Course Schedule
(subject to change as needed):

15-WEEK SCHEDULE

8-WEEK SCHEDULE

15-Week Schedule:

Week(s) 1-2: Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol. 1 (Short stories), ed. Robert Silverberg

Check-In Task and Introductions on MyHeritage.

Prior to Week 1: Begin Readings. Read as much of SFHF as possible.

Topics: Introduction to Course. Genre and Genre Criticism. 1920s-1930s--The Pulps and the Origins of Modern Science Fiction ("Scientifiction") and SF ("Speculative Fiction"). 1940s-1950s--From Space Opera to Hard Science, The Golden Age (with an Assist from the Paperback). 1960s--The New Wave Breaks.

Complete Unit I Post-First Forums.

Weeks 3-4: Dune, Frank Herbert.

Topics: World-Building. SF Tropes--Soft and Rubber Sciences, FTL Travel, Psychic Powers, The Superman (Transhuman). Thought Experiments--Religion, Ecology.

Complete Unit II Post-First Forums.

Weeks 5-6: The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin

Topics: More World-Building. SF Tropes--Bio-Engineering, The Ansible and STL Travel. Thought Experiments--Gender and Society, Quest of Individuation.

Complete Unit III Post-First Forums.

Weeks 7-8: Kindred, Octavia Butler.

Topics: SF and Diversity. SF Tropes--Time Travel. Thought Experiments--Power, Intersectionality of Race, Gender, Economic Class, etc.

Complete Unit IV Post-First Forums.

Ideas for Paper #1 (Genre). DUE END OF WEEK 11.

Weeks 8-9: Neuromancer, William Gibson.

Topics: Cyberpunk, Steampunk, and Just Plain Punk. SF Tropes--Dystopias, Virtual Reality, Human Augmentation, AI. Thought Experiments--Corporations as States, What Augmented Humans/Post-Humans/AIs Want.

Complete Unit V Post-First Forums.

Weeks 10-11: Watchmen, Alan Moore

Topics: Graphic Novels and Other New Modes of Delivery. SF Tropes--Superheroes, Alternate History. Thought Experiments--Power, Intertextuality, Post-Modernism.

Paper #1 Due 10/21.

Ideas for Paper #2 (Critical Analysis). DUE END OF WEEK 15.

Complete Unit VI Post-First Forums

Weeks 11-12: The City and the City, China Miéville

Topics: The New Weird. SF Tropes--Mashups, Multiple Universes, Perception. Thought Experiments--Phenomenology and OUR Perception of the World, Post-Modernism.

Complete Unit VII Post-First Forums

Weeks 13-14: The Martian, Andy Weir

Topics: Self-Publishing, Small Publishers, Publish-on-Demand, and So Forth. SF Tropes--Near Future SF, The Engineer as Hero. Thought Experiments--Hard Science Fiction, The Return of Competence "Porn."

Complete Unit VIII Post-First Forums

Weeks 14-15: Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

Topics: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction. SF Tropes--Dystopias. How Do We Die? Thought Experiments--After the Apocalypse, What Then? The Arts and the Human Spirit.

Complete Unit IX Post-First Forums

12/1 or Before: Schedule Teaching Demonstrations as Needed.

12/1: All Participation and Post-First Forum Assignments Due.

12/1: Paper #2.

8-Week Schedule

Week 1: Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol. 1 (Short stories), ed. Robert Silverberg

Check-In Task and Introductions on MyHeritage.

Prior to Week 1: Begin Readings. Read as much of SFHF as possible.

Topics: Introduction to Course. Genre and Genre Criticism. 1920s-1930s--The Pulps and the Origins of Modern Science Fiction ("Scientifiction") and SF ("Speculative Fiction"). 1940s-1950s--From Space Opera to Hard Science, The Golden Age (with an Assist from the Paperback). 1960s--The New Wave Breaks.

Complete Unit I Post-First Forums.

Week 2: Dune, Frank Herbert.

Topics: World-Building. SF Tropes--Soft and Rubber Sciences, FTL Travel, Psychic Powers, The Superman (Transhuman). Thought Experiments--Religion, Ecology.

Complete Unit II Post-First Forums.

Week 3: The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin

Topics: More World-Building. SF Tropes--Bio-Engineering, The Ansible and STL Travel. Thought Experiments--Gender and Society, Quest of Individuation.

Complete Unit III Post-First Forums.

Weeks 4-5: Kindred, Octavia Butler. (Note that you have three books total in Weeks 4-5).

Topics: SF and Diversity. SF Tropes--Time Travel. Thought Experiments--Power, Intersectionality of Race, Gender, Economic Class, etc.

Complete Unit IV Post-First Forums.

Ideas for Paper #1 (Genre). DUE END OF WEEK 5.

Weeks 4-5: Neuromancer, William Gibson. (Note that you have three books total in Weeks 4-5).

Topics: Cyberpunk, Steampunk, and Just Plain Punk. SF Tropes--Dystopias, Virtual Reality, Human Augmentation, AI. Thought Experiments--Corporations as States, What Augmented Humans/Post-Humans/AIs Want.

Complete Unit V Post-First Forums.

Weeks 4-5: Watchmen, Alan Moore. (Note that you have three books total in Weeks 4-5).

Topics: Graphic Novels and Other New Modes of Delivery. SF Tropes--Superheroes, Alternate History. Thought Experiments--Power, Intertextuality, Post-Modernism.

Paper #1 Due End of Week 5. FA1 9/20, FA2 11/15.

Ideas for Paper #2 (Critical Analysis). DUE END OF WEEK 8.

Complete Unit VI Post-First Forums

Week 6: The City and the City, China Miéville

Topics: The New Weird. SF Tropes--Mashups, Multiple Universes, Perception. Thought Experiments--Phenomenology and OUR Perception of the World, Post-Modernism.

Complete Unit VII Post-First Forums

Week 7: The Martian, Andy Weir

Topics: Self-Publishing, Small Publishers, Publish-on-Demand, and So Forth. SF Tropes--Near Future SF, The Engineer as Hero. Thought Experiments--Hard Science Fiction, The Return of Competence "Porn."

Complete Unit VIII Post-First Forums

Week 8: Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

Topics: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction. SF Tropes--Dystopias. How Do We Die? Thought Experiments--After the Apocalypse, What Then? The Arts and the Human Spirit.

Complete Unit IX Post-First Forums

FA1 10/11. FA2 12/6 or Before: Schedule Teaching Demonstrations as Needed.

FA1 10/12. FA2 12/7: All Participation and Post-First Forum Assignments Due.

FA1 10/12. FA2 12/7: Paper #2.

© Dr. Loren R. Schmidt, 2011-19
No part of this syllabus may be used or reproduced
in any manner whatsoever without written permission.