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Parables of Freedom and Narrative Logics

Positions and Presuppositions in Science Fiction and Utopianism


Darko Suvin

Edited By Eric Smith

This major two-volume collection presents Darko Suvin’s critical meditations on science
fiction and utopia from the late 1960s through the early years of the new millennium,
excluding only the landmark monographs Metamorphoses of Science Fiction, Victorian
Science Fiction, and Defined by a Hollow. From essential programmatic statements
charting the parabolic logic of science fiction and establishing the parameters of
a theoretically supple and rigorously historical SF criticism to confrontations with
both a postmodernist abdication of politics and a “neutral” sociology of literature,
these writings reflect the evolving thought of the preeminent contemporary theorist of
science fiction. Underpinned by a method of heretical cognition and the steadfast
insistence of utopian possibility, the varied essays, interviews, poems, and polemics
presented here—encompassing four decades of sustained thought on the topic—
offer up the affirmation of freedom as the truest horizon of science fiction.

Preface — Eric D. Smith: Cognition and Event: A Purveyor of Truth’s Possible Worlds —Introduction — Darko Suvin : It Ain’t Necessarily So" — Chapter One: Preliminary Theses on Allegory (1977) — Chapter Two — The Moon as a Mirror to Man; or, Lessons of Selenography (1969) — Chapter Three: Significant Themes in Soviet Criticism of Science Fiction to 1965 (1969) — Chapter Four: The SF Novel in 1969 (1970) — Chapter Five: Against Common Sense: Levels of SF Criticism (1972) — Chapter Six: A, B and C: The Significant Context of SF: A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation 1973 — Chapter Seven: Four Worries on Science Fiction Contexts: Is the Publisher Always Right?" (1970-72) — SF Writers, the Great Consensus, and Non-Alignment" (1973) — SF and Pulp-Paper Publishing Practices" (1974) — On Tony Wolk in SFS #8: Does Criticism Have Premises?" (1976) — Chapter Eight: James Blish, 1921-1975" (1975) — Chapter Nine: On Philip K. Dick: Philip K. Dick's Opus: Artifice as Refuge and Worldview" (1975) — Goodbye and Hello: Differentiating within the Later P.K. Dick" (2002) — Chapter Ten: On Ursula K. Le Guin — SF and The Left Hand of Darkness" (1973) — Parables of De-Alienation: Le Guin’s Widdershins Dance" (1975) — Cognition, Freedom, The Dispossessed as a Classic" (2007) — Chapter Eleven: On the Strugatsky Brothers: "The Opus of the Strugatsky Brothers" (1974-81 and 1990) — "An E-Mail to Russia" (2003) — Chapter Twelve: For a Social Theory of Science Fiction: Programmatic Reflections" (1977-88) — Chapter Thirteen (with Marc Angenot): Editorial of Science-Fiction Studies" (1979) — Chapter Fourteen (with Marc Angenot): Not Only But Also: Reflections on Cognitions and Ideology in SF and SF Criticism (1979) — Chapter Fifteen: Three World Paradigms for SF: Asimov, Yefremov, Lem (1979-93) — Notes for a General View of Asimov" (1993) — Note on the Historical Role of Yefremov’s Andromeda" (1979) — Chapter Sixteen: Pilgrim Award Speech for the SF Research Association" (1979) — Chapter Seventeen: A Brief Valedictory on Stepping Down (1981) — Chapter Eighteen: Playful Cognizing, or Technical Errors in Harmonyville: The SF of Johanna and Günter Braun" (1981 and 1987)   — Chapter Nineteen: The Science-Fiction Novel as Epic Narration: For a Fusion of ‘Formal’ and ‘Sociological’ Analysis" (1980-1985) — Chapter Twenty (with Eike Barmeyer and Dieter Hasselblatt): A Discussion of Stanisław Lem’s SF Radio-DramaDo You Exist Mr. Johns?" (1982) — Chapter Twenty-One: Narrative Logic, Ideological Domination, and the Range of Science Fiction: A Hypothesis with a Test Case" (1982) — Chapter Twenty-Two: Science Fiction: Metaphor, Parable, and Chronotope (With the Bad Conscience of Reaganism) (1984) — Chapter Twenty-Three (with Marc Angenot) — On ‘Post-Modernist’ Political Impotence and the Horizons of Fiction and SF: A Response to Professor Fekete’s ‘Five Theses’" (1988) —Chapter Twenty-Four: Science Fiction: A Basic Sketch" (1987-94) — Chapter Twenty-Five: Utopia in the Asian Eighties: Five Songlets (1983-88) — Chapter Twenty-Six: Visions Off Yamada (1988) — Chapter Twenty-Seven: Thinking Worlds of a Liminal Shintoist Cybermarxist: Five Interviews: An Interview with TakayukiTatsumi (1984) — SF and Theatre: An Interview with Darko Suvin, Kazuko Yamada (1987) — SF and History, Cyberpunk, Russia… (Interview with Horst Pukallus) (1989) — SF—Literature, Movies, Theatre, Polytheism: Interview with Liao Chao-yang (1994) — I Have No Soul and I Must Laugh or Cry: Interview on SF and Travelling with Tami Hager (1995) — Chapter Twenty-Eight: Counter-Projects: William Morris and the SF of the 1880’s (1988) — Chapter Twenty-Nine: We’ve Met the Aliens and They Are Us: Weinbaum’s Parables of Class (1993-2010) — Chapter Thirty Notes and Memories on Science Fiction — Goodbye to Extrapolation" (1995) — Some Notes & Memories on Dale Mullen’s Maieutics (1998) — Chapter Thirty-One: With Sober, Estranged Eyes (1998) — Chapter Thirty-Two: SF Parables of Mutation and Cloning as/and Cognition (2002) — Select Bibliography of Criticism on Darko Suvin’s SF and Utopianism