By George E. Slusser, Eric S. Rabkin
How and while does there end up an “anthropology of the alien?” This set of essays, written for the 8th J. Lloyd Eaton Conference on myth and technology Fiction, is concerned with the importance of that query. “[Anthropology] is the technology that needs to designate the alien if it is to redefine a spot for itself within the universe,” in line with the Introduction.
The inspiration of the alien isn't really new. within the Renaissance, Montaigne’s function in describing an alien stumble upon used to be excorporation—mankind used to be the “savage” as the man made units of nature managed him. Shakespeare’s model of the alien come across used to be incorporation; his personality of Caliban is delivered to the factitious, political international of guy and incorporated into the physique politic.
This publication is split into 3 components: “Searchings: the search for the Alien” contains “The extraterrestrial beings in Our Mind,” by way of Larry Niven; “Effing the Ineffable,” via Gregory Benford; “Border Patrols,” by Michael Beehler; “Alien Aliens,” through Pascal Ducommun; and “Metamorphoses of the Dragon,” via George E. Slusser. “Sightings: The extraterrestrial beings between Us” comprises “Discriminating between Friends,” by means of John Huntington; “Sex, Superman, Sociobiology,” by way of Joseph D. Miller; “Cowboys and Telepaths,” through Eric S. Rabkin; “Robots,” by way of Noel Perrin; “Aliens within the Supermarket,” via George R. Guffey; and “Aliens ‘R’ U.S.,” through Zoe Sofia. “Soundings: guy because the Alien” contains “H. G. Wells’ generic Aliens,” by means of John R. Reed; “Inspiration and Possession,” via Clayton Koelb; “Cybernauts in Cyberspace,” by way of David Porush; “The Human Alien,” via Leighton Brett Cooke; “From Astarte to Barbie,” through Frank McConnell; and “An Indication of Monsters;” via Colin Greenland.
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Additional info for Aliens: The Anthropology of Science Fiction (Alternatives)
Echoes of this world may be heard in “You Forget to Answer,” a song by Nico. 8 Is this an aporia, where we should favor one kind of alien creation while relying plainly on the reader’s taste or preference, and on the writer’s singularity, even if we credit him, as I do, with a sharper talent when dealing with the minor stream? Actually, the problem goes deeper. For I believe that stories such as Rosny’s in their conception of the alien are closer to the true nature of SF and utopia. I promised you some theory.
But is this dragon figure, as Clarke implies, a misrepresentation? If this is the case, then the Overlords, once we realize their origin, become superfluous, cease to function as interface with nature. But that does not exactly describe their role here. For throughout, these dragon figures serve as conduit. Leading mankind, they are the means which the storytelling technology uses to pass from its primal state—that of devils and demons, of adversity between man and nature—to a new one, where man achieves dynamic identity with natural forces.
In like manner, an “alien” in SF is whatever is named alien. We can, however, proceed from this base in a rational manner. The alien should be, logically, anything that is not us. In our field, as it is defined by Pierre Versins 2—utopia, extraordinary voyages, and SF—we discover the following beings: extraterrestrials, “lost” races, intelligent animals, robots, and androids. In the adjacent territories of fantasy and fairy tale, we encounter elves, ghosts, vampires, and so on. These strange legions of aliens do not date back to yesterday: we find robots as far back as the works of Homer, and lost races in the writings of Aristeas, Ctesias, and Lucian of Samosata, who also created the first extraterrestrial beings.
Aliens: The Anthropology of Science Fiction (Alternatives) by George E. Slusser, Eric S. Rabkin