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Fantastic and Strange: Reflections of Self in Science Fiction Literature

September 18, 2012 to July 26, 2013
University Library Exhibit Gallery

fantastic and strange poster

Science fiction literature, one of the most popular and entertaining genres in modern fiction, has been read and loved by children and adults for decades. From the earliest pulp publications to modern masterpieces, science fiction short stories and novels have often functioned as a lens through which we express our sense of wonder, marvel at the possibilities of new technologies, and engage in our wildest imaginings.

The modern genre of science fiction began when Hugo Gernsback published Amazing Stories, the first publication devoted to science fiction literature, in 1926. In his opening essay Gernsback described the genre as encompassing "…the Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision." Since that time, science fiction has come to encompass a broad swath of fiction, which, in addition to serving as an outlet for expressions of joy, imagination, and creativity, has functioned as a tool we use to explore and more fully understand ourselves. Whether questioning our confidence that humanity is capable of coping with the problems of science and technology, or examining faith and belief versus evidence, science fiction literature has been a space in which we are free to imagine and explore.

On display in the Library Exhibit Gallery are numerous pulp publications, short story collections, novels, and other science fiction works by over 100 authors, most of which were generously donated by Milt Stevens, a long-time member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. Join us as we celebrate the fantastic and strange in science fiction literature. For more information call (818) 677-2638.

Poster image from the cover of Galaxy Science Fiction, August 1952.

Entry to the Library Exhibit Gallery
From Utopia to Scientific Romance: Speculative Fiction and Science Fiction's....
Alien Encounters: Defining Ourselves vs. the "Other"
Invasion: When Aliens are Among Us
When the Earth Dies: Contemplating the Apocalypse
Going Nuclear: Science Fiction Literature and the Bomb
War as Fundamental Human Nature: Militarism and Conflict in Science Fiction Lite
Science Fiction, Science Fact: When Authors Accurately Describe the Future
Case along the exhibit gallery's south wall.
Worlds Without Gender: Androgyny and Gender Ambiguity
Liberation and Redefinition: Changing Roles of Women, 1960s-1980s
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Changing Roles of Women, 1920s-1950s
Heroes and Supermen: Masculinity and the Alpha Male
Case along the exhibit gallery's east wall.
Critiquing Ourselves: Science Fiction as Satire
It's Complicated: Our Love Affair with Technology
Man and Machine: Robots, Cyborgs, and Androids
Sentient Supercomputers: Man vs. Machine

Assistive Services

Requests for accommodation services (e.g., sign language interpreters or transcribers) must be made at least five (5) business days in advance. Please e-mail library.event@csun.edu in advance of the event.