• Science Fiction's Ethical Modes: Totality and Infinity in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy and Yevgeny Zamyatin's Мы (We)

    Author(s):
    Zachary Kendal (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    Speculative and Science Fiction, Utopian Studies
    Subject(s):
    Comparative literature, Ethics, Science fiction, Utopias
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Utopian literature
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/9176-9w47
    Abstract:
    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.
    Notes:
    The file currently available here is a preprint. The peer-reviewed accepted manuscript is almost identical to this and will be open access from 29 January 2022. The only substantive differences between these manuscript versions and the final published version are some minor copyedits.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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