ENGL 242 B: Reading Prose Fiction

Dangerous Visions: Science Fiction of the Late 20th Century and Beyond

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 9:30am - 10:20am
DEN 304

Additional Details:

This course explores a range of provocative science fiction from the late 1950s to the present. It will focus on science fiction’s critical capacity to challenge cultural and political authority though estrangement, wonder, and the sublime. Readings engage themes that include state surveillance, animal rights, corporate hegemony, genetic engineering, consumer culture, religion, and gender constructions.

Readings will pair various forms of theory and works of social criticism or history with literary texts.

This class will guide students in analyzing prose literature by practicing close reading strategies, situating works in historical or cultural context, and applying the insights of genre and literary theory to engage in ideological critique.

This course satisfies the “W” requirement, which means students will be required to produce 10-15 pages of graded writing throughout the quarter. This will take the form of 3-4 reading response papers and one 6-8 page final paper. Students can also anticipate a small research project. Please note that students are expected to keep up with the daily reading and come to class prepared to discuss and engage with the texts.


The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut, 1959
Neuromancer, William Gibson, 1984
The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi, 2009

Short Stories:

“Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman,” Harlan Ellison, 1965
“Aye, and Gomorrah,” Samuel R. Delaney, 1967
“The Girl Who Was Plugged In,” James Tiptree, Jr., 1973
“Faith of Our Fathers,” Philip K. Dick, 1968

others to be determined

Graphic Novels:

V for Vendetta, Alan Moore, 1982 – 1989
Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1, “Back on the Street,” 1997
WE3, Grant Morrison, 2006

Catalog Description: 
Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 15, 2016 - 3:31pm