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Colonizing the Universe: Science Fictions Then, Now, and in the (Imagined) Future

Greg Grewell
Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature
Vol. 55, No. 2 (2001), pp. 25-47
DOI: 10.2307/1348255
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1348255
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Colonizing the Universe: Science Fictions Then, Now, and in the (Imagined) Future
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Abstract

As a genre, science fiction productions -- whether cinematic or literary -- are based on earthly narratives of colonization. The imaginative impulse informing its productions takes from and revises earth history, putting it out there in a (de)familiarized but cognitively plausible and contextually recognizable "future." There are three basic models of science fiction colonial narratives -- the explorative, domesticative, and combative -- each of which represents a progressive stage in a continuum motivated by more efficient means of colonization. Most contemporary science fiction productions are of the combative model, which reveals a postmodern penchant for deflating space and collapsing time, for making the alien familiar and the familiar alien, the universe known and mapable. The article examines a number of earthly colonial narratives, early and recent science fiction films, and schemes for colonizing the universe found on the Internet.

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