Flashes of the Fantastic
Selected Essays from the War of the Worlds Centennial, Nineteenth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts
Essays examine The War of the Worlds, other works by H.G. Wells, and assorted topics related to science fiction and fantasy.
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The 19th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts was focused on the centennial of the initial publication of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds. Wells's first and fourth novels, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, have together largely created the science fiction genre and are arguably the two most influential works of science fiction. But through his works Wells has had an even broader influence on the fantastic, and numerous writers, artists, and musicians are indebted to him. This volume includes selected essays from the 19th annual ICFA and gives special attention to Wells and his legacy.
The first section of the book offers fresh interpretations of The War of the Worlds, particularly as a commentary on colonialism. The second provides broader coverage of Wells and his works, with essays examining his A Modern Utopia and looking at texts which his writings inspired in major or minor ways. The third includes essays on noted fantasy writer Peter Straub, the guest of honor at the conference; while the fourth presents discussions of a variety of topics related to the fantastic, including fantastic neomedievalism, Dracula, and dragons.
- Table of Contents
Introduction: "Flashes of Light" by David Ketterer
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
"God's Ministers"? Reinterpreting the Martian Invasion in The War of the Worlds, by Patrick Parrinder
Artful Irony in The War of the Worlds, by Richard Law
The War of the Worlds and the Disease of Imperialism, by Alexander C. Irvine
The War of the Worlds, Wells, and the Fallacy of Empire, by John C. Hawley
H. G. WELLS AND SCIENCE FICTION
The Legendary: H. G. Wells and A Modern Utopia , by Claire Hirshfield
"These Are Not the Aliens You're Looking For": Reflections on Race, Writing, and Theory in Contemporary Science Fiction, by Sylvia Kelso
The Queer as Traitor, the Traitor as Queer: Denaturalizing Concepts of Nationhood, Species, and Sexuality, by Wendy Pearson
The Humanism of C. M. Kornbluth's "The Marching Morons", by Andy Duncan
The Forever War (1972-75, 1975/76, 1997) and Forever Peace (1997): Joe Haldeman's Variations on a Theme, by Richard D. Erlich
How to Make Utopia (Marginally) Credible, by Brian W. Aldiss
THE ART OF PETER STRAUB
The Fantasy of Everyday Life, by Peter Straub
An Interview with Peter Straub, by Bernadette Bosky
Dispatches from the Invisible World: Trauma and Survival in Straub's "Blue Rose" Stories, by Patricia Moir
FANTASY, REALITY, POETRY-MORE FLASHES OF INSIGHT
Drawing Lines in the Sand: The Fantastic Considered as an Instance of Liminality, by Judith Kerman
Anne Radcliffe's "Real" Ghost: The Fantastic Supernatural in Gaston de Blondeville, by Robert F. Geary
"Power of Combination": Dracula and Secret Societies, by Katie Harse
The Phantom Structure of Anatole France's "La Messe des Ombres": A Tale from Gascony Revisited, from Bladé to France, by Juliette Gilman
"Fantastic Neomedievalism": The Image of the Middle Ages in Popular Fantasy, by Kim Selling
From Death to Rebirth: A Short History of Dragons and Their Presence in Modern Fantasy, by Judith A. John
Autogeddon Meets Archetype: Ballard's Novel Crash-The Collision Between the Dream Image and the Totem Object in the Death of Princess Diana, by Joan Bridgman
The Spacecraft of Pablo Neruda and W. H. Auden , by Leonard A. Cheever
About the Contributors
[T]hese volumes will continue to serve, for a long time to come, as a valuable chronicle of a remarkable annual conference.
[T]hese essays are solid evidence of the intelligent, serious interest in H.G. Wells, in science fiction, and in fantasy.