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.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2016. LIV, 466 pp., 10 charts
Darko Suvin, scholar, critic and poet, was born in Yugoslavia, studied at the universities of Zagreb, Bristol, the Sorbonne
and Yale and has taught in Europe and North America. He is Professor Emeritus of McGill University and Fellow of the Royal
Society of Canada. He is the author of numerous books and articles on literature and dramaturgy, culture, utopian and science
fiction and political epistemology, as well as three volumes of poetry. In recent years he has been writing mainly about SFR
Yugoslavia and communism. Gerry Canavan is Assistant Professor of English at Marquette University, specializing in twentieth-
and twenty-first-century literature. His research focuses on the relationship between science fiction and the political and
cultural history of the post-war period, with special emphasis on ecology and the environment. He is an editor at Extrapolation
and Science Fiction Film and Television, as well as the author of Modern Masters of Science Fiction: Octavia
E. Butler (2016).