Divided Worlds

The Political Interventions of Science Fiction

Andrew Hammond, David Seed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Partly because of the low critical standing of science fiction during the Cold War, its authors could sidestep restrictions on publishing and use the genre as a forum for oppositional commentary. Expanding on the current transnational turn in SF studies, this chapter argues that many SF writings from Western, Eastern and non-aligned countries revealed a remarkably similar set of concerns and approaches between 1945 and 1989. Alongside a critique of authoritarian government were scathing commentaries on the degenerative potential of contemporary technology, particularly in the realms of nuclear weaponry, consumerism, mass entertainment and superpower interventionism. In its commonalities across blocs, this dissident strain of SF transcended the geopolitical divisions of the Cold War and gained international resonance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature
EditorsAndrew Hammond
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Fingerprint

Cold War
Science Fiction
Entertainment
Weaponry
Dissidents
Government
Interventionism
Consumerism

Keywords

  • Cold War
  • science fiction
  • geopolitics
  • authoritarianism
  • technology

Cite this

Hammond, A., & Seed, D. (Accepted/In press). Divided Worlds: The Political Interventions of Science Fiction. In A. Hammond (Ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature Palgrave Macmillan.
Hammond, Andrew ; Seed, David. / Divided Worlds : The Political Interventions of Science Fiction. The Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature. editor / Andrew Hammond. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
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Hammond, A & Seed, D 2020, Divided Worlds: The Political Interventions of Science Fiction. in A Hammond (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature. Palgrave Macmillan.

Divided Worlds : The Political Interventions of Science Fiction. / Hammond, Andrew; Seed, David.

The Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature. ed. / Andrew Hammond. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Divided Worlds

T2 - The Political Interventions of Science Fiction

AU - Hammond, Andrew

AU - Seed, David

PY - 2020

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N2 - Partly because of the low critical standing of science fiction during the Cold War, its authors could sidestep restrictions on publishing and use the genre as a forum for oppositional commentary. Expanding on the current transnational turn in SF studies, this chapter argues that many SF writings from Western, Eastern and non-aligned countries revealed a remarkably similar set of concerns and approaches between 1945 and 1989. Alongside a critique of authoritarian government were scathing commentaries on the degenerative potential of contemporary technology, particularly in the realms of nuclear weaponry, consumerism, mass entertainment and superpower interventionism. In its commonalities across blocs, this dissident strain of SF transcended the geopolitical divisions of the Cold War and gained international resonance.

AB - Partly because of the low critical standing of science fiction during the Cold War, its authors could sidestep restrictions on publishing and use the genre as a forum for oppositional commentary. Expanding on the current transnational turn in SF studies, this chapter argues that many SF writings from Western, Eastern and non-aligned countries revealed a remarkably similar set of concerns and approaches between 1945 and 1989. Alongside a critique of authoritarian government were scathing commentaries on the degenerative potential of contemporary technology, particularly in the realms of nuclear weaponry, consumerism, mass entertainment and superpower interventionism. In its commonalities across blocs, this dissident strain of SF transcended the geopolitical divisions of the Cold War and gained international resonance.

KW - Cold War

KW - science fiction

KW - geopolitics

KW - authoritarianism

KW - technology

M3 - Chapter

BT - The Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature

A2 - Hammond, Andrew

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ER -

Hammond A, Seed D. Divided Worlds: The Political Interventions of Science Fiction. In Hammond A, editor, The Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature. Palgrave Macmillan. 2020