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Science fiction’s ethical modes: totality and infinity in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s Мы (We)

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posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Zachary Kendal
This chapter asks whether science fiction (SF) has a predisposition to a particular ethical orientation. Rather than seek a single answer to this question of SF’s ethics, Kendal examines two classic SF texts and the traditions they represent: Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy (1951–1953), one of the most iconic series of SF’s American “golden age,” and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s Мы (We) (1921), a highly influential dystopian novel from an Eastern European SF tradition. Drawing on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, Kendal argues that the genre SF that developed in the American pulp magazines was dominated by themes and modes of literary representation best described as totalising, while SF not governed by these generic expectations has often engaged effectively in a more ethical representation of the other.

History

Chapter number

1

Pagination

3-27

ISBN-13

9783030278922

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2020, The Author

Extent

14

Editor/Contributor(s)

Kendal Z, Smith A, Champion G, Milner A

Publisher

Palgrave Macmillan

Place of publication

Cham, Switzerland

Title of book

Ethical futures and global science fiction

Series

Studies in global science fiction

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