Postmodern and Deconstructionist Science Fiction


"The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity."
"And the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty."

- Miranda Jones and Spock, "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" (Star Trek: The Original Series)


SF is the literature of the human species, change, and the Other, providing alternate points of view on familiar topics in order to give us a clearer perspective. It is philosophical, idea-centered, even subversive or transgressive. It explores possibilities and pushes boundaries. It asks the next question, and then the one after that.

Some of its authors use the philosophy of Postmodernism or Deconstructionism in their approach to writing. Here are a few authors whose work responds productively to these literary-criticism approaches.

Pretty much anything by Samuel R. Delany and Philip K. Dick

We Are All Completely Fine, by Daryl Gregory

White Noise, by Don DeLillo

Pat Cadigan, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and the other cyberpunks use science fiction techniques to address the postmodern and hyper-real.

Others that are more toward the postmodern or deconstructionist end of SF (and which many lit-crit scholars would rather not consider SF) include Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, William S. Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, and Kurt Vonnegut.

And these look useful:

Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction, by Larry McCaffery

Postmodern Science Fiction and Temporal Imagination, by Elana Gomel

Virtual Geographies: Cyberpunk at the Intersection of Postmodern and Science Fiction, by Sabine Heuser
Reading By Starlight: Postmodern Science Fiction, by Damien Broderick

updated 12/20/2015

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