions.
Ken: Hmmmmmken_schneyer on November 15th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
Not so much the hijinks as the fact that the author as a separate person is acknowledged in a lot of classic stories, e.g., "Repent Harlequin!" and "Day Million." The question isn't whether we're going to read those stories (we are), but whether to put them together on the same day so as to raise the thematic issues associated with that sort of authorial instrusion.
celestialgldfshcelestialgldfsh on November 15th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
I was thinking along the same lines as julia_reynolds: "Wow, I wish I could take that course!" I've been trying to read more sci-fi but I'd love an excuse to read more. I'd be game to join in a group effort.