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Search for Tomorrow: Science Fiction Literature and Today’s Student

by
Anthony F. Franco


Contents of Curriculum Unit 79.01.05:

To Guide Entry


Science fiction has long captured the imagination of the general populace. Recently, this has become more apparent with the upsurge of science fiction films, both at the cinema and on home video screens. Since science fiction seems to be increasing in popularity, this unit will attempt to focus on its literary form—the novel.

The unit is designed to encompass an entire year for an eighth-grade class. Clearly, the novel is not presently taught in the middle school, but most middle schools in the city stress the reading of books for the purpose of book reports. The unit thus hopes to provide some meaningful integration of students’ outside reading within the English curriculum. Science fiction as a literary form is generally a high-interest commodity and can generate numerous discussions, as will be demonstrated later. The unit also has provisions by which a wide-reaching grade level applicability can be attained. With these provisions, I hope anyone wishing to use the unit may do so from the seventh to twelfth grade.

The overriding theme of the unit focuses on today’s student and his emergence as a stranger into the world of tomorrow. This long-range goal of the unit challenges the student to assess his present, accept his past, and search for his future in light of readings, discussions, and short exercises both written and oral, which will attempt at once to both enlighten and expand the student’s consciousness.

A two-pronged scheme of study is contained within the unit. The unit first focuses on the novel as a genre and serves as a basic introduction to the novel, which for too long has been foreign to the middle school student. Basic concerns of the novel such as theme, plot, characterization, setting, and conflict will be studied. Those works read will be studied both individually and collectively within the scope of these literary concerns.

The second scheme of study within the unit is a multi-dimensional look at the world of tomorrow. Futuristic concerns of students will be elicited by reading each novel in terms of communication, societal freedoms and restraints, environment, social protaganists and antagonists, economic concerns, occupational choices, moral distinctions, family structure, and technological advances.

Science fiction, although readily holding the interest of the reader and viewer throughout the ages, has frequently come under attack as an escapist form of literature which is steeped in myth, fantasy, and imaginary utopias. Thus, on the surface, science fiction does not appear to be a readily viable vehicle with which to introduce the world of tomorrow to today’s student. The arguments arise that science fiction can all too readily cloud the young reader’s logical view of future reality, which all too often seems to be some sort of utopian existence that is purely imaginary. Since the early instances of science fiction, however, more readers have solidified their allegiance to the form by recognizing that science fiction can, in many cases, become science fact. The imaginary cloud that science fiction authors are often accused of creating quite regularly becomes astute vision and a clear picture of what the future holds for man kind.

One such author who has experienced uncanny success at predicting what future years will be like was H. G. Wells (1866Ð1946). As early as 1899 in When the Sleeper Awakes, Wells foresaw such technological advances as air conditioning, video recordings, automatic doors, portable television sets, aerial bombings, and war between armed aircraft. In the same work Wells made other predictions that as yet have not become reality. Consider automatic clothes-making machines that can measure size and produce instantly; moving conveyor roadways; pleasure-cities which are designed to placate the masses; and super cities which encompass all of Earth’s population in groups numbering in the tens of millions. Are these predictions so unbelieveable that any one of us can deny their possibility?

Jules Verne (1828Ð1905), another early author of science fiction, proved to be a man of vision also as can be seen from the following predictions which proved to be successful after the publishing of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in 1873. The Nautilus is an example of a self-propelled submarine capable of diving underwater, maneuvering underwater, and moving at high speeds beneath the surface of the sea. Apparatus such as electrical clocks, generators and motors, stoves and heating coils, and electrical lights and searchlights were accurately forecast by Verne. Also, in connection with the setting of the novel, Verne foresaw the development of underwater aqualungs capable of sustaining life beneath the sea for hours at a time, wetsuits practical enough to enable divers to work on the ocean floor, and submarine warfare whereby a submarine could destroy any surface ship without ever being noticed. Some predictions that Verne made in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea that have not yet materialized but certainly are not outside the realm of possibility include seaweed cigarettes, underwater air guns which use glass electric shells that shock their prey, the utilization of the ocean as the source for all mankind’s food, and the discovery of the lost continent of Atlantis.

Hugo Gernsback (1884Ð1967), the father of modern science fiction, was a master of predictive science fiction. His novel, Ralph 124C41+ (1925) is one reason for this distinction and is a chief reason why the top literary award in the science fiction field is named after him. Some successful predictions from Ralph 124C41+ include television, remote-control power transmission, televised phone calls, transcontinental air service, solar energy in practical use, sound movies, synthetic milk and foods, artificial cloth, voiceprinting, tape recorders, and spaceflight.

Ralph 124C41+ also makes numerous other predictions which, given time may or may not become reality. Their range is immense, and such a range is testimony to the marvelous genius of Gernsback. These predictions for the future include instantaneous translation devices, complete weather control, thought recorders, stainless steel streets, invisibility machines, antigravity machines, and aircabs. Gernsback believes that in the year 2660 A. D. it will also be possible for instruction to be absorbed by pupils while they sleep via thought waves; that restaurants will have special rooms to stimulate appetites via hunger gases; and that through the use of special radium solutiors humans can be brought back to life provided their bodies have been perfectly preserved. Of course, communication with alien beings from other worlds will be possible.

Two other noteworthy modern writers of science fiction have developed extensive predictions for the future of mankind and have had the vision to give us the approximate dates when such inventions and social adjustments will arise. Robert A. Heinlein (b. 1907), in a collection of stories entitled The Past Through Tomorrow originally published in the 1940s, predicts a gas shortage for cars will result in the creation of a system of mechanized conveyor roadways which will stretch between cities and move people at speeds up to 100 m.p.h. sometime near the year 2000 A. D. (We could all benefit from this vision immediately!) Heinlein also believes the planets will be settled (2000), the weather will be controlled (2070), humam longevity will be attained through selective breeding and organ transplants (2125), and suspended animation for the purpose of space travel will be perfected (2125).

The Forever War (1975), a Hugo and Nebula award winner of 1975, was written by Joe Haldeman (b. 1943), who looms as one of the best young writers of science fiction. The Forever War mentions numerous predictions for the not-too-distant future which should be of some genuine interest here. Haldeman predicts the use of laser weapons (1996), the burning of cities on Earth during food riots which results in the United States assuming control of the world food supply, thereby establishing a world government (2004), homosexuality encouraged for purpose of birth control (2023), half of the world’s population lives on welfare-type government payments (2023), and the eventual substitution of marijuana for tobacco, which is distributed free by the government as a universal pacifier (2023). Haldeman goes much further in The Forever War to predict such extraordinary occurences as the regrowing of amputated limbs from their stumps and the establishment of individual force fields (2189), the eradication of most diseases and the making of all conventional weapons obsolete by virtue of a power (the “stasis field”) which makes radiation, electricity, light, and magnetism inert (2458), and the Earth as populated by ten billion individuals all cloned from the same person and all telepathically linked through their brains (3138).

As strange and bizarre as some of the predictions above may seem to us now, the writings of Gernsback, Heinlein, and Haldeman cannot be dismissed when viewed in light of the work by Verne and Wells. All these authors pointed toward their worlds of tomorrow and their writings contain a firm basis for such predictions. A ready parallel can be drawn between the thinking of these and other writers of science fiction and the lives of our students. Our students, too, may develop bizarre and strange goals for themselves, but if they are cultivated to examine the basis for their thinking, if they are taught to examine their past and present as a basis for their future, they will learn to adjust their future goals in a more responsible and carefully executed manner.

Science fiction draws heavily from three literary forms which permeate literature: the myth, fantasy, and utopias. As in most fiction, science fiction makes frequent use of myths. Many myths have, of course, originated in the Bible. Writers of science fiction recognize that their audience is aware of many biblical myths and are often able to utilize them effectively in an effort to lend plausibility to their work. Thus, when Mike returns in Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, the episode recalls the Second Coming of Christ. Also, when Estraven sacrifices himself in LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, we have a socially representative character dying for the whole of society—much akin to the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus.

Certain mythical defenses against mortality also permeate science fiction. Reincarnation is notable in science fiction; and such a revival is seen as bringing the dead back to mortality or even elevating the dead to immortality. Another tactic used often is the prolongation of life by moving a character unchanged into the future. Wells accomplishes this in The Time Machine. The prolongation of life can also be attained in science fiction by the mesmerizing of a being while at death’s threshold—a device frequently found in vampire stories. In this instance, however, the character will suffer a breakdown of personality and moral fortitude and will become an instrument of evil, unlike Wells’ Time Traveller who suffers no such degradation. Lastly, science fiction also combats mortality by making great use of the creation of life from unliving materials.

Science fiction and fantasy are not one and the same, but they do share a likeness. Science fiction is generally fantastic, as it usually presents at least one postulate which does not conform to the laws of reality at the time in which it is written. Fantasy, on the other hand, possesses a structure that is totally fantastic; reality has become the exception rather than the rule. Science fiction and fantasy are different categories of literature, but in order not to blur their differences it is necessary to define science fiction by what is contained in it—its elements; fantasy is generally explained by how it presents what it has in it—its structure.

The third major narrative form from which science fiction borrows is the utopia. Utopias have arisen in literature since Plato and have continued to the present. Early utopias were utopias for only some of the people; the elite manipulated the general populace in The Republic (c. 380 B.C.) and the economy was based on slave labor. Christianity changed later utopias such as Thomas More’s (1516) because of its emphasis on communitarianism. Here, ideal communities were structured based on a humanistic sharing. The economic base of these utopias depended upon cleverly devised schemes since their creators rejected the employment of slaves. The third phase of utopias arose in response to the industrial revolution. Many writers, such as Edward Bellamy in Looking Backward (1888), relied on technology to create machine slaves that would work for and benefit the general citizenry. Bellamy’s novel is a classic of science fiction, and at the time stood as a perfect utopia which combatted any moral concerns Plato’s structure would have contributed; and it saved the author the duress of devising elaborate schemes to provide for an economic base, as those authors did in the second phase.

Science fiction writers of the twentieth century, however, realize that technology may make an eventual slave of all mankind. Thus, in the fourth phase, utopian literature actually becomes dystopian and predicts a gloomy future for humanity. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) is a classic example of this phase. Dystopia has generally become the rule for science fiction in this century; the projections it makes based on current trends have helped to awaken mankind’s consciousness. He must use his technology, ingenuity, and common sense for the purpose of averting possible future disaster. Those writers of the fourth phase who continue to postulate pure utopian existence in their writing have had to create basic changes in the evolutionary process of mankind and develop races of superpeople in order that their utopias survive.

Science fiction has several themes which recur throughout the bulk of its literature. These deserve some mention here. It should be noted that these themes can be divided into two categories of origin: biological and physical. Those themes of biological origin deal with human beings and considerations of race and sex. Those of physical origin deal with time and space.

Imaginary universes populated by unhuman beings are the chief proponent of the biological-oriented themes. This desire to transcend normal experience is best manifested through the teleportation of a character or characters to the imaginary world. Science fiction writers make great use of both mental and physical teleportation, but the end result of characters escaping from present physical restrictions remains the same. Although this moving of matter through space by a mental process or by some incredible mechanical device provides a wish-fulfillment for the character, it often gains him a great deal of misfortune, although the plot of the novel will invariably benefit.

The technique of time travel in science fiction serves a distinct purpose for the author because it allows the displacement of the story’s setting. Time travel may be either forward or backward, but certain problems of causation must be encountered when it points toward the latter. Also, alternate timestreams and alternate universes are popular motifs of science fiction. An alternate time-stream postulates the changing of a particular outcome of a key event in history which subsequently gives us the same world with a few added twists. Alternate universes are universes that are complete and coexistent with our own, but yet they are not the same. A primary purpose of the alternate universe is the leverage it affords the author to create a multiplicity of settings.

The use of imaginary beings in science fiction is widespread, and the alien encounter is a very popular tack utilized by many authors. Imaginary beings are generally of two types: artificial creations such as androids and robots; or aliens, products of a diverse evolutionary process. Androids are constructed or grown artificially from protoplasmic materials; robots are made from metal and plastic; and cyborgs are constructed from a combination of the two. All serve an important function in science fiction whether they are slaves to mankind (third-phase utopia figures) or useful ploys the author adopts to make the reader raise questions about his own humanity and his function in the universe.

Questions of sex and race are more prevalent in modern science fiction but have their roots in the very first writings. Sexual attraction between male and female protagonists had been present in many early works but generally it was just an attraction. Later science fiction written from the 1950s to the present, makes greater use of sexual encounters. Some are even consummated, although sometimes such liasons may exist between a human and a non-human. In the case of race, the mere fact that science fiction is innundated with foreign beings leaves little room for hostility between human races. There is very little or no racial stereotyping in modern science fiction; the question of rights for an individual becomes raised to a higher degree in science fiction when the rights of aliens are in question.

Science fiction has high interest, is easily readable, and can be necessarily meaningful for today’s student. Action drama with clear plot lines and characterization makes science fiction literature accessible for the middle school or high school student. The great growth of science fiction film and its ensuing popularity provides a stepping-stone for introduction to the more serious treatment it deserves in its literary form. More important, science fiction enables today’s student to start thinking about his world tomorrow; a world in which he will be as much a stranger as the Time Traveller was in the year 802,701 A. D. We, as teachers, owe our students the opportunity to at least imagine their world of tomorrow and prepare them to meet its challenge.

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Plan of the Unit

The general plan of the unit is designed to extend for an entire academic year, although it is segmented into distinctive reading periods dealing with one book at a time, which would allow for a structured approach in its implementation. The unit is not designed for everyday use, but it should run concurrently with the regular course of study. Provisions should be made for at least a one-to-two-day discussion period each week to be set aside as a reading progress check.

The first such segment in the implementation of the unit is a two-fold initiation to the literary form of the novel. The basic elements of the novel such as setting, characterization, plot, conflict, and theme, will be introduced to the students. A simplistic approach in accomplishing this first course of action would be to compare and contrast the novel form with that of the short story—a form more familiar to middle school students. Also, in order to heighten interest in the proposed course of study, an explanation of these basic elements of the novel can readily be introduced if they are applied to various forms of science fiction seen at the cinema or on television. This visualization of literary terms would not only set the tone for the entire unit but would release the imaginative minds of the students into regarding science fiction as a popular form of entertainment. Such familiar science fiction films and television shows as Star Trek, Frankenstein, Battlestar Gallactica, and selected older movies generally shown on Saturday mornings on television would provide more than enough common ground on which to base these discussions.

The second phase of the first segment of lessons would deal with science fiction as a genre. Once again the visual experience had by students would become invaluable in this presentation. Students would be informed of the predictive peculiarities of science fiction throughout the ages, the history of science fiction, and the three narrative forms from which science fiction borrows—the myth, fantasy, and utopia. Also, general themes in science fiction will be introduced, such as those of biological and physical origin mentioned earlier.

After the initial segment of the unit detailed above, the number of segments remaining depends solely on the number of books to be read throughout the year. If the unit is to be taught at the middle school level, I suggest anywhere from four to six books would be sufficient for the remainder of the year. The number of books read, however, depends solely upon the caliber of the group and the time constraints the instructor is under.

Although the individual instructor of the unit may wish to have the entire class read each science fiction novel together throughout the year, it is not necessary. Since the segments of the unit are primarily reading periods with discussion and activity assignments interspersed, it is entirely possible to segment the class into reading groups where each novel will be read during each segment by a small reading group of students. A distinctive advantage of such an approach would be the retention factor, which would allow for a fresh reading of the particular novels to be present in any class discussion throughout the course of the year. Since the unit is generally a survey and not an intense study of authors, such an approach would heighten students’ interest in books not yet read. To summarize, by way of example; if five books are to be read, the class would be divided into five groups each spending approximately six weeks on each novel. Once again, factors of group level and time constraints of curriculum would be important to consider.

Throughout the year emphasis will be put on the various views offered by science fiction authors dealing with the world of tomorrow and its relevance to today’s students. Students should continually be advised to think imaginatively as to what life may be like for them in their immediate to distant future. As the students are given this free rein to speculate, they also will be gaining a sufficient knowledge of the novel. It is suggested that each student complete a general survey of each novel read in order that this latter goal continually be strengthened. A very basic sample of such a survey follows. More advanced classes may wish to chronicle an individual author’s point of view in science fiction. A sample form to be used for this purpcse is also contained.

The Novel

Title:_______________________ Author:_______________________

Main Characters:

_________________ _________________

_________________ _________________

_________________ _________________

_________________ _________________

Setting:

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Conflict:

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Plot:

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Theme:

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

The World of Tomorrow: A Prediction?

Title:_______________________ Author:_______________________

Society

Family Structure/Type of Being: ______________________________

__________________________________________________________

Government: ______________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Freedoms and/or Restraints: _________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Technology

Inventions/Devices: _________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Structure of Cities/Environment: ______________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Everyday Living

Communication: ___________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Transportation: ____________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Future Occupations: ________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Leisure Activities: __________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

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Sample Lesson Plans

Lesson I: Jobs of the Future

This lesson can be readily accomplished in either of two ways; students can list individually occupations they think may exist in the future, or the entire class can brainstorm the same with the aid of the instructor and the blackboard.

Briefly stated, the instructor initiates the lesson by -pointing out several occupations that may exist in the future which do not exist now. Students are then encouraged to think of as many of these “future” occupations as possible. At the conclusion of the activity each student is to choose the one occupation from the list that he or she would like to do in the future and write a short paragraph explaining why he would be suited for such a job.

Extension  This lesson can become a convenient startingpoint toward the larger goal of career education. Students can take an in-depth look at the world of work and examine their occupational possibilities for the future. Not only can occupations of the future be speculated upon, but occupations of the past and present can be researched. Students can see which occupations are no longer prevalent and which ones are relatively new.

Lesson II: Future Inventions

The approach to this lesson can be similar to that of Lesson I. Here, however, technological advances of the future are the focus. After the list of future inventions is made, students should be encouraged to write several paragraphs explaining the use of the invention and its importance for mankind. Physically adept students should be invited to draw sketches of such inventions and/or to construct home-fashioned models.

Extension  Since students’ papers for this lesson need to be clear, concise, and well-structured, I suggest that this activity be included in a unit on expository writing. The step-by-step process of expository writing will be invaluable to students as they try to explain the workings of the particular inventions they have concocted.

Lesson III: Headlines of the Future

Students are to picture the headlines of The New Haven Register in the years 1990, 2000, 2025, and 2050. Students will be reminded that these very well might be headlines that they will someday read. Several headlines from each year should be included. A class discussion should follow.

Extension  A unit on the newspaper would be a formidable background for this lesson. Students can study headline writing, editorial viewpoint, and newspaper organization. The entire class may wish to contribute articles to make their own newspaper of the future. Such an effort could be dittoed for the class and other classes, also.

Lesson IV: Time Machine (in connection with the novel by H.G. Wells)

Students are to become Time Travellers much in the fashion of the Wells character. They are also to pick their own year and relate a detailed summary of their moments in the future with special emphasis on whom they meet and what technological advances and societal structures they see.

Extension  This lesson should be taught in the midst of a unit dealing with narrative writing. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells should be read, and Wells’ techniques of writing should be discussed in relation to this activity.

Lesson V: Invent a Planet

This activity presupposes students have booked passage on the space shuttle (a distinct possibility in their lifetime). It veers off course, and, through time warps and multidimensional pecularities, it lands on a strange and foreign planet. Students are to name the planet, describe its life forms, and detail their brief visit to it.

Extension  A unit dealing with the technique of descriptive writing would give students ample preparation for this activity. Lessons on the proper use of adjectives should be included. Letter writing may also be studied since students may wish to correspond with their new-found friends upon their return to Earth.

Lesson VI: Eliminate the Problem

Students are to choose one problem in today’s society (i.e. pollution, crime) and detail how it will be dealt with in the future or give the reasons behind its elimination.

Extension  Students can look at their world and verbalize their concerns. Oral English should be studied, and students could practice their verbal abilities by giving short speeches on the various problems they are concerned with in their world.

Lesson VII: Close Encounters

Each student is to picture himself walking through the green in downtown New Haven and describe in detail an imaginary encounter he has with an alien being. Students wishing to work together may use dramatic means to complete this assignment for the enjoyment of the entire class.

Extension  If this lesson is to be written, it would be pertinent to discuss with students the proper use of quotation marks, as dialogue would probably permeate each student’s paper. The lesson would fit very well into units dealing with narrative and descriptive writing as well as dramatics and oral English.

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Teacher Bibliography

Aldiss, Brian W. Billion Year Spree. New York: Schocken, 1973.

British author writes an excellent history of science fiction and its development within the whole of British and American literature.

Barron, Neil. Anatomy of Wonder: Science Fiction. New York: Bowker, 1976.

Cross-indexed and annotated guide to over 1100 works of science fiction. Excellent source book.

Davenport, Basil, ed. The Science Fiction Novel: Imagination and Social Criticism. Chicago: Advent, 1959.

Essays by the editor, Heinlein, Kombluth, and others on science fiction since H. G. Wells.

Gunn, James. Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1975.

A study emphasizing the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.

Lundwall, Sam J. Science Fiction: What It’s All About. New York: Ace, 1971.

Easy-to-read view of science fiction dealing with novels and magazines.

McGhan, Barry and Calkins, Elizabeth. Teaching Tomorrow-A Handbook of Science Fiction for Teachers. Dayton: Pflanum/ Standard, 1972.

Useful guidebook of genre with ideas for implementation into curriculum.

Scholes, Robert and Rabkin, Eric S. Science Fiction: History, Science, Vision. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977.

Very informative book detailing the history of the genre, the scientific fact pervading the fiction, and the themes so prevalent in science fiction novels.

Toffler, Alvin, ed. Learning for Tomorrow: The Role of the Future in Education. New York: Vintage Books, 1974.

Superb collection of essays dealing with proposed changes in curriculum and ideas for future courses.

Walker Paul. Speaking of Science Fiction. New York: Luna, 1977.

Interviews with thirty-one present-day writers of science fiction. Useful ideas for teachers.

Wallechinsky, David and Wallace, Irving. The People’s Almanac #2. New York: Bantam Books, 1978.

Several excellent pieces concerning the future, various works of science fiction, and utopias.

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Instructional Bibliography

Anderson, Paul. Brain Waves. Westminster, Md.: Ballantine Books, Inc., 1954.

A mental surge raises intellectual capacities of both men and animals. The novel examines vast world changes.

Anthony, Piers. Race Against Time. New York: Hawthorn, 1973.

The story of two racially pure human beings and their adventures in contacting the four more that exist. The novel examines the meaning of freedom and reality.

Asimov, Isaac. The Foundation Trilogy: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation. New York: Avon, 1974.

Three classics of science fiction written by one of the masters of the genre.

Avallone, Michael. Beneath the Planet of the Apes. New York: Bantam, 1970.

Story of earth thousands of years from now which is ruled by apes, and of two men, Taylor and Brent, who are catapulted from the twentieth century into this world. A movie classic.

Bradbury, Ray. Farenheit 451. Westminster, Md.: Ballantine Books, Inc., 1953.

Books are not allowed. Firemen like Guy Montag are assigned to burn them in this interesting and thought provoking story of the future.

Bradbury, Ray. The Illustrated Man. New York: Bantam, 1952.

A narrator meets a mysterious and troubled man whose elaborate tatoos tell different stories which make up the book. The narrator is in for a surprise, however, as the final story predicts his own future.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice. At the Earth’s Core. New York: Ace Books, 1972.

A machine bores into the earth’s crust to the world of Pellucidar. Here a gorilla-like race enslaves a near-human race. Davis Innes and a beautiful slave girl try to reverse the situation.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice. The Moon Maid. New York: Ace Books, 1974.

The year is 2025 and a spaceship is forced to make a landing on the moon while en route to Mars. An unknown world is discovered, making for many adventures before the trip back to Earth.

Christopher, John. Beyond the Burning Lands. Riverside, N.J.: MacMillan, 1971.

Future time in England where a young prince, Luke, is forced to hide while his half-brother rules. Luke falls prey to various misadventures before he is accepted as high prince.

Clarke,, Arthur C. Against the Fall of Night. New York: Pyramid, 1960.

The story of dissatisfied Alvin who is frightened for mankind, even though it is a billion years from now and mankind has achieved all his goals.

Clarke, Arthur C. Childhood’s End. Westminster, Md.: Ballantine, 1974.

Overloads are sent to Earth from their star NGS S49672 to prepare mankind for a gradual change that will end homo sapiens.

Clarke, Athur C. Earthlight. Westminster, Md.: Ballantine, 1955.

The moon is easily accessible and both the moon and Mars have developed civilizations. Both, however, depend on a jealous Earth for resources. Tense and dangerous situations arise.

Clarke Arthur C. Rendevous with Rama. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1973.

Rama appears as a new celestial body in 2130. Rama, however, is a giant spacecraft within which is a self-contained world. Danger awaits Commander Bill Norton and his crew as they explore Rama.

Delany, Samuel R. Babel-17. New York: Ace Books, 1973.

Babel-17 is a strange language used by invaders in an interstellar war. Rydra Wong, a language expert, becomes the subject of their attack when she tries to decipher the language.

Del Rey, Lester. Tunnel Through Time. Philadelpia: Westminster Press, 1966.

Doc Tom fails to return from a scientific expedition. His son Pete and friend Bob enter a time machine to search for him.

Heinlein, Robert A. Between Planets. New York: Ace Books, 1971.

Story of future about a rebellion in an interplanetary federation. Novel concerns the disregard of individual rights.

Heinlein, Robert A. Have Space Suit—Will Travel. New York: Ace Books, 1971.

Kip Russell goes to the moon, Pluto, Vega, and the Lesser Magellanic Cloud guided by Mother Thing. Excitement and humor.

Heinlein, Robert A. Red Planet. New York: Ace Books, 1971.

Novel dealing with mankind’s first exploration of Mars. Unusual and surprising adventures face the explorers.

Heinlein, Robert A. Rocket Ship Galileo. Totowa, N.J.: Scribner, 1947.

Detailed story of the American space program and the first moon landings written nearly a decade prior to the actual events. Surprising similarity.

Heinlein, Robert A. Space Cadet. Totowa, N.J.: Scribner, 1948.

The year is 2075 and several members of the space academy become members of the Solar Patrol. Story deals with possibilities of interplanetary communication.

Heinlein, Robert A. Stranger in a Strange Land. New York: Berkley, 1961.

The story of Valentine Michael Smith who comes to Earth with super-human abilities, although completely devoid of sex as we know it.

Heinlein, Robert A. Time for the Stars. New York: Ace Books, 1971.

The population explosion makes it necessary for the Earthmen to search for habitable planets. Telepathy is used for communication between Earth and stars.

Herbert, Frank. Dune. New York: Ace Books, 1974.

Lengthy novel of a desert-like planet where treacherous plot is unfolding that could encompass many worlds and lives.

Herbert, Frank. Under Pressure. Westminster, Md.: Ballantine, 1974.

Oil shortage in twenty-first century forces United States to pirate oil from undersea enemy territory. Spy story set in war of future. Many problems of future are promised by events of today.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper and Row, 1946.

A fantasy of the future which comments critically on the present.

LeGuin, Ursula K. The Dispossessed. New York: Avon, 1974.

The story of Shevek who tries to reunite two planets who have cut off each other through centuries of distrust.

LeGuin, Ursual K. The Lathe of Heaven. New York: Avon, 1971.

George Orr can change the world through his dreams, and he constantly does this, searching for the perfect utopia.

LeGuin, Ursual K. The Left Hand of Darkness. New York: Ace Books, 1977.

Story of an envoy sent to Gethen where people have the capacity to be either male or female. The envoy has a variety of experiences in an attempt to bring Gethen into an intergalactic confederacy.

LeGuin, Ursula K. Planet of Exile. New York: Ace Books, 1974.

Life on Eltanin is threatened by barbarians. Only Rolery, a half girl, and Agat, a human man, can lead the natives to a new life.

LeGuin, Ursual K. A Wizard of Earthsea. New York: Ace Books, 1973.

Wizards on the island of Gont in the world of Earthsea help shape a world where magic is as important as science is to us.

L’Engle, Madeline. A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Dell Books, 1962.

Three youngsters are thrust into another dimension of time, where they experience exciting adventure and intriguing mystery.

Mendelsohn, Felix, Jr. Superbaby. New York: Nash, 1969.

Alan Corwallis, a laboratory baby, is born 2009. He is perfect physically, but he has no conscience.

Niven, Larry. Ringworld. Westminster, Md.: Ballantine, 1970.

A mysterious and intriguing world that is scientifically logical is the focus of this novel. People question their purpose for being there, and sanity comes under examination.

Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Signet, 1964.

A book of negative utopia and what life in the near future might be like.

Panshin, Alexei. Rite of Passage. New York: Ace Books, 1968.

The Earth has been destroyed and life exists only in large spaceships. Mia, a young girl of fourteen, must prove her worth in this world.

Rienow Leona T. and Robert. The Year of the Last Eagle. Westminster, Md.: Ballantine, 1970.

The National Emblem of the United States is nonexistent in 1989. A realistic story with alarming probabilities for the world of the future.

Verne, Jules. Tigers and Traitors. Bridgeport, Ct.: Associated Booksellers, 1959.

Exciting novel of technical wonders written years before they actually existed.

Wells, H. G. The Time Machine. New York: Scholastic, 1963.

Story of the Time Traveller and his journey into the year 802,701.

Zelazny, Roger. The Dream Master. New York: Ace Books, 1973.

The dream master enters men’s minds to experience their thoughts and manipulate their lives. Frightening look at what may await mankind in the next century.

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Contents of 1979 Volume I | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

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