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Sith, Slayers, Stargates, + Cyborgs: Modern Mythology in the New Millennium Hardcover – February, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1433100956 ISBN-10: 1433100959 Edition: 1st New edition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

«This volume represents fan-scholarship at its most energetic, invigorating, and inspiring. The contributors couple a fan’s close reading and enthusiasm with the confidently-informed theoretical scope of academia - and show that not only do the two approaches mesh perfectly, but that they’re really not that far apart. It’s a tribute to the authors that however well you know these shows and movies, you’ll find something here to surprise you; a way of seeing the familiar from a fresh perspective. You’ll want to watch old DVDs again, and check out the ones you haven’t seen. You’ll want to meet the contributors and talk through a few of their ideas - and you get the feeling they’d like that too.» (Will Brooker is Principal Lecturer and Head of Film and Television at Kingston University in London. He is the author of several books and articles on popular culture and fandom, including Batman Unmasked, Using the Force, and The Blade Runner Experience)

From the Back Cover

"This volume represents fan-scholarship at its most energetic, invigorating, and inspiring. The contributors couple a fan’s close reading and enthusiasm with the confidently-informed theoretical scope of academia—and show that not only do the two approaches mesh perfectly, but that they’re really not that far apart.

"It’s a tribute to the authors that however well you know these shows and movies, you’ll find something here to surprise you; a way of seeing the familiar from a fresh perspective. You’ll want to watch old DVDs again, and check out the ones you haven’t seen. You’ll want to meet the contributors and talk through a few of their ideas— and you get the feeling they’d like that too." Will Brooker, Principal Lecturer and Head of Film and Television at Kingston University in London and author Batman Unmasked, Using the Force,and The Blade Runner Experience.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing; 1st New edition edition (February 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433100959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433100956
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,776,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Science fiction and fantasy have an epic presence that lets us approach common problems from uncommon angles, according to Whitt and Perlich. In a society that replaces cultural mythology with individual initiative, sci-fi's allegorical structure lets us complete our collective psychological journey. Therefore, Whitt and Perlich help us look to these heightened mythic narratives to unlock our most treasured hopes and beliefs.

Human beings don't exist merely as we are, but in context, which we often cannot comprehend without symbolic narratives. For instance, the frontier promise of self-discovery and rugged autonomy is embossed in American culture. But our generation, with no physical frontier, needs symbolic replacements ("Space, the final..."). Our failure to grasp that frontier frustrates us, and that finds manifestation in the essential rootlessness shown in the series Firefly.

Similarly, most of us struggle with the tension between individual needs and imposed social roles--tension, if you will, between Imperial order and free-spirited Rebellion. This translates into the struggles in the original Star Wars films. And Lucas' lapse of his mythology into spectacle and pageant in his prequel trilogy lets us see not only why myth is important, but why its absence rips the rug out from under us.

I wish this scholarly anthology addressed books. Sure, TV and movies have more cultural reach these days, but books like Harry Potter allow a more detailed and thematically rich exploration of these subjects than movies ever will. What about the changing social significance of a conscious myth-maker like Tolkein? Perhaps future critics will take this theme up. Perhaps I've found the topic for my own scholarship. Who knows.
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Sith, Slayers, Stargates, + Cyborgs: Modern Mythology in the New Millennium
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