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I am currently reading along with a podcasted class from Emory University in New York called Science Fiction and Politics. It's a rather interesting class thus far and it's taught by Dr. Courtney Brown, Ph.D. (you MAY know him... his big claim would seem to be studies in remote viewing).

Here's the reading list:

Foundation by Asimov
Foundation and Empire by Asimov
Second Foundation by Asimov
Brave New World by Huxley (I've already read it tho!)
Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin
The Uplift War by Brin
Darwin's Radio by Bear
Ender's Game by Card
The Forever War by Haldeman
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (already read it)
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein
Neuromancer by Gibson (read it twice)


I was moved to contact Dr. Brown via email and thanked him for teaching such a class. It seems to some degree the prejudices against science fiction, despite validation through science fact and inspiration of scientists generations over, keeps SF to some degree within the realm of public consciousness a 'lower' form of literature, perhaps due in part to it's pulp origins and the many B movies. I know to make such a statement is to make a broad generalization, and I can only speak really as an American, but it would seem at times such a statement holds a spark of truth.

I told him I was happy to see more and more classes of his sort popping up. He emailed back and thanked me kindly. He was happy I was reading along of my own will (I am not a student at Emory, I just happened to find his classes available online).

This is actually the second such course I've 'taken'. The first was a telecourse that I read along with called "Literature and Technology". It's reading list started with Shelley's Frankenstein and ended with Clarke's 2001 and Neil Postman's Technopoly.

My question to all of you is: Have any of you ever run across similar classes? If so, where? And, if you've taken them or participated in any way, what was your reading list like?


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Posts: 178 | Location: Currently Flint, MI | Registered: 28 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was supposed to, next year....

I really wanted too. but not enough people signed up.

To many damned kids in automotive, and med prep.


If there is a God, I know he likes to rock.
 
Posts: 274 | Location: Marooned | Registered: 15 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shenster,
"Science Fiction and Politics" - and the list doesn't include Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, or Ray Bradbury???!!!
 
Posts: 3163 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Braling II:
Shenster,
"Science Fiction and Politics" - and the list doesn't include Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, or Ray Bradbury???!!!


Sadly, no. You would think that at least Bradbury's Farenheit 451 would be on the list, but it's not. The previous class I spoke of, however ("Literature and Technology") did require F451. It was my first jaunt thru the classic book and I'm appreciative for it. The list seems sorely lacking indeed, but then again there's some very good books, as well. I can only assume the list was made with an overall goal in mind and that each of these books takes on a theme to that end.


Sorry to hear about the loss of the class, WildGravity.


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Posts: 178 | Location: Currently Flint, MI | Registered: 28 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No college prof I, but in a hs sf distance learning class, these are my main selections:
Mythology (Edith Hamilton)
Frankenstein (Shelley)
Time Machine (Welles)
Jekyl and Hyde (Stevenson)
Flowers for Algernon (Keyes)
Science Fiction SS Anthology (Numerous)
Twilight Zone - 10 SS Collection (Serling)
Martian Chronicles (Master Bradbury)
Childhood's End (Clarke)
Fahrenheit 451 (RB)
1984 (Orwell)
Brave New World (Huxley)

Usually offered in the order of sequence listed.

Films reviewed and critiqued: Most majors above, also Karloff orig. Frankenstein and then Deniro ('95 version), King Kong, Planet of the Apes, TZ episodes, Truman Show, Slaughterhouse 5, orig. War of the Worlds, and 2001: Space Odyssey (portions for topical discussions - man, it is long and slow, but a classic!)

It is a semester course, daily class (50min). In front of the camera, with all sorts of gadgets and computer tie-ins that the kids know far more about than I do. (Good thing!) We use the web for research and loads of trivial digs. Students read, read, read, but always seem to enjoy the content, purposely intended to present a more classical study of the genre.
 
Posts: 2674 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No, I haven't, and on that first list, "Brave New World" is the only title I'd read, which only half counts as I was way too young to understand it!
 
Posts: 7067 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:

Mythology (Edith Hamilton)
Frankenstein (Shelley)
Time Machine (Welles)
Jekyl and Hyde (Stevenson)
Flowers for Algernon (Keyes)
Science Fiction SS Anthology (Numerous)
Twilight Zone - 10 SS Collection (Serling)
Martian Chronicles (Master Bradbury)
Childhood's End (Clarke)
Fahrenheit 451 (RB)
1984 (Orwell)
Brave New World (Huxley)



That's an amazing reading list fjp451,

Out of that list I've read Mythology (used to study it like mad when I was a kid... I need a newer copy), Frankenstein, The Time Machine (and seen several of the movies), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, F451, 1984 and Brave New World. It's great to see some Twilight Zone material in there... I'm assuming it's SS that episodes were based upon? Am I right?



And dandelion, it's a decent read. It gets a bit tedious in the middle, I felt, but is mostly well written with an interesting idea. I also have an odd anecdote to go along with it:

The same year I was read Brave New World, I began having serious back problems (in fact the back probs flared up about 2 or 3 months after I read BNW). I've always had back probs, but this was intense. So much so that I was waking up, not so much JUST from the pain, but from my own moaning that I was doing in my sleep!

It's so very bad I go see my doc right away. He can't explain it right off. I wind up getting an MRI on my neck.

Turns out sometime perhaps when I moved in 2001 (odd coincidence?!) I must have pulled a disc in my neck out. In a sense, the disc slipped out of place. As a result, the bones on my neck are pinching my spine and along the major nerve that runs down my left arm. It waited for a few years before it really flared up. The pain I was feeling wasn't a result of the pinching itself (which is relatively minor), but the resulting inflamed muscle tissue.

The pain started at the base of my neck and went all the way down my back and all the way down my left arm. I would even have bouts where I'd lose feeling in my left hand almost completely (a frightening prospect for a writer and painter... tho I'm right handed I am very tactile with my works).

So I got the pleasure of meeting several other docs, going to phys ther for the first time in my life and seeing a neurosurgeon about possible surgery.

The neurosurgeon took one look and asked how long it's been since I've had the injury. I said I didnt know becuz it had JUST flared up and perhaps I sustained it while moving a few years before.

He sat me down and explained to me that the pinching was relatively small. He also said he couldn't repair it really, but the best neurosurgeon in the world could/would only fuse the discs together to prevent further slippage and pinching. He said despite all of medical science, there's very little they could do in the area of the spine without running the risk of causing further damage.

On the upside I was in no danger of paralysis and that, being somewhat young (I'm 30 now, i believe 27 then) fusing the discs together now at this point in my life would cause the discs above and below to hyper-extend to compensate for the lack of motion I'd have and therefore cause potentially even more pain down the road.


What's all this mean? I have to deal with serious pain issues every so often in my life (maybe once every couple of years which is NOT BAD imho) plus, while experiencing such pain, I am placed on a drug called SOMA.

The drug that society uses in BNW to calm the masses? (Everybody that's read BNW say it with me): SOMA!

And I have to say, it's a GREAT muscle relaxer LoL

This message has been edited. Last edited by: LordShen,


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Posts: 178 | Location: Currently Flint, MI | Registered: 28 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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TheLordShen, have you considered going to a Chiropractor? I have been for many years and they work. No surgery, just gentle manipulation and movement of the errant vertabrae back into proper alignment so that the discs are not crimped or otherwise out of place.
 
Posts: 1525 | Location: Sunrise, FL, USA | Registered: 28 June 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Make sure your chiropractor's name plate doesn't say "M.Munigant"...


- Phil

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Posts: 5014 | Location: UK | Registered: 07 April 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]
Foundation by Asimov
Foundation and Empire by Asimov
Second Foundation by Asimov
Brave New World by Huxley (I've already read it tho!)
Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin
The Uplift War by Brin
Darwin's Radio by Bear
Ender's Game by Card
The Forever War by Haldeman
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (already read it)
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein
Neuromancer by Gibson (read it twice)
QUOTE]
I've read Ender's Game (and the series) and found it to be a great read. The storyline and dialogue are great. Although, it maybe difficult for some to comprehend that the characters are so young yet capable of so much, I think it works on greater level. The story follows precocious children as they are put though training in hope that they will someday save the world from an alien race known as the buggers which, in the past, have attempted to take over Earth. The protagonist, Ender, exhibits the highest intellect of all the children and is hastily put through series of games to prepare him for the fight against the Buggers. He displays attributes that have never been recorded before in the history of the commanding school and, as a result, he is pushed through the academic levels at the school. Anyways, it is a great read and I encourage those who haven't read it to give it a chance.

I've also read Brave New World from the first list, and I think it is an essential read for a science fiction fan. I read it two years ago and although some of his ideas were above my intellect, I still regard it as a great read with an astonishing story filled with an ample of themes.

I wish my school focused more on science fiction. Friday, I received my ISU outline and books to consider for it, which included no books from science fiction. I asked my teacher if I could do Fahrenheit 451 because I have yet to read it and was intrigued by its story, and she allowed it, still I found it strange that not one was mentioned.

I want to read, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, but I found Blade Runner to be somewhat dreary. Is the novel better than the movie?

Lastly, is there any novels that any of you would recommend to an individual who enjoys science fiction and fantasy? I've read a Clockwork Orange (I loved it, but I'm sure there are those who would disagree), 1984 (great read), Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five was strange, but very intriguing), Brave New World, and others I cannot remember at this given moment.

Anyways, I apologize for the long ramble.
 
Posts: 63 | Registered: 08 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by atroposmar:
[QUOTE]
Foundation by Asimov
Foundation and Empire by Asimov
Second Foundation by Asimov
Brave New World by Huxley (I've already read it tho!)
Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin
The Uplift War by Brin
Darwin's Radio by Bear
Ender's Game by Card
The Forever War by Haldeman
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (already read it)
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein
Neuromancer by Gibson (read it twice)
QUOTE]
I've read Ender's Game (and the series) and found it to be a great read. The storyline and dialogue are great. Although, it maybe difficult for some to comprehend that the characters are so young yet capable of so much, I think it works on greater level. The story follows precocious children as they are put though training in hope that they will someday save the world from an alien race known as the buggers which, in the past, have attempted to take over Earth. The protagonist, Ender, exhibits the highest intellect of all the children and is hastily put through series of games to prepare him for the fight against the Buggers. He displays attributes that have never been recorded before in the history of the commanding school and, as a result, he is pushed through the academic levels at the school. Anyways, it is a great read and I encourage those who haven't read it to give it a chance.

I've also read Brave New World from the first list, and I think it is an essential read for a science fiction fan. I read it two years ago and although some of his ideas were above my intellect, I still regard it as a great read with an astonishing story filled with an ample of themes. Now, with obligatory repsonse to one of the above posts, loves as good as SOMA!!!

I wish my school focused more on science fiction. Friday, I received my ISU outline and books to consider for it, which included no books from science fiction. I asked my teacher if I could do Fahrenheit 451 because I have yet to read it and was intrigued by its story, and she allowed it, still I found it strange that not one was mentioned.

I want to read, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, but I found Blade Runner to be somewhat dreary. Is the novel better than the movie?

Lastly, is there any novels that any of you would recommend to an individual who enjoys science fiction and fantasy? I've read a Clockwork Orange (I loved it, but I'm sure there are those who would disagree), 1984 (great read), Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five was strange, but very intriguing), Brave New World, and others I cannot remember at this given moment.

Anyways, I apologize for the long ramble.

PS- I just saw the movie Brazil last week and I must say it is an extraordinary film. It is sad that it seems to becoming forgotten. A must see science fiction movie, which was obviously influence by 1984.

PPS- I'm curious as to how this online class operates. Is there a fee that is required to take it?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: atroposmar,
 
Posts: 63 | Registered: 08 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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atroposmar,

It's great your teacher allowed u to opt F451. I doubt many here would not highly recommend it.

I have a reading list on my site, tho I must warn you it's a compiled list with mini-reviews from my e-zine and I don't always like what I read or watch. What's that mean? The reading list is not a SUGGESTED reading list... if you want my reviews you'll have to dig thru the zines to find out what I thought of each, what I recommend and what I suggest to stay away from.

But here's a few things from that list I DO recommend:

Robot Dreams or I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
War of the Worlds, Island of Dr. Moreau or others by H. G. Wells (mind you, they are Victorian in their writing style and a lot of people can find that to be very sterile writing and a turn-off)
John Carter of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (I'm just getting into them myself... they're great if you want less cerebral and more action-oriented sci-fi)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
R.U.R. by Karel Capek (it's actually a play from the 1920s but it is where we get the word 'robot' from... i got my copy online for $2US plus shipping)
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (subsequently was made into a movie starring Charlton Heston called The Omega Man... there's another adaptation in the works, too and a graphic novel... I think they're all somewhat inferior to the original novel)
A Scanner Darkly I liked the movie (have yet to read the book)


There's tons of stuff all over. I hit the local library all the time and come xmas or Halloween most stores have public-domain horror and sci-fi movies on DVD for a mere $1 or $2.

Hope that helps.


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Posts: 178 | Location: Currently Flint, MI | Registered: 28 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks LordShen for the recommendation. I've been debating whether or not to read some Asimoc, but I haven't necessarily enjoyed the adaptions of his stories. Are they better? If so, I might check some out.

I've heard Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G Wells are great reads, but I haven't found it in myself to read anything theirs.

I heard that they are doing another adaption of I Am Legend staring Will Smith. The story seems interesting. I think I may check it out.
 
Posts: 63 | Registered: 08 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like Asimov. The adaptations can be bad to decent, but rarely (if ever) do they do justice to the original work.

I would suggest starting with I, Robot for Asimov. It's not one overall story like they made the movie into. It's actually a collection of short stories. The movie was collected bits and pieces from Asimov's short stories and Will Smith's role was created specifically for him. Dr. Susan Calvin (the woman in the movie) is actually the hero of most of Asimov's robots stories.

I, Robot (the book) is short and should be cheap/easy to find. It's where I started with Asimov and doesn't require a huge investment in time.


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Posts: 178 | Location: Currently Flint, MI | Registered: 28 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good advice.
 
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