SUFFOLK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

                                                             SELDEN, NEW YORK

 

                                                                  Course Outline

 

Catalog Number: EG58 (ENG210)                                                      Course Title: Science Fiction

                                                                                                                                                           

Instructor:  Dr. Donald Gilzinger Jr                                                                    Semester: Fall 2004

My Office: Islip 2-K                                                                       Office Hours: M, T, Th: 10:45-12:15

Phone:  451.4095 [leave message]                                                                                W 12:15-1:45

  or Dept. Office 451.4159                                                                                                                                                                      

 

Email: gilzind@sunysuffolk.edu                                            Web page: www2.sunysuffolk.edu/gilzind

 

 

Objectives of the course:

TO COMPLETE THIS COURSE SUCCESSFULLY YOU MUST:

1. understand the history of science fiction literature, its techniques and conventions, and the main
trends and themes explored by science fiction writers.

2. read science fiction.

3. analyze and explicate science fiction texts.

4. recognize, distinguish, and evaluate the essential characteristics of science fiction through
intelligent discussion of plot, theme, characterization, point-of-view, style, setting, scientific content,
and verisimilitude.

5. write essays of literary analysis which demonstrate the following qualities: controlling purpose,
clear focus, adequate development, logical organization, and use of textual details to support purpose.

 

Your requirements for completion of the course:

1. Read carefully all assigned material, including background material as required.

2. Complete all reading assignments on time.

3. Write all assigned essays, submit them when due, and revise or correct them when directed to do
so. All essays must be word-processed or typed double-spaced. LATE PAPERS WILL BE GRADED
DOWN ONE FULL GRADE FOR EACH DAY THEY ARE LATE.

4. Participate actively in class discussions.

5. Schedule conferences with me when needed.

 

Procedure for grading:

Your final grade will be determined by an evaluation of your entire semester's work with special
emphasis on completion of the course objectives; however, grading will generally adhere to the
following: Writing assignments: 40%; Tests, Quizzes, and Oral Presentations: 60% = 100%

 

Regarding plagiarism:

Plagiarism occurs when you present another person’s writing or ideas as your own. This includes
 the work of other students as well as published writers, acquired in hard copy or from the Internet. You
must cite any material copied word for word by enclosing it in quotation marks and identifying the source.
You must also identify the source of any paraphrase of someone else’s ideas. YOU MAY NEVER USE
THE INTERNET FOR SOURCE MATERIAL.

Keep all material, notes, and drafts that lead you to the final draft of your paper. Be aware that

proof of authorship is your responsibility. If there is ever a situation wherein I suspect plagiarism,
the burden is yours to prove: that means guilty until proven innocent. Your plagiarism will result in your

automatic failing of this course and your being reported to the Dean of Students. I will be available
to you should want to discuss this issue or to discuss your work.

 

 

 

Regarding your attendance and courtesy:

- Attendance is mandatory. You are permitted three (3) absences, so please plan accordingly. After
four (4) absences, I will drop you from the course and give you a grade of W or F according to my
discretion.

- If you are late, you must assume personal responsibility to ensure that I alter the attendance record
at the end of class. I will not change the record later. Regular lateness will count as an absence.

- YOU MAY NOT LEAVE CLASS BEFORE THE END OF THE SESSION. Other disruptions such as

chatting, eating, and sleeping are unacceptable. TURN OFF your phones, pages, and all other
electronics before class begins.

- ABSENCE IS NOT AN EXCUSE FOR FAILING TO COMPLETE ASSIGNED READINGS; therefore it is
your responsibility to acquire class notes and assignments when you miss class.

- A MISSED UNIT TEST CANNOT BE TAKEN AT A LATER DATE AND WILL COUNT AS A GRADE
OF ZERO (0). A missed reading quiz may be made-up before the start of the next class.

 

 

Texts:

Philip K. Dick. Do Androids Dreams of Electric Sheep? DelRey.

William Gibson. Neuromancer. Ace. (2000 trade ed.)

Ursula K. Le Guin. The Left Hand of Darkness. Ace. (2000 trade ed.)

Stanislaw Lem. Solaris. Harcourt.

H.G. Wells. The Time Machine and The Invisible Man. Barnes & Noble.

Garyn G. Roberts, ed. Prentice Hall Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

 

 

Semester outline:  (subject to adjustment as needed)

 

Unit One: (a) introduction; what is SF; SF reading protocols; the Frankenstein myth as a

central SF theme; SF literary conventions; Shelley, Verne, Wells, and Burroughs;
(b) brief history of SF apocalyptic literature; technophila/technophobia in SF and American
 popular culture.

READ: Butler (1035), Wells (373), Sturgeon (644), Card (970), and Wells’s The Time Machine.

 

Unit Two: humanity and cyborgs; the merging of human and machine; how do we determine

what it means to be "human”? how do we distinguish between Real and Unreal/Virtual?

READ: Bester (821), Dick (880), Bear (1019), and Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric
            Sheep?

 

Unit Three: the Other/the alien in SF; women writers; women characters; gender and sexuality in

SF; humanity’s responsibility for its creations.

            READ: Merril (660), Russ (946), and Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness

 

Unit Four: myths of the evil (or the good) computer; god-like computers; Japanimation (anime)
            and manga; SF’s presentation of transhumanity; globalization in/of SF

READ: Ellison handout, Gibson (1006), and Gibson’s Neuromancer

Unit Five: the limits of SF; the crossing of boundaries through fusion of SF, fantasy, and horror;
            the New Weird.

READ: McCammon (193), Delany (895), and Lem’s Solaris