Terminal Identity

Author: Scott Bukatman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822313403
Size: 50.82 MB
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Scott Bukatman's Terminal Identity—referring to both the site of the termination of the conventional "subject" and the birth of a new subjectivity constructed at the computer terminal or television screen--puts to rest any lingering doubts of the significance of science fiction in contemporary cultural studies. Demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge, both of the history of science fiction narrative from its earliest origins, and of cultural theory and philosophy, Bukatman redefines the nature of human identity in the Information Age. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theories of the postmodern—including Fredric Jameson, Donna Haraway, and Jean Baudrillard—Bukatman begins with the proposition that Western culture is suffering a crisis brought on by advanced electronic technologies. Then in a series of chapters richly supported by analyses of literary texts, visual arts, film, video, television, comics, computer games, and graphics, Bukatman takes the reader on an odyssey that traces the postmodern subject from its current crisis, through its close encounters with technology, and finally to new self-recognition. This new "virtual subject," as Bukatman defines it, situates the human and the technological as coexistent, codependent, and mutally defining. Synthesizing the most provocative theories of postmodern culture with a truly encyclopedic treatment of the relevant media, this volume sets a new standard in the study of science fiction—a category that itself may be redefined in light of this work. Bukatman not only offers the most detailed map to date of the intellectual terrain of postmodern technology studies—he arrives at new frontiers, providing a propitious launching point for further inquiries into the relationship of electronic technology and culture.

Matters Of Gravity

Author: Scott Bukatman
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822384892
Size: 74.22 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The headlong rush, the rapid montage, the soaring superhero, the plunging roller coaster—Matters of Gravity focuses on the experience of technological spectacle in American popular culture over the past century. In these essays, leading media and cultural theorist Scott Bukatman reveals how popular culture tames the threats posed by technology and urban modernity by immersing people in delirious kinetic environments like those traversed by Plastic Man, Superman, and the careening astronauts of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Right Stuff. He argues that as advanced technologies have proliferated, popular culture has turned the attendant fear of instability into the thrill of topsy-turvydom, often by presenting images and experiences of weightless escape from controlled space. Considering theme parks, cyberspace, cinematic special effects, superhero comics, and musical films, Matters of Gravity highlights phenomena that make technology spectacular, permit unfettered flights of fantasy, and free us momentarily from the weight of gravity and history, of past and present. Bukatman delves into the dynamic ways pop culture imagines that apotheosis of modernity: the urban metropolis. He points to two genres, musical films and superhero comics, that turn the city into a unique site of transformative power. Leaping in single bounds from lively descriptions to sharp theoretical insights, Matters of Gravity is a deft, exhilarating celebration of the liberatory effects of popular culture.

Storming The Reality Studio

Author: Larry McCaffery
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822311683
Size: 14.36 MB
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The term “cyberpunk” entered the literary landscape in 1984 to describe William Gibson’s pathbreaking novel Neuromancer. Cyberpunks are now among the shock troops of postmodernism, Larry McCaffery argues in Storming the Reality Studio, marshalling the resources of a fragmentary culture to create a startling new form. Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, multinational machinations, frenetic bursts of prose, collisions of style, celebrations of texture: although emerging largely from science fiction, these features of cyberpunk writing are, as this volume makes clear, integrally related to the aims and innovations of the literary avant-garde. By bringing together original fiction by well-known contemporary writers (William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Kathy Acker, J. G. Ballard, Samuel R. Delany), critical commentary by some of the major theorists of postmodern art and culture (Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, Timothy Leary, Jean-François Lyotard), and work by major practitioners of cyberpunk (William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley, Pat Cadigan, Bruce Sterling), Storming the Reality Studio reveals a fascinating ongoing dialog in contemporary culture. What emerges most strikingly from the colloquy is a shared preoccupation with the force of technology in shaping modern life. It is precisely this concern, according to McCaffery, that has put science fiction, typically the province of technological art, at the forefront of creative explorations of our unique age. A rich opporunity for reading across genres, this anthology offers a new perspective on the evolution of postmodern culture and ultimately shows how deeply technological developments have influenced our vision and our art. Selected Fiction contributors: Kathy Acker, J. G. Ballard, William S. Burroughs, Pat Cadigan, Samuel R. Delany, Don DeLillo, William Gibson, Harold Jaffe, Richard Kadrey, Marc Laidlaw, Mark Leyner, Joseph McElroy, Misha, Ted Mooney, Thomas Pynchon, Rudy Rucker, Lucius Shepard, Lewis Shiner, John Shirley, Bruce Sterling, William Vollman Selected Non-Fiction contributors: Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger, Fredric Jameson, Arthur Kroker and David Cook, Timothy Leary, Jean-François Lyotard, Larry McCaffery, Brian McHale, Dave Porush, Bruce Sterling, Darko Suvin, Takayuki Tatsumi

Hellboy S World

Author: Scott Bukatman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520288041
Size: 16.91 MB
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"Hellboy, Mike Mignola's famed comic book demon hunter, wanders through a haunting and horrific world steeped in the history of weird fictions and wide-ranging folklores. Hellboy's World shows how our engagement with Hellboy is also a highly aestheticized encounter with the medium of comics and the materiality of the book. Scott Bukatman's dynamic study explores how comics produce a heightened 'adventure of reading' in which syntheses of image and word, image sequences, and serial narratives create compelling worlds for the reader's imagination to inhabit. In Mignola's work, the imaginative space that exists on the page and within the book becomes a self-aware meditation upon the imaginative space of page and book. To understand the mechanics of creating a world on the page, Bukatman draws upon other media--including children's books, sculpture, pulp fiction, cinema, graphic design, painting, and illuminated manuscripts. Hellboy's World delves into shared fictional universes and occult detection, the riotous colors of comics that elude rationality and control, horror and the evocation of the sublime, and the place of abstraction in Mignola's art to demonstrate the pleasurable and multiple complexities of the reader's experience. Monsters populate the world of Hellboy comics, but Hellboy's World argues that comics are themselves little monsters, unruly sites of sensory and cognitive pleasures that exist, happily, on the margins. The book is not only a treat for Hellboy fans but will entice anyone interested in the medium of comics and the art of reading"--Provided by publisher.

The Poetics Of Slumberland

Author: Scott Bukatman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520265718
Size: 74.67 MB
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"In The Poetics of Slumberland, Scott Bukatman celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema. Bukatman begins with Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland to explore how and why the emerging media of comics and cartoons brilliantly captured a playful, rebellious energy. Slumberland is more than a marvelous world for Nemo and its other citizens; it is an aesthetic space defined by the artist's innovations. The book broadens to consider similar 'animated' behaviors in seemingly disparate media--films about Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh; the musical My Fair Lady and the story of Frankenstein; the slapstick comedies of Jerry Lewis; and contemporary comic superheroes--drawing them all together as purveyors of embodied utopias of disorder."--Page 4 of cover.

Everything Bad Is Good For You

Author: Steven Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101158012
Size: 23.89 MB
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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. Forget everything you’ve ever read about the age of dumbed-down, instant-gratification culture. In this provocative, unfailingly intelligent, thoroughly researched, and surprisingly convincing big idea book, Steven Johnson draws from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and media theory to argue that the pop culture we soak in every day—from Lord of the Rings to Grand Theft Auto to The Simpsons—has been growing more sophisticated with each passing year, and, far from rotting our brains, is actually posing new cognitive challenges that are actually making our minds measurably sharper. After reading Everything Bad is Good for You, you will never regard the glow of the video game or television screen the same way again. With a new afterword by the author. Steven Johnson's newest book, How We Got to Now, is now available from Riverhead Books.

Virtual Light

Author: William Gibson
Publisher: Spectra
ISBN: 0307831183
Size: 69.22 MB
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2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...

The Routledge Companion To Video Game Studies

Author: Mark J.P. Wolf
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136290508
Size: 26.58 MB
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The number of publications dealing with video game studies has exploded over the course of the last decade, but the field has produced few comprehensive reference works. The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies, compiled by well-known video game scholars Mark J. P. Wolf and Bernard Perron, aims to address the ongoing theoretical and methodological development of game studies, providing students, scholars, and game designers with a definitive look at contemporary video game studies. Features include: comprehensive and interdisciplinary models and approaches for analyzing video games; new perspectives on video games both as art form and cultural phenomenon; explorations of the technical and creative dimensions of video games; accounts of the political, social, and cultural dynamics of video games. Each essay provides a lively and succinct summary of its target area, quickly bringing the reader up-to-date on the pertinent issues surrounding each aspect of the field, including references for further reading. Together, they provide an overview of the present state of game studies that will undoubtedly prove invaluable to student, scholar, and designer alike.