Download A Sense-of-Wonderful Century: Explorations of Science by Gary Westfahl PDF

By Gary Westfahl

ISBN-10: 143444371X

ISBN-13: 9781434443717

This booklet gathers jointly the various illuminating essays on technological know-how fiction and fable movie penned via an incredible critic within the SF box. The items are approximately equipped within the chronological order of while the flicks and tv courses being mentioned first seemed, with essays delivering extra normal overviews clustered close to the start and finish of the quantity, to supply the general air of secrecy of a ancient survey. even though this ebook doesn't faux to supply a finished heritage of technological know-how fiction and myth motion pictures, it does intermingle analyses of flicks and television courses with a few discussions of similar performs, novels, tales, and comedian books, quite within the essays in this Island Earth and 2001: an area Odyssey and its sequels. Inciteful, pleasing, and whole of clever and witty observations approximately technological know-how fiction and its occasionally curious dating with the visible media, those essays will either pride and entertain critics, fanatics, and audience alike.

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Yet in placing them in this context, I am hardly alone: Apollo 13 was nominated for the science fiction Hugo Award as “Best Dramatic Presentation,” and television coverage of the Apollo 11 Moon landing actually won the Hugo Award in 1969. And other fact-based space films like Return to Earth (1976), based on Buzz Aldrin’s autobiography, and The Right Stuff (1983), based on Tom Wolfe’s book about the Mercury astronauts, are regularly linked to science fiction film. While this might be only an atavistic response, a lingering feeling that all films about space must be “science fiction,” I suggest that other factors are at work here.

While other critics have noted the film’s painstaking efforts to portray outer space accurately, employing black curtains and innovative lighting techniques to achieve a memorable effect, the film was equally attentive to the authenticity of its spacesuits; even Woody Woodpecker, in the film’s incongruous cartoon sequence explaining the principles of space flight, wears a realistic spacesuit during his flight to the Moon. As it happens, the film’s co-author and technical advisor, science fiction writer Robert A.

The pattern set by Star Trek was generally followed by the other major science fiction franchise of our time—the Star Wars films— though these thankfully minimized the role of television screens and 18. Judy Burns, cited in Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, Captains’ Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages (Boston and New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 1995), 72. HETRUEFRONTIERC :ONFRONTINGANDAVOIDINGTHEREALITIESOFSPACEINAMERICANSCIENCEFICTIONFILMS returned to the notion of spaceships with windows.

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