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Note: this is a science fiction class.
The stories we have read so far have many shared themes, from time travel to contact with alien civilizations to space exploration… pick one theme that you find in our stories and explain in what way that particular theme addresses real world, non-sci-fi, historical or philosophical human concerns. For example:
The theme of Nuclear War is hinted at in “Youth” and explicitly mentioned in “Time Enough at Last” and “A Bad Day for Sales.” In “Youth,” the “adult” characters discuss atomic weaponry, and seem to fear the tiny and apparently disgusting humans for their ability to harness the atom. On the other hand, in “Time Enough at Last” and “A Bad Day for Sales,” nuclear war is shown as happening on Earth, but these stories are written as black comedies–unsettling narratives that have at least a touch of the humorous. All three of these stories were written during the early years of the Cold War when Americans were obsessed with the dangers of atomic war. The stories take the perspective that war will be civilization-ending, or at least civilization-changing events. The stories do not see any chance of a winner during an atomic confrontation, which in terms of 1950’s culture at least expressed pacifism during a time of Hawkish national politics. It might be that these stories were supposed to serve as warnings to the reading public, a way to argue a point of view instead of taking a very real risk during the political upheaval of the McCarthy Era to criticize the US government’s official stance on national defense.
Respond to the prompt in a post of between 125-250 words. Use formal academic English. Where necessary, document your response using APA parenthetical citations and include an APA works cited list. After you have posted your initial response, engage with two other students, and with your professor if you are asked a follow-up question(s). Your initial post and subsequent participation will be evaluated using the Discussion Board Rubric. Your initial post should be written in 3rd person. Your responses to your classmates and instructor may be written in 1st person. Your response is worth a maximum of 3 points. Your response and all follow up posts are due at the end of Unit 1. This prompt and all responses will lock at the end of Unit 1.
Venable, L. (1953, January). Time enough at last. IF Worlds of Science Fiction. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32633
Dick, P.K. (1952, September). The skull. IF Worlds of Science Fiction. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30255
Banister, M. (1955, August). A gift from earth. Galaxy Science Fiction. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51129
Asimov, I. (1952, May). Youth. Space Science Fiction. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/31547
Leiber, F. (1953, July). A bad day for sales. Galaxy Science Fiction. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/50819/50819-h/50819-h.htm
Godwin, T. (1954, August). The cold equations. Astounding Science Fiction. Retrieved from https://photos.state.gov/libraries/hochiminh/646441/vantt/The%20Cold%20Equations.pdf
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