viernes, 30 de diciembre de 2011

#12. Esferas de Dyson. Artículo de José Manuel Uría

Esferas de Dyson y más, ya que el artículo repasa el contexto científico de las novelas del dúo Redal-Aguilera y posteriormente Juan Miguel Aguilera en solitario.

Una esfera de Dyson es una esfera construida en torno a un sistema solar con el fin de absorber casi toda la radiación que emite la estrella y utilizarla como fuente de energía. Un concepto "tamaño familiar" como aparecen a veces en la ciencia-ficción, que debe su nombre al físico Freeman Dyson aunque este reconoce que sacó la idea de Hacedor de estrellas de Olaf Stapledon (Stapledon: el maestro del "tamaño familiar").

José Manuel Uría (2007). El mundo, la carne y el demonio. De Akasa-Puspa al Punto Omega. En Sedice, online.

La nota original de Dyson junto con varias réplicas y el rejoinder del autor:

Freeman John Dyson (1960). Search for artificial stellar sources of infrared radiation. Science 131, 1667-1668.

¡Feliz año!

jueves, 22 de diciembre de 2011

miércoles, 14 de diciembre de 2011

#10. Crítica de ciencia-ficción. Artículo de Veronica Hollinger

Y Hollinger es.

Dado que el texto anterior de Russ está bastante marcado por su momento histórico, no está mal complementarlo con esta survey -publicada en la misma revista- donde Hollinger repasa lo que la reflexión crítico-teórica dio de sí en las dos décadas siguientes.

No es un texto que tenga interés intrínseco fuera del ámbito académico; pero, bueno, mi perspectiva es: uno siempre puede empezar por el principio y leer hasta que llegue al punto en que desee dejar de hacerlo.

Veronica Hollinger (1999). Contemporary trends in science fiction criticism, 1980-1999. Science Fiction Studies 26(2), 232-262.

(Entre el título y el número de páginas, uno no se puede llevar a engaño...)

Del resumen del trabajo:
This overview of sf criticism from 1980 to 1999 is divided into three sections: 1) "Mapping the Field," which recommends some histories, genre studies, media sf studies, and reference guides; 2) "Sf Writers on Sf," which calls attention to a number of non-fiction and critical works by sf authors, as well as to some author interviews; 3) and "When It Changed," which discusses a variety of both feminist and postmodern studies of sf. (...) Sf studies itself has branched out into many new directions, been influenced by many complex political and theoretical perspectives, and achieved some legitimacy within academia, due in part to the postmodern turn away from high culture/popular culture distinctions. A review of the critical work published over the last twenty years suggests that sf studies is flourishing as never before, even as efforts to define what sf is/is becoming are being challenged as never before.

En el mismo número hay tres artículos más sobre historia de la crítica de ciencia-ficción.

martes, 6 de diciembre de 2011

#9. Ciencia-ficción. Artículo de Joanna Russ

¡Y hasta tres mujeres seguidas! De hecho se me está ocurriendo buscar algún artículo de Hollinger y que sean cuatro.

En cualquier caso, como Russ murió este año, no quería salir de 2011 sin haber enlazado algo suyo.

Joanna Russ (1975). Towards an aesthetic of science fiction. Science Fiction Studies 2(2), 112-119.

Algunos fragmentos:

Is science fiction literature?
Can it be judged by the usual literary criteria?

(...) Not only do academic critics find themselves imprisoned by habitual (and unreflecting) condescension in dealing with this particular genre; quite often their critical tools, however finely honed, are simply not applicable to a body of work that—despite its superficial resemblance to realistic or naturalistic twentieth-century fiction—is fundamentally a drastically different form of literary art.

Often critics may use their knowledge of the recurrent and important themes of Western culture to misperceive what is actually in a science fiction story. For example, recognizable themes or patterns of imagery can be insisted on far beyond their actual importance in the work simply because they are familiar to the critic. Or the symbolic importance of certain material can be mis-read because the significance of the material in the cultural tradition science fiction comes from (which is overwhelmingly that of science, not literature) is simply not known to the critic.

A third example of ways science fiction can be mis-read can be provided by Hal Clement's novel, Close to Critical. The story treats of an alien species inhabiting a planet much like Jupiter. Some psychoanalytic critic, whose name I have unfortunately forgotten, once treated material like this (the story was, I think, Milton Rothman's "Heavy Planet") as psychoneurotic, i.e. the projection of repressed infantile fears. (...) In such a view Close to Critical is merely nightmarish. But to decide this is to ignore the evidence. (...) The final effect of the novel is exactly the opposite of nightmare; it is affectionate familiarity. The Jovian-like world is a real world. One understands and appreciates it. It is, to its inhabitants, no worse and no better than our own.

If the critic believes that scientific truth is unreal, or irrelevant to his (the critic's) business, then science fiction becomes only a series of very odd metaphors for "the human condition" (which is taken to be different from or unconnected to any scientific truths about the universe). Why should an artist draw metaphors from such a peculiar and totally extra-literary source? Especially when there are so many more intelligent (and intelligible) statements of the human condition which already exist—in our (non-science-fiction) literary tradition?

Despite its ultra-American, individualistic muscle-flexing, science fiction (largely American in origins and influence) is nonetheless collective in outlook, didactic, materialist, and paradoxically often intensely religious or mystical. Such a cluster of traits reminds one not only of medieval culture, but, possibly, of tendencies in our own, post-industrial culture. (...)

Science fiction is the only modern literature to take work as its central and characteristic concern.

Except for some modern fantasy (e.g. the novels of Charles Williams) science fiction is the only kind of modern narrative literature to deal directly (often awkwardly) with religion as process, not as doctrine, i.e. the ground of feeling and experience from which religion springs.

Like much "post-modern" literature (Nabokov, Borges) science fiction deals commonly, typically, and often insistently, with epistemology.

It is unlikely that science fiction will ever become a major form of literature.