chapter  Chapter 4
31 Pages

Macrological: Outer Space

WithPeter Stockwell

This chapter describes the origins of these conventions are examined and tracked into what has become the default style for mainstream science fiction writing. The register of what was to become the conventional generic style was born in pulp science fiction. Aldiss and Wingrove describe two early traditions in the development of science fiction: an intelligent middle-class audience reading Edgar Allan Poe and H. G. Wells; and a more sensationalist tradition in the serials and dime novels of the late nineteenth century. Pulpstyle is circumscribed by its conditions of production, as most writing is, but the economics specifically of pulp writing are highly salient to a stylistic description. Pulp science fiction often disguises gaps in scientific knowledge by patching a technically-sounding invented word over a phenomenon. Joanna Russ has pointed out the connection between the explanatory and pedagogic aspect of science fiction and didactic elements in the literature of the Middle Ages.