ENG 261 : Literature of Science Fiction

Explores the roots of science fiction as well as classic and modern works of science fiction and speculative literature. Introduces common themes in science fiction, the various ideological underpinnings of science fiction, and the way such literature comments on current issues in society and presents new ideas to society.

Course texts may include anthologies, collections, novels, magazines, or other works the instructor deems appropriate. Instructors may also include additional works from related or sub genres, such as fantasy, magical realism or cyber-punk, cinematic or video texts, and/or critical works about science fiction.


Equivalent placement test scores also accepted.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Recognize the elements common to science fiction that distinguish it from other genres and analyze science fiction works from various critical approaches using appropriate literary terminology.
  • Create critical hypotheses about texts and argue for their validity using textual evidence.
  • Analyze the ways in which science fiction reflects and distorts "reality" and the ideological arguments underlying its presentations.
  • Explore the tradition of science fiction and discover ways in which authors have recognized the possibilities of the genre by examining a variety of modern and classic works.
  • Examine different presentations in science fiction of gender, science and technology, governmental systems, culture, religion and ethnicity.
  • Write clear, focused coherent essays about science fiction for an academic audience using standard English conventions of grammar and style.

Additional Information

This course fulfills the following GE requirements: Arts and Letters/AS, Arts and Letters/ASOT-B, Arts and Letters/AAOT, Arts and Letters/AAS, Arts and Letters/AGS.

Course Adoption Date

Course Revision Date





Grading Options

Letter Grades


Audit Available