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Metamorphoses of Science Fiction

On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre


Darko Suvin

Edited By Gerry Canavan

Returning to print for the first time since the 1980s, Metamorphoses of Science Fiction is the origin point for decades of literary and theoretical criticism of science fiction and related genres. Darko Suvin’s paradigm-setting definition of SF as «the literature of cognitive estrangement» established a robust theory of the genre that continues to spark fierce debate, as well as inspiring myriad intellectual descendants and disciples. Suvin’s centuries-spanning history of the genre links SF to a long tradition of utopian and satirical literatures crying out for a better world than this one, showing how SF and the imagination of utopia are now forever intertwined. In addition to the 1979 text of the book, this edition contains three additional essays from Suvin that update, expand and reconsider the terms of his original intervention, as well as a new introduction and preface that situate the book in the context of the decades of SF studies that have followed in its wake.


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image: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Dull Gret (Mad Meg). Oil on panel. c. 1562. ISSN 1661-5875 ISBN 978-3-0343-1948-5 (print) ISBN 978-3-0353-0735-1 (eBook) Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Control Number: 2015958990 To friends and comrades from Science-Fiction Studies Marc, Fred, Ursula, Dale, Patrick, Bob, and Don: they helped. To the memory of those (involved in this Classics edition) who left us in the meantime: James Blish, Ernst Bloch, John Brunner, Robert C. Elliott, Northrop Frye, Stanisław Lem, Louis Marin, Fred Pohl, Don Theall, Raymond Williams: sine quibus non. and for those who will come after

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