These 17 essays from the seventh annual J. Lloyd Eaton Conference examine the relationship between fantasy and science fiction.
They propose that fantasy and science fiction are not isolated commercial literary forms, but instead are literary forms worthy of the recognition reserved for traditional literature. Discussion of genre identification ranges from the standard forms of literary criticism embodied in Aristotle’s mimesis and poesis to innovative and possibly controversial points of view such as a theory of humor, a philosophy of time, and a detailed analysis of Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat.
The essays provide not only a detailed study of literary elements but also the historical treatment of the material, its commercial use, and its relationship to similar literary forms such as the gothic tale and horror fiction. While few of the essayists agree with one another, they all contribute creative insights to the debate.