Fafnir 2/2017

Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research 2/2017

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Aino-Kaisa Koistinen & Jyrki Korpua:
Editorial 2/2017

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Merja Polvinen
Pre-column: Estrangement

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Line Nybakk Akerholt, Tone Charlotte Gadmar & Kyrre Traavik Låberg
Science fiction at the Science Library, University of Oslo: how to actively use an SF collection as a sandbox for science

Abstract: The University of Oslo Science Library holds a large collection of SF literature. The collection is only 5 years old, but has a rapid growth due to donations. This article describes why the Science Library as an academic institution needs a collection of SF, the nature of the collection, how we use the collection in innovations, and how we want the collection to evolve in the future. Important aspects of the development includes focus on public outreach projects, both to our scientific colleagues and to the greater public. This also means new ways to view library metadata and user-generated metadata.

Keywords: Science Fiction Collection, Science Library, Interdisciplinarity, Science, Public Outreach, Science Communication

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Maria Lindgren Leavenworth and Van Leavenworth
Fragmented Fiction: Storyworld Construction and the Quest for Meaning in Justin Cronin’s The Passage

Abstract: This article examines Justin Cronin’s post-apocalyptic novel The Passage (2010), with emphasis on how literal and figurative forms of fragmentation and shifts between temporalities can affect the reader’s storyworld construction. Working from the assumption that expectations connected to genre are a pivotal part of the reader’s storyworld creation, the novel’s temporal settings, the pre-apocalyptic Time Before and the post-apocalyptic Time After, are analyzed with particular attention paid to the ontological distance between readers and characters produced by fragmentation and temporal shifts, to the collapse and reconstitution of cultural knowledge, and to how various text types contribute to a destabilization of narrative authority. The reader’s quest for meaning, collating information from various sources and temporalities to reconstruct or keep track of events, is mirrored by the characters’ world building in the post-apocalypse as they (re)assemble information and cultural knowledge. The storyworld evoked in the mind of the reader, expanding with new details and events, thus finds a concrete parallel in the characters’ (re)construction of the world. Since the latter process is collaborative, with characters having to pool resources to both survive and make sense of the world, and the former occurs within an individual meaning-making process, the organization of the novel occasions a sense of isolation in the reader, mirroring the overarching theme of the narrative.

Keywords: post-apocalyptic fiction, storyworld construction, immersion, The Passage.

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Jesper Stage
Not long before the end? SF and the economics of resource scarcity

Abstract: The commodity price booms of the early 1970s and of 2006–2014 were both associated with predictions of devastating scarcity of key natural resources, in popular media as well as in science fiction. However, both price booms ended within a few years for largely similar reasons, linked to the economic incentives that high commodity prices create. Given the economic forces that ensure that spells of resource scarcity usually do not last, writers of science fiction set in scarcity futures, especially fiction of the “if this goes on…” type, need to provide plausible reasons why those forces might stop working. This paper examines how authors describing resource-scarce future Earths have attempted to offer such reasons, and how those reasons have evolved over time.

Keywords: natural resource scarcity, economics, science fiction.

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Minttu Ollikainen
Dreams and Themes in the texts of the “Reaalifantasia” group: Unnatural Minds in Anne Leinonen’s Viivamaalari and J. Pekka Mäkelä’s Muurahaispuu

Abstract: This article deals with the unnaturally functioning and frame-breaking dreams and the unnatural minds they are connected to in the novels Viivamaalari (2013) by Anne Leinonen and Muurahaispuu (2012) by J. Pekka Mäkelä. The dreams in the novels are discussed as examples of the poetics and thematics of Reaalifantasia, a young Finnish group of authors who in their writings combine fantasy elements with features of other genres. These minds and dreams as well as the ideologically charged themes they foreground are analyzed using the concepts and viewpoints of unnatural narratology.

Keywords: reaalifantasia, magical realism, unnatural narratology, dream, Anne Leinonen, J. Pekka Mäkelä.

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Chris Pak
A Book Review: Ace G. Pilkington ‒ Science Fiction and Futurism: Their Terms and Ideas

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Benjamin R. DeVries
A Book Review: A Pathbreaking Study of Terraforming in Science Fiction

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Call for Papers Fafnir 4/2017

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