Cover image for American science fiction and the Cold War : literature and film
American science fiction and the Cold War : literature and film
Seed, David.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : Fitzroy Dearborn, [1999]

Physical Description:
vi, 216 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS374.S35 S44 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author Notes

David Seed is Reader in the Department of English at the University of Liverpool, England

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Scholar of contemporary literature and author of books on Pynchon and Joyce, Seed (Univ. of Liverpool, UK) has cast his authoritative net to embrace the literary and celluloid output of the 40-year period since WW II. "The Cold War was a metaphor," he writes, then proceeds to scurry through hundreds of postwar science fiction novels and films. Seed's critical narrative ranges from the 1954 film Them! (ants as simultaneous monster bombs and communists) to the late 1980s "Strategic Defense Initiative" or "Star Wars" project ("The Force") to destroy enemy missiles (of the "evil" empire) via lasers and space mirrors. He discusses popular authors like Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Ray Bradbury, John W. Campbell, Jr., Philip K. Dick, Thomas Disch, Robert A. Heinlein, C.M. Kornbluth, Walter M. Miller, Jr., Frederik Pohl, Jerry Pournelle, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip Wylie, among numerous others. Drawing as well on the significant body of "nuclear criticism," he looks at films in some detail, Dr. Strangelove and War Games, among others. The useful bibliography plus the sensitive ideological and cultural treatment of the subject means this title will interest all academic and and general audiences. R. Cormier; Longwood College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vi
Introductionp. 1
I Postwar Jeremiads: Philip Wylie and Leo Szilardp. 14
II Variations on a Patriotic Theme: Robert A. Heinleinp. 28
III History and Apocalypse in Poul Andersonp. 40
IV Views from the Hearthp. 53
V Cultures of Surveillancep. 68
VI Take-Over Bids; Frederik Pohl and Cyril Kornbluthp. 82
VII The Russians Have Comep. 94
VIII Embodying the Arms Race: Bernard Wolfe's Limbop. 107
IX The Cold War Computerisedp. 119
X Conspiracy Narrativesp. 132
XI Absurdist Visions: Dr. Strangelove in Contextp. 145
XII The Signs of War: Walter M. Miller and Russell Hobanp. 157
XIII In the Aftermathp. 168
XIV The Star Wars Debatep. 181
Bibliographyp. 194
Indexp. 212