How Great Science Fiction Works : The Great Courses: Genre Fiction

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Gary K. Wolfe
  • Series: The Great Courses: Genre Fiction
  • 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Robots, spaceships, futuristic megacities, planets orbiting distant stars. These icons of science fiction are now in our daily news. Science fiction, once maligned as mere pulp, has motivated cutting-edge scientific research, inspired new technologies, and changed how we view everyday life - and its themes and questions permeate popular culture. Take an unparalleled look at the influence, history, and greatest works of science fiction with illuminating insights and fascinating facts about this wide-ranging genre. If you think science fiction doesn't have anything to do with you, this course deserves your attention. And if you love science fiction, you can't miss this opportunity to trace the arc of science fiction's evolution, understand the hallmarks of great science fiction, and delve deeply into classics while finding some new favorites.
These 24 captivating lectures reveal the qualities that make science fiction an enduring phenomenon that has been steadily gaining popularity. You'll grasp the context and achievements of authors like Arthur C. Clarke, H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. LeGuin, and many more. You'll experience the wonder, horror, and incredible imagination of works like Frankenstein, the Foundation series, Stranger in a Strange Land, and dozens of more recent stories as well. You'll also see this genre's influence in movies like Star Wars and TV shows like The Twilight Zone.
Science fiction can take us places in time and space where no other form of fiction can - outer space, the far future, alternate universes, unfathomable civilizations. The best science fiction expands our imaginations and makes its mark on our reality. And while few writers would ever claim to predict the future, sometimes authors get it almost eerily right: Gernsback describing radar in 1911, Bradbury describing giant flatscreen TVs in 1951, Gibson inventing "cyberspace" in 1984, and so on.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Informative and enjoyable

If you could sum up How Great Science Fiction Works in three words, what would they be?

Informative and enjoyable

What other book might you compare How Great Science Fiction Works to, and why?

I haven't read anything similar

What does Professor Gary K. Wolfe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He is very passionate about the topic. He provides a great deal more detail in the lectures than in the accompanying notes

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found the lecture on gender and feminism in science fiction fascinating

Any additional comments?

My to read list has substantially increased as a consequence of listening to this series of lectures.

Read full review

- barbara


What does Professor Gary K. Wolfe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He reads it very engagingly and naturally with passion and personal involvement.

Any additional comments?

A very well thought-out and thorough coverage of science fiction covering history, major themes and movements comprehensively. I feel like I am well equipped to read science fiction with a sense of context now. If I had been writing down names of authors and stories I would have a long reading list of the major science fiction stories worth reading.

It is also very entertaining. I never read things more than once but in this case I may make an exception.

Read full review

- Shaun Taylor

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-01-2016
  • Publisher: The Great Courses