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Futuristic cars and space bicycles : contesting the road in American science fiction

Author: Jeremy Withers
Publisher: Liverpool [United Kingdom] : Liverpool University Press, 2020.
Series: Liverpool science fiction texts and studies, 66.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Given the extensive influence of the 'transport revolution' on the past two centuries (a time when trains, trams, omnibuses, bicycles, cars, airplanes, and so forth were invented), and given science fiction's overall obsession with machines and technologies of all kinds, it is surprising that scholars have not paid more attention to transportation in this increasingly popular genre. Futuristic Cars and Space  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: ebook version :
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jeremy Withers
ISBN: 1789621755 9781789621754
OCLC Number: 1120950786
Description: xii, 253 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: Introduction1. Perfectibility and Techno-Optimism in the Pulp Era2. Murderous Cars, Space Bikes, and Alien Bicycles in the Golden Age3. Electric Cars, Auto-Dueling, and Bike Shares in the New Wave4. Messenger Skateboards and Messenger Bikes in Postcyberpunk5. Staying Mobile in the Post-Apocalyptic World6. Kids on Bikes in 1980s Nostalgia TextsConclusion
Series Title: Liverpool science fiction texts and studies, 66.
Responsibility: Jeremy Withers.

Abstract:

Given the extensive influence of the 'transport revolution' on the past two centuries (a time when trains, trams, omnibuses, bicycles, cars, airplanes, and so forth were invented), and given science fiction's overall obsession with machines and technologies of all kinds, it is surprising that scholars have not paid more attention to transportation in this increasingly popular genre. Futuristic Cars and Space Bicycles is the first book to examine the history of representations of road transport machines in nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century American science fiction. The focus of this study is on two machines of the road that have been locked in a constant, often bitter, struggle with one another: the automobile and the bicycle. With chapters ranging from the early science fiction of the pulp magazine era in the 1920s and 1930s, to the postcyberpunk of the 1990s and more recent media of the 2000s such as web television, zines, and comics, this book argues that science fiction by and large perceives the car as anything but a marvelous invention of modernity. Rather, the genre often scorns and ridicules the automobile and instead promotes more sustainable, more benign, more restrained technologies of movement such as the bicycle.

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'With its broad historic reach, its synthesis of a variety of disparate types of research from a variety of scholarly disciplines, its lucid prose, and its welcome readability, Withers' Futuristic Read more...

 
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