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Scotland as Science Fiction (Aperçus: Histories Texts Cultures) Kindle Edition

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Length: 209 pages

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Scottish writers' concern with fantastic otherworlds goes back to Celtic mythology. The Scottish philosophers of the 18th century and the scientists and inventors of the 19th century were worlds ahead of their time. Today this tiny country survives in the shadow of nuclear subs, Trident missiles, and nuclear reactors, all the stuff of contemporary science fiction. This interesting study, which was born out of an MLA conference, includes work by seven Scotland-based senior scholars and three Americans in addition to McCracken-Flesher (Univ. of Wyoming). Two of the top Scottish sci-fi authors (Iain M. Banks and Matthew Fitt) receive two chapters each; Robert Louis Stevenson, J. M. Barrie, Muriel Spark, Alasdair Gray, Naomi Mitchison, et al. are also treated. Edwin Morgan even managed to write Scottish poetry as sci fi in "A Home in Space." The problem with studying this speculative genre is how to reconcile science fiction with a regional culture and an obsolescent Scots language. This provocative study meets the challenge head-on. With a mixture of science and fantasy, myth and technology, the land of Dolly the cloned sheep has created a "brave new Scotland" in rewriting the genre of science fiction. Good bibliography and notes (devalued by tiny print). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, researchers. (CHOICE)

Insightful and innovative from a Scottish-studies point of view….Many of the chapters offer lively commentary….a merit of this collection is that it will encourage such further conversation and connection. (Science Fiction Studies)

About the Author

Caroline McCracken-Flesher is professor of English at the University of Wyoming. Her recent publications include Possible Scotlands: Walter Scott and the Story of Tomorrow (2005), The Doctor Dissected: A Cultural Autopsy of the Burke and Hare Murders (2011), and the edited Bucknell volume, Culture, Nation, and the New Scottish Parliament (2007).

Product Details

  • File Size: 456 KB
  • Print Length: 209 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611483743
  • Publisher: Bucknell University Press (October 26, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 26, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005XNC9YE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,312,611 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karl A. Schmieder on December 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A few years back, Arthur Herman gave us HOW THE SCOTS INVENTED THE MODERN WORLD: THE TRUE STORY OF HOW EUROPE'S POOREST NATION CREATED OUR WORLD & EVERYTHING IN IT, a pretty serious look at how the Scottish Enlightenment (the book's original title in the UK) and ideas like individualism, democracy and capitalism can be traced back to Scotland.

Now, Caroline McCracken-Flesher gives us SCOTLAND AS SCIENCE FICTION, a collection that offers some important new thinking about science fiction, being Scottish, and larger issues around politics and identity in twenty-first century Scotland.

You may ask, why Scotland as SF? Besides its many lakes, rugged coastline, and scotch whiskey, Scotland is steeped in science fiction and science fact. Home of the Roslin Institute, Scots were the first to clone a mammal - world-famous Dolly the sheep.

In terms of Scottish literature, there are some big names here Cairns Craig, Ian Duncan, and Caroline McCracken-Flesher. Stand-out essays in this volume are Alan Riach's surprising piece on Scottish poetry as science fiction and John Garrison's essay that ties the work of Iain M. Banks to diverse concerns from Shakespeare's Macbeth to the question of Scottish independence.

McCracken-Flesher's introduction is also a must-read for anyone interest in Scotland, Scottish Literature, or speculative fiction.

I love the idea of thinking of a country in terms of fiction - especially speculative fiction - since every country, at its beginning is nothing more than a fabrication by a group of individuals. If we were to consider institutions from this point of view, we might stop taking them so seriously and be willing to propose more radical and often-needed changes.

McCracken-Flesher does a great job with Scotland and I'd love to see more volumes created around the idea of place as spec fict.

Check it out.
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