Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The early and influential role of science fantasy in sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century England, France, and Germany: A selected account
by Downing, Lisa, M.A., Northern Illinois University, 2013, 77; 1546015
Abstract (Summary)

Science fiction critics have dueled over definitions of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century science fiction, often classifying early science fiction as mere prototype. Chapter One of this thesis examines the myriad definitions of the term “science fiction” allowing a distinguishable set of literary characteristics for science fiction, fantasy, and science fantasy. Early science fiction authors such as Johannes Kepler, Francis Godwin, Savinien Cyrano De Bergerac, Margaret Cavendish, and Jonathan Swift refashioned the familiar fantasy genre with scientific ideas, establishing a science fantasy genre to frame dangerous and rebellious ideas in a conventional and innocuous structure, the fiction novel. Chapter Two analyzes the science fiction elements present in early science fantasy of Kepler, Godwin, De Bergerac, Cavendish, and Swift as well as the scientific, religious, and political ramifications of science fantasy in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Chapter Three briefly highlights elements of early science fantasy that influenced twentieth- and twenty-first century science fiction. Early science fantasy not only influenced generations of science fiction writers and scientists, but it also was one of the main forces that legitimized the sciences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Baker, William
Commitee: Knapp, John, Schaeffer, John
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 52/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Germanic literature, Romance literature, British and Irish literature
Keywords: Eighteenth century, Science fantasy, Science fiction, Seventeenth century, Sixteenth century
Publication Number: 1546015
ISBN: 978-1-303-43742-7
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