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Shockwaves of Possibility

Essays on Science Fiction, Globalization, and Utopia

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Phillip E. Wegner

Shockwaves of Possibility explores the deep utopianism of one of the most significant modern cultural practices: science fiction. The author contends that utopianism is not simply a motif in SF, but rather is fundamental to its narrative dynamics. Drawing upon a rich array of theory and criticism in SF and utopian studies, the book opens with a global periodizing history that shows the inseparability of SF from developments in other cultural fields. It goes on to examine literature, film, television, comics, and animation in order to demonstrate SF’s unique effectiveness for grappling with the upheavals brought about by globalization. Shockwaves of Possibility proves SF’s vitality in the brave new world of the twenty-first century, as it illuminates the contours of the present and educates our desire for a radically other future.
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Chapter Seven: Alan Moore, “Secondary Literacy,” and the Modernism of the Graphic Novel

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CHAPTER SEVEN

Alan Moore, “Secondary Literacy,” and the Modernism of the Graphic Novel

Whether articulated as potentially genuine beings who can be looked at from any side or as more limited, two-dimensional visual figures, comic characters are presented as occupying spatial and temporal locations distinct from other such characters and belonging to an underlying world that exists independent of the panels in which the characters appear—an alternative universe whose “real” dimension seems to depend on events that have been cut out or are occurring between the panels.

—DONALD AULT, “Imagetextuality: ‘Cutting Up’ Again, pt. III”

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