Science fiction has been around for centuries. By some definition even Beowulf might be considered Sci-Fi. But more clearly Bacon's New Atlantis and More's Utopia are clearly in that realm. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein may be the earliest true example of this genre of literature, closely followed by Edgar Allen Poe, but Jules Verne who made a living writing about what the future might look like is usually given the title of the first Science Fiction author. H. G. Wells followed Verne by a couple decades and added to the original base for this literary format.
Although the great literature of the world seems to present human beings as they are with their corruption magnified, Sci-Fi looks rather to higher aspirations and allows human beings to be shown as prevailing against the difficulties that beset civilization to promise that humanity achieves the lofty goals inherent in its nature.
This implied success does not mean that there are no darker stories or themes in Sci-Fi, but just that the rosier views of humanity hold sway. Instead of the forces being constantly against the heroes' efforts and frequently winning, heroes are shown as able to overcome the problems for altruistic reasons: the good of human beings. Seldom are the reasons for doing anything in Sci-Fi selfish; and if the reasons are selfish, the outcome is seldom successful.


Author Title Author Title Author Title
Asimov Caves of Steel Asimov I, Robot Resnick Starship: Mutiny
Bear Darwin's Children Bova Moon War Resnick Starship: Pirate
Bear Darwin's Radio Asimov Naked Sun LeGuin The Telling
Stewart Earth Abides Crichton Next Finch Tiger in the Sky
Card Ender's Game Robinson Pacific Edge Kress Yanked
Allen Game of Worlds Brin The Postman    
Bova Green Trap Resnick Starship: Mercenary    


A. Go to the following link.
You may browse through the link which is large and is linked to many other sites but you must read and write in 200 words what the article “On Science Fiction - How it influences the imaginations of technologists” is about.
The text that follows this title (which is a link) is from the link. It is NOT a summary of the link
This assignment is due 1/22 and is worth 20 ptst.
For a little different view of view of science fiction as a literary category the following book might be found in a library or, at most, purchased: Frontiers Past and Future by Carl Abbot. This book discusses science fiction as if it were a literary genre that recaptures the ideas and events that are involved in extending a society’s frontiers as actually happened when the United States moved westward to the Pacific Ocean.

B. Go to the following link. if not available use this link
You should read this link (the first two pages, at least) as it describes the purpose of sci-fi films and presents some idea of their evolution. It also relates science fiction movies to the usual kinds of films that we watch. Pick one of the films from “Alien Invaders in the Cold War Era,” copy the information about it, and hand in that information. This assignment is due 1/23 and is worth 20 pts.

C. The following videos will be watched the last week of January and the prior listed preliminary work will not be able to be done in class. You must find time for that work outside of class. THESE VIDEOS ARE NOT EXTRA CREDIT.
The Day the Earth Stood Still — Second Period 1/26-27 —— Questions — Answers
Invaders from Mars— Fourth Period 1/26-27 —— Questions — Answers
When Worlds Collide — Sixth Period 1/26-27 —— Questions — Answers
Twilight Zone: “Third From the Sun” 1/28 —— Questions — Answers
Each two-day video requires a worksheet due at the end of the period. The answers to these questions are due at the end of the appropriate period. The Twilight Zone episode will generate the basis for a quick-write related to the episode and society now following a few questions to be answered while watching.
10 pts for each submission connected to a video. These assignments are NOT extra credit
Assignment 1
About the Author: 300 – 400 words about the author’s life and works. You have to know about the writer to help understand the thoughts in the novel.
25 pts due 1/26
Assignments 2, 3, 4, 5
A summary of the plotline sequence will be due for each quarter of your book..You are expected to read most of the period each day: BRING YOUR BOOK EVERY DAY. The last 10 minutes of the period will be used for the following information which you will hand in daily: 1] the pages you have read during the period; 2] your assessment of where you think the plot, characters, action will take the reader; 3] the event you think is most important from your day's reading; 4] something the writer surprised you with or something you thought was very good. These daily benchmarks will be worth 5 points. If you do not hand in a daily assessment of your reading OR you do not spend the day reading you will have the points subtracted from your quarter summaries. If you are not in class to read this penalty will not be assessed, but you will be expected to have your complete quarter of the book read by the time the summary is due.
50 pts for each of the following:
_ (through first fourth of the book)
_ (through first half of the book)
_ (through three fourths of the book)
_ (through conclusion of the book)

Assignment 6
Create your own synopsis or summary of the story you read. What happened, who were the characters, what was the goal, how did the story progress? You may do this as an essay or as a sequential list that details the action of the story. You should use the information you generated in the previous four assignment. Your synopsis should be at least 300 words.
_ pts—due _
Assignment 7

Write your own review of the novel (300-500 words). What was the story about? DON’T retell the story. Were the characters and events believable? How well-written was the book? How does this book fit with others the author has written? Does the story have a wide appeal?
_ pts—due _
Assignment 8
Read a professional review and explain your agreement or disagreement. Reviews can be found at and searching for the title of your book. Normally there will be several listings for the title. Click on one listing and you will be linked to information about the book and REVIEWS. You have been at similar places during the first semester.
_ pts—due _ (This assignment should not be started until you have submitted your own review.)
Assignment 9
Read two non-professional highly  rated and two non-professional poorly rated reviews and explain your agreement/disagreement with them.Reviews can be found at and searching for the title of your book. Normally there will be several listings for the title. Click on one listing and you will be linked to information about the book and REVIEWS. You have been at similar places during the first semester.
_ pts—due _ (This assignment should not be started until you have submitted your own review.)
Assignment 10
In a collaborative group effort with others who read the same novel, discuss the following questions and submit a group essay – typed in proper formatting. _ pts—due _
1. Is there a purpose or lesson that readers or society should gain from this story? Or is the story for pure entertainment? Explain
2. What characters in the story are similar to people you know (personally) and do they act as you would expect people, in general, to act? If they do not act as you would expect, what is there about them that leads you to believe they could be real people?
3. Is the setting (where the story takes place) important to the action or could the kind of events be things that take place in our world now? Explain.
4. What other story, TV show, movie, fairy tale, fable is like things that happened in this book? What are the similarities between the characters in that story and the characters in the novel?
5. List several advantages and/or disadvantages for the reader when a novel is turned into a movie. Explain which form (movie or novel) of the story is the best way for the author to get his ideas across.