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Science Fiction Literature in East Germany


Sonja Fritzsche

East German science fiction enabled its authors to create a subversive space in another time and place. One of the country’s most popular genres, it outlined futures that often went beyond the party’s official version. Many utopian stories provided a corrective vision, intended to preserve and improve upon East German communism. This study is an introduction to East German science fiction. The book begins with a chapter on German science fiction before 1949. It then spans the entire existence of the country (1949-1990) and outlines key topics essential to understanding the genre: popular literature, socialist realism, censorship, fandom, and international science fiction. An in-depth discussion addresses notions of high and low literature, elements of the fantastic and utopia as critical narrative strategies, ideology and realism in East German literature, gender, and the relation between literature and science. Through a close textual analysis of three science fiction novels, the author expands East German literary history to include science fiction as a valuable source for developing a multi-faceted understanding of the country’s short history. Finally, an epilogue notes new titles and developments since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
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Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Bibliothek

Die Deutsche Bibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at ‹›.

British Library and Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication Data: A catalogue record for this book is available from The British Library, Great Britain, and from The Library of Congress, USA

ISSN 1072-0626 Print.


ISBN 978-3-03910-739-1 Print.

US-ISBN 0-8204-8001-0

ISBN 978-1-78874-564-2 eBook

ISBN 978-1-78874-565-9 EPUB

ISBN 978-1-78874-566-6 MOBI

DOI 10.3726/b14377


Open Access: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 unported license. To view a copy of this license, visit

© Sonja Fritzsche, 2006

Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2006

Wabernstrasse 40, CH-3007 Bern, Switzerland