Issues in Speculative Fiction

Course code ENGL3656
Not available in 2015


Examines a range of fantastic and science fiction narratives from the nineteenth century onwards, and observes their transformations of conventional narrative patterns. We shall consider the ways in which these dreamscapes reflect and engage with cultural and social concerns such as gender, religion, war, and the concept of virtual reality.


Not currently available.

Learning Outcomes

1. A close acquaintance with a number of literary works;

2. The necessary interpretive skills to comprehend the theory and practice of fantastic narrative;

3. Familiarity with critical debates surrounding works in the genre of speculative fiction

4. Ability to reflect on the representation of cultural elements in literary forms;

5. Skills in writing analytic and research essays.


The course will trace the history of speculative fiction. Material studied is likely to include:

  1. One or two works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when science fiction and fantastic literature began to become an important genre especially for reflection on social issues;
  2. Modern and contemporary texts traditionally regarded as belonging to the genre of fantasy and science fiction;
  3. One or two texts by mainstream writers that make use of fantastic techniques (notably magic realism);
  4. One or two films.

We shall consider theoretical issues surrounding fantastic narrative.

Assumed Knowledge

ENGL2000 or 40 units of English.

Assessment Items

Report: 2 x reports

Essay: Essay

Quiz: Short quizzes across semester

Contact Hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 2 Weeks

Laboratory = Film Screening


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term