hello, i would like to do a paper that’s not that formal because i am an international student which i mean simple word or vocabulary. about the topic, i will upload the structure and you can read it clearly and see what the paper needs there are 4 topics in the paper that i will upload and i just have to choose one and i will choose the first topic. Also ,i will upload 2 more papers (handout) about the first topic that could help you write the paperWhat is Science Fiction?
The genre of Science Fiction emerged in the Post Industrial world (now think,
why would that be? Could it have something to do with society’s new relationship to
technology, or is it a mere coincidence?). This was the first literary genre to apply
imagination to the future, to speculate on how technical knowledge would impact
social structures and what the consequences would be. It is also the first self-aware
genre of literature (meaning that Sci-fi always knew what it was, from the
The genre has evolved parallel to technology, since the more technology
advances, the more ways we have to imagine possible futures. As I’m sure you
noticed when you read the links I provided, many of the gadgets we now consider
commonplace started out as Sci-Fi inventions. Take a moment and think about it:
would we have come up with Cell phones, Tablets or Tasers as we know them, if
some Sci-Fi geeky writer hadn’t thought of it and exposed us to it in the first place?
Maybe, or maybe not. We’ll never know for sure, but what we do know is that there
is a link between technology as we know it and technology as we’ve imagined it,
because in the end, every technological advance begins as an idea, something
abstract that doesn’t exist. What I’m getting at, is that invention, just as SF, requires
creativity. And this is a very unique genre, in the sense that it links imagination,
creativity, and scientific discovery.
In this sense, Sci-Fi offers the opportunity to create imaginary worlds in
which solutions for specific problems can be simulated. It allows us to work out an
answer for some of those pesky “What if’s?” For example, What if man could go to
the center of the Earth? (Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth) What if we
could build robots so similar to humans that we couldn’t tell them apart? (Phillip K.
Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). In the end, every science fictional
story bcomes a thought experiment dealing with two very important questions:
“How plausible is this new idea?” and, perhaps more important, “is it ethical?”
Through Sci-Fi we can examine the relationship between imaginary conceptions and
historical reality. This is the one genre in which science and technology are at the
core of creating reality. It is where literature, philosophy and imagination converge.
The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction.
Please don’t read this until you’ve read the handout.
There, see? Was it really that bad? (okay, maybe it was, Csisnery isn’t the most
reader-friendly guy). Okay, so as promised, this is, in plain English, the Seven
1. Fictive Neology: This “beauty” refers to how language is used in Science
Fiction. Basically, when you create a new world, you will also need to create a
new vocabulary to use in said world. This can be achieved in three ways:
a. By creating new words, like N’avi (from Avatar), Ariekei (from China
Mieville’s Embassytown), and Baliset (form Frank Herbert’s Dune).
b. By repurposing new words, for example, Net becomes an intergalactic
computer system in A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernon Vinge, Hosts
become alien parasites in Mieville’s Embassytown, and Voice becomes
a tone of voice that forces people to pbey in Dune.
c. Derivative words: The author creates new words based on old,
familiar ones. For example, Agrav comes form Gravity (A Fire Upon the
Deep), Suspensor comes from the word Suspensing (Dune), and
Autom is derived from the word Automaton (Embassytown).
2. Fictive Novums: The word “novum” means “new thing.” The Novum is the
new thing (or things) that causes the radical transformation in a SF story.
There can be three kinds of novums:
a. A new thing that intervenes in the routine course of society and
changes history
b. A rationally explicable material phenomenon, result of invention or
c. An unexpected appearance that elicits a dramatic change in the
perception of reality.
A few examples of novums are time travel, mutants, artificial intelligence,
cyborgs, conceptuals breakthroughs (as in wormholes, for example).
3. Future History: This name can be a bit confusing, but bear with me. Science
Fiction doesn’t always happen in the future, although it is a very futureoriented genre. Some Sci-Fi focuses on parallel worlds, alternate pasts, etc
(“What would the world be like if Hitler won the Second World War?” or
“What if women lost all human rights?” these are two books, by the way, The
Man form highcastle and The handmaid’s Tale). A change in our current
present, means that the history that lead us here would need to change, too.
This beauty focuses on exactly that: how did we get to this version of reality?
For this, it focuses heavily on the following: Cause and effect, common sense
motivation, and the connection between the present and the future
(constructs a alternate past to explain the “present”). A good example of how
future history works can be found in most dystopias (Hunger Games,
anyone?) and movies like Back to the Future.
4. Imaginary Science: This one is kind of self-explanatory, right? This particular
“beauty” introduces techno-scientific ideas and events in the stories and
metaphors of social life. It can be a playful deviation form scientific thought
(think Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), based on what is
considered scientifically plausible but is always fantastic (as in the
wormholes in the movie Thor), or it can be science transformed to fit the
parameters of cultural myth and aesthetic play (think The Matrix). In any
case, this beauty always uses science as a metaphor, so when you encounter
imaginary science, always ask yourself: what is the author trying to say?
5. Science Fictional Sublime: Weird name, I know, but it’s very simple. This
beauty refers to greatness beyond all calculation, measurement, or imitation.
It refers to a sense of awe and dread in response to human technological
advancement, like when projects exceed the power of their human creators
(ever heard of Skynet? If you haven’t, google, an then go watch The
6. Science Fictional Grotesque: This one is the opposite of the previous one. It
refers to the collapse of reality as we know it, creating a spectacle of
impossible fusions. For example, monstrous aliens (Alien), Cyborgs (as in
Robocop), and everyone’s favorites nowadays: Zombies! This particular
beauty is implosive, the foundation for horror, and it always attacks
7. The Technologiade: Sci-Fi deals with the transformation of human society as
a result of innovation in the techno-scientific field. As a result, the audience
expects stories that either make sense of their current historical experience,
or moralizes them, brings them back to their familiar culture or subculture.
This beauty refers to the role that technology plays in achieving these effects.
There you have it, I hope this helped you guys make sense of what I know is a
challenging read. And good job!
ENGL 133-51: Science Fiction –Stories of a remade Future
Prof. Marilyn Marquez de Mercado
Essay Due Date: Monday June 13th, 2016
This is a list of the topic options for the first essay. You need to pick only one of these topics and
develop it fully into a three to five (3-5) page essay. This essay accounts for 25% of your total grade
in the course. Below is a list of issues you should focus on as you write your essay.
1. Content: All content in your essay should be original, or from a source text and must be
cited following MLA conventions. What I mean by this is that the bulk of your essay
should be comprised of your own original opinions and thoughts, or what I like to refer to
as your arguments. These arguments should be supported by text from your source
material (textbook and/or class handouts), and cited appropriately.
2. Organization: Your essay should have an Introduction, several Body Paragraphs, a
Conclusion, and a Works Cited page. The ideas in an essay should flow easily from one
to the next without “jumping back” to ideas that were discussed before. Your
Introduction should tell your reader (in this case, me), what you find interesting about this
topic, why you consider this an important topic, and end with your Thesis Statement.
Your Thesis Statement should express your opinion and the reasons why you believe that
opinion is valid, no more, no less. The best and easiest way to organize your ideas in an
essay is by having a strong Thesis. A strong Thesis is, above all, specific and detailed.
The easiest way to structure a thesis that will help guide you through your paper is by
following a “formula” of sorts:
Thesis= Your opinion + reason 1+ reason 2 +…+ reason “n”.
For example: a thesis that states that “Robots are the greatest invention of mankind and
we should build more of them” is a very broad thesis and will not give you enough
information to help you organize your essay, not to mention that it is written in the first
person, not the third (we will get to that in a moment). A much better way of phrasing it
would be: “Robots are one of science’s greatest achievements and can benefit mankind
because they can perform delicate surgeries with great precision, thus saving lives.” In
this case, we have an opinion: robots are good, and a reason: their accuracy can help save
lives (yes, this would be a very short thesis for a very short essay, yours should be
Once you have a detailed thesis that reflects your opinions and the reasons you believe
these opinions are right, you can use your thesis to help you organize your essay. The
best way to go about this is to use your thesis as a map. What I mean by this is: After
your introduction, you will go into the body of the essay. The best way to structure the
body is by using each and every “reason” of your thesis to guide you. To do this, you
would use your “reason 1” as the topic sentence for your first paragraph. A topic sentence
is simply a sentence that tells the reader (again, me) what the paragraph is going to be
about. As you develop your paragraph, you need to remember to present examples from
the text you are discussing to support your opinion (which should be reflected on your
topic sentence, which at the same time is related to your thesis… see how it works?).
When you are using quotes as examples, it is important to remember that you know what
you think, but your reader (aka: me), doesn’t, so your reasons for using a quote as an
example may not be as obvious as you think. This is why you must remember that every
quote should be “sandwiched” into the text and be grammatically correct. What I mean
is that the quote should be placed between sentences of your own making and read like
one coherent chunk of text. For example:
In the movie Terminator, the US military’s greatest mistake was not taking Sarah
Connor’s warnings about developing artificial intelligence for military purposes
seriously. This lack of attention to Ms. Connor, lead to human decisions being “removed
from strategic defense” (appropriate MLA citation) and caused three billion deaths. By
removing the human element from military decisions, the US Department of Defense
effectively allowed a machine with no concept of morality or ethics, and no regard for the
value of individual human lives, to decide which places to bomb and which groups of
people to exterminate based only on binary computer logic.
You should aim to “sandwich” every quote you use in your paper.
Another important part of your paragraph is the transition. As its name implies, a
transition is a combination of sentences at the end of one paragraph that links to the next
paragraph. In other words, it tells your reader how one idea is connected to the other.
Lastly, your Conclusion should “reiterate” your thesis in the first sentence. What this
means is, simply, that you should remind your reader what your thesis was at the
beginning (but please don’t copy your thesis here, instead, reword it nicely and write it as
a brand new, shiny sentence). After you reiterate your thesis, give a quick recap of the
reasons your thesis was valid and how your examples proved it and then wrap it up. Yes,
this is your chance to tell your reader “See? I was right, and this is why.” So enjoy it and
keep it short and simple (don’t gloat).
Last but not least, your Works Cited page should list each and every text you used to
write your essay and it should be written in MLA format. It should look like this:
Works Cited
“Blueprint Lays Out Clear Path for Climate Action.” Environmental Defense Fund.
Environmental Defense Fund, 8 May 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.
Clinton, Bill. Interview by Andrew C. Revkin. “Clinton on Climate Change.” New York
Times. New York Times, May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.
Dean, Cornelia. “Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet.” New York Times. New
York Times, 22 May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.
Ebert, Roger. “An Inconvenient Truth.” Rev. of An Inconvenient Truth, dir. Davis
Guggenheim. rogerebert.com. Sun-Times News Group, 2 June 2006. Web. 24
May 2009.
GlobalWarming.org. Cooler Heads Coalition, 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.
Gowdy, John. “Avoiding Self-organized Extinction: Toward a Co-evolutionary Economics of
Sustainability.” International Journal of Sustainable Development and World
Ecology 14.1 (2007): 27-36. Print.
For more examples of Work Cited pages, or any issues with MLA formatting, you can visit:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl This is a great online resource for writers, and I
encourage you to visit it to answer any questions you may have.
3. Focus: Your paper should focus on one thing and one thing alone: Your Thesis
Statement. What this means is: avoid distractions and don’t go into tangents. If you find
an idea that seems fascinating and you can’t let go of it, and it starts to consume your
thoughts and dreams, and you find it is easier to write fifty pages about this idea than it is
to write one page about the rest of your paper, then it is time to rewrite your thesis to add
this new idea to it. But remember: Always Stick to Your Thesis Statement (this is what
your essay should be about).
4. Style: Your essay should be written in the past tense and in the third person, this means
no “I’s” no “We’s” and “You’s.” I am not requiring this because I am evil, or because I
enjoy making people cry. The reason for this is very simple: when we write in the first
and second person, we tend to use a more colloquial style (like I am doing right now).
What is the danger in that? Very simple, the danger is that you, as a writer, can lose focus
of the importance of analyzing your argument objectively, and fall in the trap of “this is
right because I say so.” When you write in the third person, you are forcing yourself to
express your ideas in a more neutral manner, and this kind of analysis will help you build
a stronger argument. So please, no “I,” “You,” or “We” in the essay.
The essay needs to be double-spaced, 12 point font, preferably Times New Roman
(because it is easier to read, so please don’t use anything like this, or this, or this, and
certainly not this).
5. Conventions: Please pay attention to writing conventions. Part of your grade will be based on
your accurate use of spelling, grammar, mechanics, vocabulary and clarity. Please avoid the use
of jargon and colloquialisms. Also, don’t believe everything Microsoft Word tells you. I strongly
advise you to proofread your paper at least once (ideally more times) before you turn it in.
Another great resource we have here on campus is the Writing Center, located on Herman 107.
It is a free service offered by the English Department, and the tutors there can act as a second pair
of eyes when you are revising (which believe me can be priceless when you are a writer). The
tutors can help you develop your thesis if you are having troubles or questions about it, and they
will even work with you brainstorming and developing ideas for your essay. They can also offer
assistance with organization, clarity of ideas, and even MLA formatting issues. In short, the
writing tutors are here to answer any questions related to writing, so please use them.
And now, without further ado:
Essay Topics:
1. Using concrete examples from the links provided in class, write an essay explaining how Science
Fiction has influenced modern technology. Use the handout on “The Seven Beauties of Science
Fiction” to explain how Science Fiction can aid in the research and development process of new
2. Compare and contrast how the depiction of artificially-created life (androids) functions in
“Reason” and “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long.” Discuss the role of the android in each story,
and describe how the relationship between humans and android is depicted in both cases. How are
both authors using the androids to raise questions about our own humanity?
3. All literary texts are influenced by culture and the historical moment in which they are written.
Choose one of the stories read in class and discuss how the historical period in which it was
written is reflected in the story.
4. Science Fiction has a long tradition of using humor and irony as a means to do social
commentary. Choose one of the stories we read in class, and explain how the author uses humor
and irony in the story to criticize his or her society.

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