SUFFOLK COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SELDEN, NEW YORK
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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,
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:
final grade will be determined by an evaluation of your entire semester's work
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%
occurs when you present another person’s writing or ideas as your own. This
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
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
your responsibility to acquire class notes and assignments when you miss class.
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.
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
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
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
of the evil (or the good) computer; god-like computers; Japanimation
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