Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System
In Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System, John Rieder asks literary scholars to consider what shape literary history takes when based on a historical, rather than formalist, genre theory. Rieder starts from the premise that science fiction and the other genres usually associated with so-called genre fiction comprise a system of genres entirely distinct from the pre-existing classical and academic genre system that includes the epic, tragedy, comedy, satire, romance, the lyric, and so on. He proposes that the field of literary production and the project of literary studies cannot be adequately conceptualized without taking into account the tensions between these two genre systems that arise from their different modes of production, distribution, and reception. Although the careful reading of individual texts forms an important part of this study, the systemic approach offered by Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System provides a fundamental challenge to literary methodologies that foreground individual innovation.
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academic Afrofuturism Amazing Stories American SF anthologies argues audience become broadcast canon Catgirl century chapter CITW cognitive estrangement communities of practice construction contemporary context control room critical crucial cultural genre system detective fiction Dick Dick’s Dick’s fiction discourse distribution dominant effects emergence explores fantasy film film’s formal frontier genre theory genre’s Gernsback Gothic Hairston’s history of SF Hollywood horror ideological important invasion James Tiptree Jameson literary literature magazines mass cultural genre megatext metafictional milieu narrative niche market novel Ohmann organic Palmer Eldritch plot political popular position pulp question readers reading realist reality reception recoding relation role romance science fiction studies science-fictional scientific serial SF conventions SF subculture SF’s shifting social status strategies subcultural subcultural SF Sun Ra Suvin’s system of genres tension texts thematic tion Tiptree Award traditional Tsilhqot’in turn Ubik Weird Weird Tales Wells’s Westfahl WisCon writers