Book ID: CBB134830043

Psience Fiction: The Paranormal in Science Fiction Literature (2018)


Broderick, Damien (Author)


Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 250 pages
Language: English

Science fiction is often considered a literature of futuristic technology: fantastic warfare among the stars, or ruinous apocalypse on Earth. In the middle of last century, a very different theme suddenly blossomed. This was a fiction of mind powers such as telepathy, precognition of the future, teleportation, symbolic machines reacting to these mental forces and perhaps life beyond death. Driving this explosion of paranormal narratives was John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine, later renamed Analog. Almost single-handedly, Campbell made "psience fiction" into a dominant movement. Until now, no scholarly study has dealt specifically with this abrupt shift of emphasis away from space travel, atomic weapons, robots, and other once-imaginary technologies, and into the realm of the paranormal treated as science. Literary critic Damien Broderick surveys this long-ignored terrain, reading a series of influential or characteristic psience fiction novels and short stories, from the 1930s to now. This tour of the psychic fictional landscape is framed by an informed discussion of the dynamics creating this surge of interest in parapsychology, and its absorption into the genre even as real-world military experiments in the paranormal (the US Star Gate program) were being conducted in highly classified secrecy.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Essay Review Taves, Ann; (2013)
The Power of the Paranormal (and Extraordinary) (/isis/citation/CBB001566482/)

Chapter L. Anne Delgado; (2017)
Psychical Research and the Fantastic Science of Spirits (/isis/citation/CBB741344391/)

Article Gianni Antonio Palumbo; (2022)
Fisiognomica e rappresentazione delle emozioni nell’opera di Luigi Capuana (/isis/citation/CBB606083245/)

Chapter Kemperink, Mary; (2010)
Utopianism and (Para)Psychology in Dutch Literature around 1900 (/isis/citation/CBB001021568/)

Chapter Jones, Steve; (2010)
The Evolution of Utopia (/isis/citation/CBB001023134/)

Book Mark Blacklock; (2018)
The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension: Higher Spatial Thinking in the Fin De Siècle (/isis/citation/CBB424553497/)

Chapter Luca Bernardini; (2014)
Tra tradizione e futurologia: figure di scienziati nell'opera di Stanisław Lem (/isis/citation/CBB647876554/)

Book McLean, Steven; (2009)
The Early Fiction of H. G. Wells: Fantasies of Science (/isis/citation/CBB000952806/)

Article Shoffstall, Grant; (2010)
Freeze, Wait, Reanimate: Cryonic Suspension and Science Fiction (/isis/citation/CBB001034415/)

Chapter Alessandro Vescovi; (2014)
Decostruzione di uno scienziato coloniale: il Cromosoma Calcutta di Amitav Ghosh (/isis/citation/CBB662688431/)

Book Latham, Rob; (2014)
The Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction (/isis/citation/CBB001510100/)

Article Vint, Sherryl; (2008)
“The Animals in That Country”: Science Fiction and Animal Studies (/isis/citation/CBB001031079/)

Article Maxwell, Anne; (2009)
Eugenics and the Classical Ideal of Beauty in Philip K. Dick's “The Golden Man” (/isis/citation/CBB001031074/)

Article Andrea Whiteley; Angie Chiang; Edna Einseidel; (2016)
Climate Change Imaginaries? Examining Expectation Narratives in Cli-Fi Novels (/isis/citation/CBB161081042/)

Article Erika Lorraine Milam; (2019)
Old Woman and the Sea: Evolution and the Feminine Aquatic (/isis/citation/CBB398603741/)

Authors & Contributors
Einseidel, Edna
Chiang, Angie
Gianni Antonio Palumbo
Luca Bernardini
Mark Blacklock
Whiteley, Andrea
Science-Fiction Studies
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Studi dellaportiani
History of Religions
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Oxford University Press
University of California Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Cornell University Press
Science and literature
Science fiction
Parapsychology; psychic phenomena
Science and culture
Climate change
Wells, Herbert George
Rāẏa, Dīnendrakumāra
Boothby, Guy
Morgan, Elaine
Ghose, Aurobindo
Ghosh, Amitav
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
21st century
United States
British Society for Psychical Research

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment