Irish Science Fiction

Jack Fennell

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ISBN: 9781781381199

Publication: November 5, 2014

Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 48

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Irish Science Fiction revisits a critical paradigm that has often been overlooked or dismissed by science fiction scholars – namely, that science fiction can be understood in terms of myth. Science fiction springs from pseudo-science rather than ‘proper’ science, because pseudo-science is more easily converted into narrative; in this book it is argued that different cultures produce distinct pseudo-sciences, and thus, unique science fiction traditions. Fennell's innovative framework is used to examine Irish science fiction from the 1850s to the present day, covering material written both in Irish and in English. Considering science fiction novels and short stories in their historical context, Irish Science Fiction analyses a body of literature that has largely been ignored by Irish literature researchers. This is the first book to focus exclusively on Irish science fiction, and the first to consider Irish-language stories and novels alongside works published in English.

Jack Fennell teaches at the University of Limerick.

Introduction 1. Mad Science and the Empire: Fitz-James O’Brien and Robert Cromie 2. ‘Future War’ and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Ireland 3. Nationalist Fantasies of the Early Twentieth Century 4. States of Emergency: Irish SF During World War Two 5. The 1960s: Lemass, Modernization and the Cold War 6. The Wrong History: Bob Shaw, James White and the Troubles 7. Exotic Doom: the SF of Ian McDonald 8. The Dystopian Decades: From Recession to Tiger and Back Again 9. The Shape of Irish SF to Come Bibliography Index

The widely cast net of theoretical argumentation, the constant change of focus, and the vivacity of style all make Irish Science Fiction a particularly rewarding read.
  Australasian Journal of Irish Studies

Irish Science Fiction is a timely study in more ways than one. A chronological examination of two centuries of Irish sf, it is a groundbreaking and long-overdue work, coming in the wake of much recent interest in other 'national' sf traditions (Ukrainian, Italian, and Israeli, among others). Covering texts in both English and Irish Gaelic, the book is both an analysis of a surprisingly diverse selection of Irish literature and an important injection of sf into the field of Irish literary studies.
Conor Reid   Science Fiction Studies

An important and groundbreaking book ... it introduced me to a whole body of writing about which – after 40 years in the field – I knew next to nothing, and made me want to search out and read much of it. I imagine most readers will feel the same way, and will, as do I, feel gratitude to the author for guiding us to and through the heretofore terra incognita of Irish science fiction.
Philip O'Leary  
Boston University

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

224 Pages

ISBN: 9781781381199

Publication: November 5, 2014

Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 48

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