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Common Errors in English Usage and More Science Fiction and Nuclear War-Related Topics

Hum 303 Off Campus

Humanities 303
Reason, Romanticism, and Revolution

A WebCT Course
developed by Paul Brians
3 credit hours

Course Information

Course Overview

Note: This course is no longer being offered. This page is being left on the Web so that people interested in designing similar courses can use it for ideas.

Note: Because this is a discussion class in which exchanges between students are crucial, participants should expect to set aside adequate time to do the work consistently. The minimum expected for a 3-credit class at WSU is 9 hours per week, but some students may find they need longer. This is not a “flex-time” course which can be done on your own schedule.

This on-line class is a version of a course offered as part of a sequence of courses in the humanities in Europe which are taught in the Department of English at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington. Humanities 101 covers the ancient world, 302 the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and this course the period from roughly 1750 to 1914. The period since 1914 is covered by the last course in the sequence, Humanities 304.

All are designed to be international and interdisciplinary, focusing on literary works outside of the Anglo-American tradition, on philosophy, and on art, architecture, music and–in the case of 304–film. While it helps to have some general historical knowledge of Europe before 1750, none of the other Humanities courses is a prerequisite for this one.

303 is the only one of these courses to have a descriptive subtitle that does more than indicate a period to be discussed. Obviously a course such as this cannot possibly “cover” such rich and varied material; and it has been designed to concentrate on certain crucial themes. What holds the course together is its focus on revolutionary movements and ideas which have had a lasting impact on western civilization and on the world at large. Much that we think of as “modern” began in the 18th and 19th centuries.

“Reason” refers to the French Enlightenment, that movement to use rationalism as a weapon against the forces of repression embodied in the monarchy and the church. Voltaire was the most popular if not the most influential of all the Enlightenment writers, and his Philosophical Dictionary contains lucid and entertaining presentations of all his major ideas. The rationalist tradition also influences later writers studied in this course, including especially Nietzsche and Marx. The rationalists are often associated with classical era music and neoclassical painting, which we will also explore.

“Romanticism” is the label for a literary-philosophical-artistic-musical-political movement which is often seen primarily as a rebellion against the stifling intellectualism and rigid logic of the Enlightenment, but it is much richer than that. It had a rich, multifaceted effect on Europe, more so than any movement since Christianity first swept over the area in the Middle Ages. Unlike the Enlightenment, which was at first confined principally to a few elites, it changed the way ordinary people viewed themselves, their relationships with each other, and their relationship to the natural world. It still largely shapes the way we think and feel today. It was not a simple revolt against reason in favor of emotion–though this stereotype has some truth in it–instead it was a major shift in values. No other movement in the last three centuries has affected so many different aspects of life, spread so widely, nor lasted so long.

Goethe’s Faust is the perfect work for illustrating the multifaceted, often self-contradictory nature of this movement. Reason and passion struggle together, tragedy blends into comedy, and the bounds of literature itself are stretched as a new form struggles to be born.

Much of the most popular music in the traditional concert repertory is still that which was first written in the romantic style. In some way or other, all succeeding styles either build on or react against romanticism. Neo-romanticism is a powerful force in contemporary music, in composers as different as Witold Lutoslawski and Alan Hovhaness. We will also be looking at romantic painting.

Any of the works studied in this course could be described as “revolutionary,” but Zola’s Germinal and Marx’s Communist Manifesto are especially helpful in understanding the background to the great socialist revolutions which swept across much of the world in the first half of the 20th century. In contrast, Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground stands as a cry of anguish against socialism, against rationalism, against modernism generally. Dostoyevsky’s powerful case against the notions of progress and utopia still provides major weapons for conservatives and reactionaries today. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring are examples of revolutionary music.

Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra in a sense sums up the entire course. Infused with both rationalism and romanticism, profoundly revolutionary and anti-political at the same time, leaving influences in philosophy, psychology, theater, fiction, art and music in a bewildering variety of directions, Nietzsche’s work continues to be a powerful influence on many thinkers today.

These are some of the movements and creative minds who have made the modern world what it is. They are not buried in history, but alive in the ways we think, feel, and perceive the world around us. By understanding them, we can better understand ourselves.

All of the study guides and other materials for this class are available in the online environment WebCT. Be careful to read ahead in the syllabus so you see what assignments are coming up. Don’t wait until the night before the due date. All assignments are due by 8:00 AM Pacific Time on the Monday the week after you are supposed to have done the work, but may be turned in any time previous to that. Students whose online work is consistently late will not pass the course because they are not allowing the other participants to interact with them in the discussions.

Note that in some assignments DDP students are required to write longer minimum contributions to the threaded discussions than Pullman students to substitute for the extra writing on paper that Pullman students do and the in-class discussions they participate in.

Please be aware that although WebCT is not open to the world at large, access is being provided to a few support personnel in the library, DDP and the Center for Teaching and Learning. This warning is required by privacy regulations.

Hardware and Software requirements:

    1. All students must use a browser which supports pop-up windows for the Bridge to work, and the pop-up feature must not be turned off.
    2. Internet Explorer for the Macintosh does not work properly with WebCT. Please use a copy of the current version of Netscape (6 or later) to do your work in WebCT.
    3. To play the music in this course you will need to use a computer with a sound card and good speakers (or headphones). A fast Internet connection will help, though lower-quality, lower-speed music samples are provided for those who must dial up.
    4. To the view the art for this course you will need a color monitor.

Important note: You will want to print this syllabus out for use away from your computer, but note that not everything you need to know is on this page. You must also follow the links which explain the details of individual assignments, while working at a computer. Note that the information on each week’s assignment is also reproduced in the “Information” document in each Bridge assignment page.

Papers are submitted via My DDP at It is your responsibility to log in here and familiarize yourself with the procedure for submitting papers well before the first due date.

Each week’s assignments are due no later than 8:00 AM Pacific Time on Monday (except for the final assignment, which is due on Wednesday of week 16), but you are encouraged to work throughout the week and to post answers to study questions well before the deadline. This is not a class in which you can scramble together a whole week’s work in one long evening just before the due date. Remember that each of these weekly assignments is the equivalent of two daily assignments done by the students on the WSU campus for which they are expected to do a minimum of 9 hours of work. Because this is an online discussion course, it is important that you keep up with the syllabus so you can be exchanging thoughts with other students on the same materials at the same time. Students who fall substantially behind will fail the course. This is very different from the flex-classes you may have previously taken through Distance Degree Programs, where you are free to set your own schedule. Be clear before you begin that you have substantial time available each week to devote to the work in this course. Because DDP students are not present for the in-class discussions and don’t do the same daily writings, they are required to write longer on-line assignments.

All assigned papers (including the research paper‚ both first and revised drafts) must be completed to pass the course.

For this course, there is a cultural event assignment involving art, music, literature, or theater of Europe from the 18th or 19th centuries. Read about this assignment now.


When you have successfully completed this course, you should:

1.     have a general grasp of major trends in Western European art history from the 17th century to World War I

2.     be able to listen with increased understanding to classical music from the same eras

3.     understand some of the basic over-arching themes in philosophy and literature of the 18th and 19th centuries.

4.     be able to discuss fairly complex and sophisticated ideas such as are treated in the works assigned

Course Outline

Due January 15
Week 11.                       Course Overview2.   Read “The Enlightenment“, then go to WebCT threaded discussion for “The Enlightenment” and do the assignment.3.  Set up your computer now to prepare to do the music assignments as explained below in the Week 3 assignments.Due January 22
Week 2

1.  Art Assignment #1 Watch the videotape: “The Art of the Western World, 5: Realms of Light-The Baroque” (Bernini, Cortona, Caravaggio, Borromini, Fischer von Erlach,Velázquez, Vermeer, Rubens, Rembrandt, etc.). Then go to the to the WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the writing. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.   Voltaire Assignment #1. Do this assignment only after having read “The Enlightenment” in the “Materials” area. (Read the following articles from Voltaire: Philosophical Dictionary: Abbé, Ame, Amour-propre, Athée, athéisme, Beau, beauté, Bien (tout est), Bornes de l’esprit humaine, Catéchisme chinois, Certain, certitude, Chaîne des évenements, Credo and try to answer as many of the study questions in the Study Guide as you can as you go along. Go to WebCT threaded discussion for “Voltaire Assignments” and write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written. Be sure to include an exploration of the “Problem of Evil” site and relate what is there to Voltaire’s writing.

3.   Read the “Knowledge or Certainty” Study Guide, watch the videotape, and do the writing assignment in the “Knowledge or Certainty” Bridge threaded discussion. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

4.   Choose your research paper topic (read the instructions online and write your choice in WebCT in the threaded discussion titled “Research topic sign-up.”). If someone else has already taken your topic, please choose another. No two students may use the same topic.

Due January 29
Week 3

1.   Baroque Music Assignment. Be warned that if you are a Macintosh user, you cannot use Internet Explorer for this assignment. Netscape works fine. Some other browsers like Safari also work. Windows users can use any recent browser. First, if you have not already done so, configure your browser for WSU library access and create your library PIN. The Distance Degree Library Services Web Site can assist you with this. Then go to Griffin and click on “Course Name” and enter “hum 303”, or use the “Course Instructor” button and enter “brians.” The first entry is a set of videotapes for use on campus. Click on the second and then click on “Humanities 303 recordings” and use your PIN and password to access the music for the Introduction to Baroque Music and the assignment on Johann Sebastian Bach. Read the online material, listen to the music, and write your responses in WebCT under “Pachelbel, Vivaldi and Handel” and “Bach.” Write 50 words minimum on each of these two assignments, and then respond to what someone else has written. You need to have a recent version of RealPlayer installed to listen to these assignments.

2.     Voltaire Assignment #2 (Voltaire: Philosophical Dictionary: have the following articles read: Égalité, Enthousiasme, États, gouvernements, Fanatisme, Foi, Guerre, Liberté de pensée, Préjugés, Secte, Théiste, Tolérance, Tyrannie), using the study guide and taking notes. Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for “Voltaire Assignments” and submit your writing. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

3.  Research paper proposal and annotated bibliography (Research paper proposal and annotated bibliography due: a paragraph outlining the topic and a list of sources to be used, with comments for each explaining why the sources will be useful to you. Be sure to include all three elements: the proposal itself, the list of sources, and the comments. Submit them to me through My DDP.

Due February 5
Week 4

1.    First paper due, on Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary, 600 words, worth 10 points. Design your own topic or choose one of the following, using details from Voltaire which demonstrate your understanding of his writings: freedom, free will and determinism, religion, tolerance, government, relativism. You may argue with him, but only if you present fully all relevant evidence on both sides. You must use material from two or more articles in the Philosophical Dictionary. If you have trouble choosing a topic or are uncertain whether your topic is acceptable, ask for help! Send your paper to me via “My DDP.”

2.  Read the page about Romanticism and go to the Romanticism Bridge threaded discussion to write your comments.

3.  Goethe Assignment #1: In the Bible, Job: Chapters 1 & 2; Goethe: Faust: Introduction, Prologue in Heaven. Use the Faust study guide. Then contribute to WebCT threaded discussion for “Goethe Assignment #1.” Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

Due February 12
Week 5

1.   View the videotape “The Art of the Western World, 6: An Age of Reason, An Age of Passion” (Antoine Watteau: Departure from Cythera, Robert Adams, François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Jean-Baptiste Chardin, Nicolas Poussin, Jacques Lemercier: Palais-Royal, Charles Perrault: Colonnade of the Louvre, Germain Soufflot: Panthéon, Giambattista Piranesi: drawings of Paestum, Jacques-Louis David: Death of Marat & The Sabine Women, Vignon: La Madeleine, Dominique Ingres: Odalisque, Jean-Antoine Gros, Francisco de Goya: The Horrors of War, Géricault, Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People, Théodore Géricault: The Raft of the Medusa) Do the writing part of this assignment in Bridge threaded discussion called “Art of the Western World, #6.” Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.  Mozart & Beethoven Assignment: Listen to the Mozart and Beethoven pieces in the online audio reserves. Do the writing assignment in WebCT threaded discussion called “Mozart & Beethoven.” Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

3.   Goethe Assignment #2: Faust: Night, Before the City Gate, both scenes titled “Study,” Witch’s Kitchen. Try to answer as many of the questions in the Faust study guide as you can. Then go to the Goethe Assignment #2 Bridge threaded discussion and write a minimum of 50 words about this assignment. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

Due February 19
Week 6

1.    Do women artists assignment.

2.    Goethe Assignment #3: Faust: Street, Evening, Promenade, The Neighbor’s House, Street, Garden, A Garden Bower, Wood and Cave, Gretchen’s Room, Martha’s Garden, At the Well, City Wall (study guide in the “Materials” area). Try to answer as many of the questions in the Faust study guide as you can. Then go to the Goethe Assignment #3 Bridge threaded discussion. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

Due February 26
Week 7

1.    Goethe Assignment #4: (Goethe: Faust: Night: Street in Front of Gretchen’s Door, Cathedral, Walpurgis Night, Dismal Day, The Bible: 1 Kings 21; Goethe: Faust: Night: Open Field, Dungeon, Charming Landscape, Open Country. Try to answer as many of the questions in the Faust study guide as you can. Then go to the Goethe Assignment #4 Bridge threaded discussion and write a minimum of 50 words about this assignment. Then respond to what someone else has written.

2.   Do the Romantic Music assignment in the online reserves. Do writing assigned in the “Romantic Music Assignment” threaded discussion.

Due March 5
Week 8

1.   Videotape: Verdi: La Traviata. Read the Study Guide for La Traviata and view the tape, taking notes as you watch. This production is best viewed on a large-screen television with good color and sound (preferably hooked to a stereo system, played back on a stereo VCR). Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for La Traviata and do the writing assignment, 100 words minimum. Then respond to what someone else has written.

2.    Goethe Assignment #5: Goethe: Faust: Palace, Deep Night, Midnight, Large Outer Court of the Palace, Entombment, Mountain Gorges: Forest, Rock and Desert. Try to answer as many of the questions in the Faust study guide as you can. Then go to the Faust Assignment #5 Bridge threaded discussion and write a minimum of 50 words about this assignment, and then respond to what someone else has written.

3.   Read “Realism and Naturalism.” Go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

Due March 12
Week 9

1.  Zola Assignment #1: Germinal: Parts 1-3. Try to answer as many of the questions in the Germinal study guide for these pages as you can. Then go to the Zola Assignment #1 Bridge threaded discussion and write a minimum of 50 words about this assignment and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.   Paper on Goethe’s Faust, 1200 words. Design your own topic or choose one of the following, remembering that you will be expected to define your topic further, since most of these are very broad: Faust and Mephistopheles , Faust and Gretchen, Thought vs. Action, Religion, Humor, Music, Magic, Classical Mythology. Again, if you have trouble choosing or defining a topic, ask for help. See instructions under “Second paper assignment.”

Due March 19
Week 10

1.  Listen to the music by women composers in the online reserves, and do the assigned writing in WebCT under “Women Composers.” Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.  Zola Assignment #2: Germinal: Parts 4-5. Try to answer as many of the questions in the Germinal study guide for these pages as you can. Then go to the Zola Assignment #2 Bridge threaded discussion and write a minimum of 50 words about this assignment, and then respond to what someone else has written.

Due March 26
Week 11

1.   Zola Assignment #3: Germinal: Parts 6-7. Using the study guide, read the assigned pages and take notes, trying to answer as many questions as you can. Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.  Read the Impressionist Art study guide. View the videotape: “The Art of the Western World, 7: A Fresh View-Impressionism and Post-Impressionism” (Courbet, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Whistler, Pissarro, Sargent, Cassatt, Gauguin, Seurat, Van Gogh, Signac, Bernard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Valadon, Cézanne) Go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and write a minimum of 50 words about this assignment, and then respond to what someone else has written.

Due April 2
Week 12

1.  Read “19th-Century Russian Literature“. Go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.   Dostoyevsky: Notes from Underground: Afterword, pp. 90-203. Using the study guide, try to answer as many of the questions as you can. Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

Due April 9
Week 13

1.   French Impressionist Painting Assignment. Do the assignment and go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.    Listen to the Impressionist music in the online reserves and write about it in WebCT under “Impressionist Music.” Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

3.    The Influence of Nietzsche. Read this page and then go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

4. Nietzsche Assignment No. 1 (Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Translator’s Preface, pp. 9-54, from the beginning through “On the Flies of the Marketplace”). Using the study guide, try to answer as many of the questions as you can. Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Try to focus in on specific arguments rather than giving general reactions. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

5.    Research paper due, 1200 words minimum. Re-read  “Helpful Hints for Writing Class Papers,” particularly checking to make sure you are following proper procedures for citing sources and quoting. Remember, you must cite sources for all facts and ideas, not just words quoted. Submit your paper via My DDP and post a copy in WebCT (click on the “create object” tool and use the “File” tool to post your paper).

6.    Some time during the coming week, read at least one of the other research papers that has been posted as a document and make useful comments for improving it, avoiding generalizations, and giving specific suggestions wherever possible. Give this feedback in the “Research Papers” threaded discussion. Avoid giving feedback only on a paper that has already been discussed by someone else. You may make comments on as many papers as you wish, but at least one of them should be a paper that no one else has commented on yet.

Due April 16
Week 14

1.  Listen to the 20th century music in the online reserves and write about it in WebCT under “20th C. Music.” Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.     Nietzsche Assignment No. 2 (Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra: pp. 54-79, from “On Chastity through the end of the First Part). Using the study guide, try to answer as many of the questions as you can. Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.


Due April 23
Week 15

1.     Read “Introduction to 19th-Century Socialism”. Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

2.   Read Misconceptions, Confusions, and Conflicts Concerning Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism. Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

3.    Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto, Prologue, Sections 1, 2, & 4. Using the study guide for the Manifesto, try to answer as many of the questions as you can. Then go to WebCT threaded discussion for this assignment and do the assigned writing there. Write 50 words minimum, and then respond to what someone else has written.

Due WEDNESDAY May 2 Week 16
End of semester (note extended deadline)

1. Revised research paper due, if you are revising. Submit your paper using My DDP.

2.   Third paper due, on Zola’s Germinal, Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Undergrouund, Nietzche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, or Marx’s Communist Manifesto, 600 words minimum. If you wrote on one of these authors for your research paper, choose a different one to write on for this assignment.

3.Final date for cultural event report. Submit report via “My DDP.”

4. All revised papers due.

All assigned papers (including both versions of the research paper) must be completed to pass the course.

Feel free to call via the DDP toll-free number (800 222-4978) and leave messages when I am out; but e-mail may reach me more efficiently, though if it’s something we really need to discuss back and forth, you should try phoning first.

Direct phone: 509 335-5689, English Dept. phone: 509 335-2581, FAX: 509 335-2582, email:

If I am not in, the phone may be answered by the automated voice mailbox service. Please leave a message including your name and phone number (speaking s-l-o-w-l-y, please).



Note: Students must use the assigned translations of the books studied in this course. Outdated public-domain translations available on the Web are not adequate substitutes.

If your financial aid is delayed, borrow money if you must to buy the textbooks. You cannot begin the course without the Voltaire in hand; and other books will be unavailable late in the semester. Buy them all as early as possible. Write me immediately if you have any problems securing the textbooks at

Voltaire: Philosophical Dictionary, translated by Theodore Besterman

Goethe’s Faust, translated by Walter Kaufmann

Zola, Germinal, trans. Pearson (Penguin).

Dostoyevsky: Notes from Underground, translated by Andrew R. MacAndrew

Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, translated by Walter Kaufmann. (Note Penguin also publishes other translations that are not as good–be sure to get the Kaufmann. DO NOT USE the 1892 public-domain translation by Thomas Common.)

Marx & Engels: The Communist Manifesto (International Publishers) Note: Although this edition is very cheap and the study guide is easier to use with the assigned edition, you may substitute any other edition if you wish–there is only one standard translation of the Manifesto. Various online editions are available, including one at

Online Resources

The Purdue OWL guide to MLA documentation style:

Instructions for doing the research paper assignment:

Study Guides for the above books and other resources for the study of works in this course: 

Online streaming music: available through . Under “Course Reserves” click on “Course Name” and enter “hum 303.” You will get two hits. Choose the second one: “Humanities 303 Recordings.” Click on that link, then on the assignment you want to do, and log on using your name, WSU ID number prefixed by a zero, and your Griffin PIN. To listen to the music you will need 1) a sound card in your computer, 2) good external speakers or headphones, 3) an up-to-date copy of RealPlayer, with the appropriate plug-in installed in your Web browser. You can download the RealPlayer


Course Work and Grading


Voltaire paper: 10 points
Faust paper: 20 points
Third paper: 20 points
Research paper: 20 points
Cultural event report: 10 points
Bridge threaded discussion contributions: 20 points
Total: 100 points.

Written assignments

Threaded discussions

For each of the reading assignments, the study guide in the Bridge contains a series of study questions which I want you to think about. It is your assignment to answer as many of these questions as you can while you read, and to write the assigned amount on each week’s reading in the The Bridge. Cover more than a couple of questions, and make sure you can discuss all parts of that week’s assignment–not just the beginning. Show that you are thinking seriously about these questions. Typically you are asked to write something of your own, then respond to at least one other person. These Bridge assignments are graded pass/fail (I will let you know quickly if you have done an inadequate one). The idea is to promote class discussion online. This is where you will be interacting with the students on the WSU campus as well. When other members of the class ask questions, try to reply to them. You are welcome to keep up the discussions we start here as long as you want, but please remember to be polite. Not everyone has the same views and assumptions. You must miss or fail no more than five of these Bridge discussion assignments to pass the course.

Contributions to the online threaded discussions will be judged by the following criteria:

  1. They must be made in a timely fashion.
  2. They must demonstrate a careful and thoughtful reading of the assigned writings, including the study guides and supplementary critical and historical material.
  3. When discussing fiction or philosophy, they must attempt to answer at least some of the questions in the related study guide (but please don’t write answers to all the study questions; leave some room for other students to contribute). Feel free to develop the discussion in other directions as well, and to relate what we are reading to other relevant topics; but remember that the minimum assignment is to demonstrate that you have read and understood both the assigned selections and the study guide.
  4. When discussing music and art, they should not dwell on what you like or dislike; instead they should express what you have learned by reading, viewing, and listening, and raise questions about the material that can promote further discusssion. Try if you can to relate this material to other material you have studied or experienced. Be sure to identify specific works you are talking about, avoiding vague generalizations.
  5. For each assignment each student is also expected to respond to one or more of the points raised by another student, saying more than “I agree” or “I disagree.” Offer examples, additional arguments, counter-arguments, comparisons, related ideas, do comparisons.
  6. Posts should act as the opening comments in an ongoing discussion, not seeking to close off debate with the last word, but inviting responses. It is perfectly legitimate to ask questions or ask for clarification of points you don’t understand.
  7. Contributions should whenever possible bring in useful comparative material from other readings, films, discussions with other people, etc.

Responses to other students’ posts in the online threaded discussions will be judged by the following criteria:

  1. Students are expected to take part continuously in discussion by making responses over the course of a week, not logging in just once a week to do everything at once. The due dates are final deadlines, but students are encouraged whenever possible to do their work earlier so that others have plenty of time to respond.
  2. You must go beyond merely agreeing or disagreeing to make substantial points.
  3. You must express yourself in civil language, avoiding insults and dismissiveness.
  4. Your posts should contribute to ongoing discussion, helping to develop ideas and themes raised in the original posts. Whenever possible try to tie together different viewpoints or make comparisons.
  5. Reponses should not be made constantly to the same individual or small group. Try to spread responses around. If challenging or difficult posts have been made, try to respond to them rather than choosing easier ones.

Short Papers:

For this course you will be required to write three brief papers. Note the length specified by your course syllabus, which does not include notes or list of sources. Minimum paper lengths are so extremely short in this class that anyone desiring a high grade would be advised to write a somewhat longer one. Any paper shorter than the minimum assigned will receive a 0 for an incomplete assignment. Except for meeting the very low minimum number of words, don’t concentrate on length, but try to make your papers as detailed, well-organized, and interesting as possible. All papers must be typed on a computer and submitted electronically. The regular papers are not necessarily research papers, and it is possible to receive maximum points on a paper without doing research for it, although papers incorporating good library work will normally receive higher grades. Suggested topics are listed on your syllabus. You should choose a topic you are particularly interested in, not try to guess what I want you to write. When I can learn something new from a paper, I am pleased. If you have difficulty thinking of a topic, first read Chapter 1 of Sylvan Barnet’s Short Guide to Writing About Literature, and if you still have problems, see or call me. I am also happy to look over rough drafts and answer questions about proposed topics. In addition, one paper per semester will be a required library research paper incorporating information gathered from scholarly books and articles (not just Web pages and reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias). Papers must be received by 8:00 AM Pacific Time on the due date. Papers may always be submitted before the due date if you wish. There is no midterm or final examination in this class.

The following elements are taken into consideration when I grade your papers:

  1. All assigned papers must be turned in to pass the course.
  2. You must convince me that you have read and understood the book or story.
  3. You must have something interesting to say about it.
  4. Originality counts–easy, common topics tend to earn lower grades than difficult ones done well.
  5. Significant writing (spelling, punctuation, usage) errors will be marked on each paper before it is returned to you. If there are more than a few you must identify the errors and correct them and turn the paper back in before a grade will be recorded for you.
  6. I look for unified essays on a well-defined topic with a clear title and coherent structure.
  7. I expect you to support your arguments with references to the text, often including quotations appropriately introduced and analyzed (but quote only to make points about the material quoted, not simply for its own sake).
  8. You must do more than merely summarize the plot of the works you have read. See Sylvan Barnet’s Short Guide to Writing About Literature, and my “Helpful Hints” online for more information (consulting this document is mandatory, not optional, and papers will be judged according to how well they follow the guidelines in it).

Grading standards for specific letter grades:

The number of points for each paper is indicated on the syllabus with the paper assignment. For a 10-point paper:

9.5 or above=A 7.8-7.9=C+
9.0-9.4=A 7.3-7.7=C
8.8-8.9=B+ 7.0-7.2=C
8.3-8.7=B 6.5-6.9=D
8.0-8.2=B- anything below 6.5=F

Double these numbers to get the appropriate scale for a 20-point assignment.

A       Topics are challenging, often original; papers are well organized, filled with detail, and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the topic. Examples are chosen from several portions of the work. Opinion papers are carefully argued, with detailed attention being paid to opposing arguments and evidence. Papers receiving an “A” are usually somewhat longer than the minimum assigned, typically a page or so longer, though this all depends on the compactness of your writing style–a paper which is long and diffuse does not result in a higher grade and a very compact, exceptionally well-written paper will occasionally receive an “A.” The writing should be exceptionally clear and generally free of mechanical errors. An “A” is given for exceptional, outstanding work.

B       Topics are acceptable, papers well organized, containing some supporting detail, and demonstrate an above-average knowledge of the topic. Examples are chosen from several portions of the work. Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers are carefully argued, with some attention being paid to opposing argument and evidence. Writing is above average, containing only occasional mechanical errors. A “B” is given for above-average work.

C       Topics are acceptable, but simple. Paper are poorly organized, containing inadequate detail, demonstrating only partial knowledge of the topic (focusing only on one short passage from a work or some minor aspect of it). Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is average or below, and mechanical errors are numerous. Paper does not appear to have been proofread carefully. A “C” is given for average work.

D       Inappropriately chosen topic does not demonstrate more than a minimal comprehension of the topic. Papers are at least the minimum length assigned. Opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is poor, filled with mechanical errors. Paper does not appear to have been proofread. A “D” is given for barely acceptable work.

F       Paper is shorter than the minimum length required. Topic is unacceptable because it does not cover more than an incidental (or unassigned) portion of the work or does not reveal a satisfactory level of knowledge . Generalizations are unsupported with evidence and opinion papers contain unsupported assertions and ignore opposing arguments and evidence. Writing is not of acceptable college-level quality. Paper does not appear to have been proofread. An “F” is given for unsatisfactory work.

Research paper

Research papers will be judged according to the following criteria besides those applied to the short papers:

  1. Coherent, well-defined topic–should be about a narrow aspect of the work under discussion and should not read like a broad encyclopedia article giving an overview.
  2. Thorough research, carefully incorporating sources the professor has approved or suggested you use. Papers neglecting to use sources agreed upon between the professor and the student will be severely graded down unless a justification is provided explaining why the source turned out not to be useful.
  3. Papers must use articles and books from the library. Papers using only Web sites are not acceptable.
  4. Papers must follow MLA citation format.
  5. Papers will be judged on clarity, unity, logic, and readability.
  6. Papers must demonstrate comprehension of the material being studied and ability to discuss it intelligently.

For more details on how to write the research paper for this class, see the page entitled “Research Paper Assignment” in The Bridge (this is not optional: you must read and use this page).

Policy Information

Tips for Collaboration and Netiquette

You are expected to read and make notes on the assigned material, meet deadlines, actively participate in the Bridge discussion activities, and collaborate with fellow class members to achieve the course objectives. Appropriate professional behavior demonstrating respect for classmates and instructors is expected.

Late Policy and Paper Revisions

Since your interaction with your classmates is crucial to this class, any initial posts in any discussion made after the due date for an activity will not be counted for grading purposes. You may always submit work before the deadline if you wish; in fact, you are encouraged to do so, and to later continue a discussion you have begun on time. The deadline is simply the final date by which you must have the week’s work done.

In rare cases involving true emergencies I will give permission to make up work in a threaded discussion, but in that case your contribution to the discussion must consist of answers to all of the study questions in the associated study guide to make up for having failed to contribute to the ongoing discussion. Generally, if you miss a discussion deadline, you just lose the credit associated with that assignment.

You may not make up a paper which you have failed to hand in on time. However, if you do hand in a paper and are dissatisfied with your grade, after consulting with me, you may revise your paper and have your grade raised if it is significantly improved. It is normal to revise the research paper at least once (first drafts very frequently get a “C” or lower. Revisions will be handled on an individual basis, and limits will be set as to the number of revisions allowed and the time allowed to hand them in. Simply substituting phrases that I have suggested to improve your writing does not result in an improved grade. You have to make the sort of substantial changes I suggest in the note I make on your paper.

Papers submitted on time may be later revised for a possible higher grade, but not submitting a paper at all will result in an immediate F in the course.



Incomplete Policy

    1. Incompletes will be granted rarely; only in the case of unexpected dire emergencies. The demands of other work or studies will not be accepted as excuses for requesting an incomplete. Students should confirm that they have plenty of free time during the period covered by the course to work intensively on it.
    2. Students who have substantially finished the course but still have a small amount of work undone when a genuine emergency arises may request an incomplete in writing from the professor.
    3. The request must be made via regular post (snail mail), must be signed and dated by the student, and must explain the reasons behind the request for the incomplete. Timelines for completion will be negotiated.
    4. Requests for Incompletes will be considered only from those students who are achieving a passing grade in the course and who have a small amount of work left to complete.

Academic Integrity

You are expected to uphold the WSU standard of conduct relating to academic integrity. You assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of the academic work you submit. The guiding principle of academic integrity shall be that your submitted work, examinations, reports, and projects must be your own work.

Plagiarism is: 1) submitting someone else’s work as your own, 2) copying something from another source without putting it in quotation marks or citing a source (note: you must do both), 3) using an idea from a source without citing the source, even when you do not use the exact words of the source. Any time you use a book, article, or reference tool to get information or ideas which you use in a paper, you must cite it by providing a note stating where you got the information or idea, using MLA parenthetical annotation. No footnotes are used in papers for this class. You do not need to cite material from classroom lectures or discussions. If you are not certain whether you need to cite a source, check with me in advance. See “Helpful Hints” and Barnet (pp. 73-86) for details on how to cite sources. Anyone caught plagiarizing will receive an “F” for the entire course (not just the paper concerned) and be reported to Student Affairs. If you feel you have been unjustly accused of plagiarism, you may appeal to me; and if dissatisfied, to the departmental chair.

Disability Statement


Students with Disabilities: I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course.  Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of every semester to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. All accommodations MUST be approved   through the DRC (Admin Annex Bldg, Rooms 205). Call 509 335 3417 to make an appointment with a disability counselor.

Library Support

All students enrolled in Washington State University distance courses can use the WSU Libraries online databases and receive reference and research assistance from the Distance Degree Library Services (DDLS). You can also borrow books and other circulating material and receive photocopies of journal articles.

Visit the DDLS Web page for library support information, including specific information and resources for select courses (see the list of courses using the drop down menu on the left hand side of the page under “Find Your Course”).

To complete work for this course, you may want to access WSU Library databases.

Go to the DDLS Web site early in the course to configure your browser and establish your PIN. You can use the step-by-step “EZ-Guide” to help you with this process.

The On-line Writing Lab

The OWL is WSU’s On-line Writing Lab. It is an asynchronous service that connects you with a trained WSU Writing tutor who will provide you narrative feedback that will help you to improve your writing. The OWL tutors are trained to respond to the conceptual and structural issues of your writing before they comment on issues of convention and correctness. Expect that the tutor’s comments will primarily be about the focus of your essay, the supporting details you have provided and the organization of those details. Tutors will comment on issues of proofreading, convention and correctness if there are obvious patterns of error, but they will not correct your essay for you. To share a piece of writing on the OWL, go to, click on the instruction to Introduce Yourself (login).


I will be returning papers and sending out occasional class announcements via e-mail using the WSU system. However, this means that you must have a valid e-mail address that you actually use in the WSU directory, though much important official mail, like library fine notices, is sent out using this system. To make sure you are listed in the directory go to and click “Find People” and search for your name (last name first, no comma).

Then click on “ADDRESS & E-MAIL” on the left-hand side of the page and click on either “Change address or phone” or “Forward my email.” If you want a free WSU e-mail account, click on “Create an e-mail account.”

If you have not received any e-mail from me by the end of the first week of class, that means you are not using e-mail properly for this course and should get in touch with me immediately at

Papers will not be graded or returned via DDP. You must use these e-mail procedures to complete the course satisfactorily.


Socialist planning can stabilize the economy and develop it in a rational manner.

Only the most optimistic Marxist can still believe that an entirely controlled economy can work efficiently. Lack of inflation and full employment can be mandated, but a flow of high-quality goods to the public has never been generated by a Communist economy which can match any ordinary Capitalist one. The reasons are not obscure.

1) Nobody knows enough. Large modern economies are too complex for governments to be able to assemble all the information to do rational and effective planning. Stock markets and corporate elites may make irrational and even disastrous decisions, but ultimately their mistakes tend to be self-correcting. These difficulties are exacerbated by the fact that in a planned economy it is not in the interest of most individuals to generate and convey accurate data. The worker lies about how much work has been done, the manager about how many goods are being shipped, and the economist about how successful the latest plan has been. The official statistics quickly become a fiction from which it is impossible to generate any rational plan.

2) People are not motivated to work as hard for the common good in large enterprizes as they are for themselves. This may or may not be “human nature;” but no Communist government has ever been able to inspire its people to work really efficiently except for brief periods, usually through terror. Both the USSR and China had to rescue their disastrous agricultural policies by allowing farmers to develop private plots for their own profit, which typically produced far more than the properly socialist communal farms. Exceptions may be found on small Israeli kibbutzes and other settings where people know each other well, but in large modern states it seems impossible to generate the enthusiasm to work hard except in wartime or similar crises. Toward the end, the Soviet economy was notoriously rife with absenteeism, employee theft, and idleness, expressed in the popular joke “they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.”

Socialists commonly try to inspire workers with various slogans and visions of the glorious future (say, during the Cuban sugar harvest in the 60s), and these can actually work for a time; but they seem impossible to sustain in the long run. After all, people do not embrace socialism because they want to work harder: they have capitalists to make them do that.

Back to list of misconceptions.

Privatizing services makes them more responsive.

What it makes them more responsive to is market pressures, which don’t always reflect public needs. American aversion to “socialized” medicine is almost matched by American disgust with for-profit doctors and health plans. Private bureaucracies can be as callous and inept as public ones. Sometimes political processes are more effective than the market in creating responsive services.

Back to list of misconceptions.

Communists wanted to weaken our culture with experimental literature, abstract art, dissonant music, and sexual freedom.

I doubt that many people still hold this uniquely American view, since Communism has collapsed and the social features in question still thrive without any assistance from agents of foreign powers. When one used to point out to the folks who made this argument that all these were strongly suppressed in most Communist countries and denounced as forms of Capitalist corruption by them, they would reply that of course the Communists wanted to keep such filth out of their own lands–the goal was to weaken ours.

This argument is almost too silly to answer, but it worth noting that in the very earliest stages of the Russian revolution there was indeed a good deal of experimental art and music as well as sexual experimentation. Stalin, however, was far more bourgeois than revolutionary in his artistic tastes and morals, and suppressed such modernism as severely as did Hitler on the extreme right.

There were isolated exceptions to this pattern (art and music in Poland, fiction in Cuba, for instance), but generally where Communism prevailed there was a stultifying imposition of conservative artistic standards.

Those who used to make this argument probably knew little or nothing about this history; they simply associated Communism with everything they disliked. By the 1950s it was already a joke that conservatives would call anything new a “Communist plot.”

Of course, many experimental artists in Western countries became involved briefly or for longer periods with Communist movements, but in most cases they were drawn to them because their rebellious artistic tastes naturally led them to sympathize with revolution itself rather than their politics having caused their works to become more experimental.

Back to list of misconceptions.

Misconceptions, Confusions, and Conflicts Concerning Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism

Conservative Ideas about Socialism and Communism:

Communism is a secret conspiracy.

The Communists want to take over the whole world.

Communism is the opposite of democracy.

Communists wanted to weaken our culture with experimental literature, abstract art, dissonant music, and sexual freedom.

Communism could never work because it goes against human nature. People are naturally more competitive than cooperative.

All socialists are Communists.

Socialist and Communist Ideas about Capitalism:

Capitalists and capitalist states are always motivated by economic considerations.

Capitalists promote war to increase profits.

Capitalists commodify and simplify culture.

Capitalists despoil the environment.

Socialism is more appropriate in underdeveloped countries than Capitalism.

Capitalist ideals:

The free market brings better goods at lower prices, so restraints on the free market all bad for all.

The spread of Capitalism means the spread of freedom.

Everyone has equal opportunity under capitalism.

Privatizing services makes them more responsive.

Communist ideals:

Socialist planning can stabilize the economy and develop it in a rational manner.

People can be trained to value common property as much as their own private property.

Centralized socialist states can evolve into democratic communitarian societies.

Socialist governments with strong democratic traditions regulating mixed economies can avoid the problems of traditional Marxist governments.

Off-campus syllabus

On-campus syllabus



Research Paper Assignment

Because this is a compressed eight-week course, the research assignment needs to be done in an efficient manner. It is urgent that students be in frequent communication with the professor about their research, letting him know about questions and problems they have, leads they’d like to explore, etc. This sort of communication is a central part of the research process.

STEP ONE: Choose one of the following books to research and sign up for it in the second week activities within the threaded discussion: “Sign up for research topic.” Check first to make sure that no one else has chosen your topic. If someone has, choose another topic. If you have questions, be sure to correspond with the professor about them. If you have another book you’d like to research, check first to make sure it is practical. Only a small minority of books have any extensive amount of scholarship published about them for you to draw on.

STEP TWO: Borrow and read the book(s) chosen as soon as possible.

STEP THREE: (simultaneously with Step Two): Identify scholarly articles and books and other research materials about your book, using The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database at This database is confined to SF scholarship, and is much more efficient than the MLA International Bibliography. Note that you have to search for your author as a SUBJECT, though an AUTHOR search may turn up relevant nonfiction by that author. However, the MLA International Bibliography also analyzes individual chapters in books made up of separate articles, so you should use it as well. The electronic version is available through the library. Go to the DDLS page at and scroll all the way to the bottom, and click under “Databases” on “Humanities” and scroll down on the next page tht loads to find MLA. (Pro Quest, often recommended for other classes, is not particularly useful for this one.) If you need assistance with library resources, please refer to the DDLS course page ( or contact Beth Lindsay at or phone her at 509-335-7735. Write up a preliminary annotated bibliography of items that look useful, using MLA bibliographic style, with a sentence or two for each one explaining why you think it might be useful. Post the annotated bibliography in Activity 3, in the “Document” entitled “Annotated Bibliographies.” Look especially for recent bibliographies or checklists on your topic and use them. Remember to track down sources that recent writers seem to cite as important.

STEP FOUR: The professor will comment on your bibliography and make further suggestions for research. It is crucial to act on these promptly. Meanwhile order the books you need through DDLS. You should order copies of articles from journals by ordering them through Iliad at .Iliad can supply both articles in journals WSU lacks and use interlibrary loan services to supply others, though there will be a longer delay for the latter, and you should not depend too heavily on such materials for your research, since you have so little time.

STEP FIVE: As you read, take notes addressing the following questions:

  1. What kind of SF is this? (Draw on Palumbo and Landon.
  2. In what ways is it typical of its type? What other books you have read does it remind you of? How?
  3. What makes it unique?
  4. What are its outstanding qualities?
  5. What are the chief topics addressed by scholars who have written about it? What are the main controversies surrounding it? Characterize the various sides in any debate and try to understand their arguments.
  6. What perspectives or theoretical approaches seem to be used by these scholars?
  7. How useful is the scholarship? What did you learn from reading it that could help you in teaching about this work?
  8. Are there aspects of the work which seem to have been inadequately discussed? Can you explicate these yourself?

STEP SIX: Create a study guide aimed at a high school reader, drawing on the research and your own knowledge to introduce and explain the work without summarizing the plot or making it possible to substitute a reading of your study guide for the book itself (in other words, don’t use Cliff Notes as your model). You can use ideas from my own study guides, but feel free to try different approaches that you think would be useful.

STEP SEVEN: Your paper will consist of an introduction answering the questions above and any others that you deem pertinent, the study guide you have created, and a bibliography (this time NOT annotated) of sources cited in your paper. Submit your paper in Activity 6 in the “Document” entitled “Submit Research Paper.”

STEP EIGHT: Read and make constructive comments for improvement on the papers of other students in the class.

STEP NINE: Taking into account the professor’s comments and those of your fellow students, revise your paper. All papers must be revised and must address the concerns raised by the professor. Submit the final revised version in Activity 8 in the “Document” entitled “Final Draft of Research Paper.”

Papers will be judged on usefulness, clarity, thoroughness of research, and quality of writing.

Topics for Research


  • Brian Aldiss: Helliconia Winter
    Aldiss realized as he was writing the third volume of his Helliconia trilogy–which had been built around ecological and evolutionary themes–that a nuclear winter theme would fit into the book he was writing, and it became much more of an anti-war statement. It is a sort of counter-epic, structured in just the opposite order of most such works. Very little has been written about it except by Aldiss himself, but it’s worth tracking down what there is. One important article about it is available only in French. Deserves the sort of praise for its ecological awareness that has been lavished on Frank Herbert’s Dune.
  • Octavia Butler: Dawn (Volume I of her Xenogenesis trilogy)
    Butler is particularly interested in biology, sexuality, reproduction, and questions of freedom and its limits. (Butler now lives in Seattle).
  • Arthur C. Clarke: Rendezvous With Rama
    Although there may appear at first to not be much scholarship on this classic “giant artifact” novel, it is covered in almost every discussion of “hard” SF and in general discussions of Clarke. Famous for depending on “awe and wonder” rather than character for its effect, combining Clarke’s peculiar combination interest in hardware with transcendence. THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN SIGNED UP FOR BY STACIA MISNER.
  • Samuel R. Delany: Triton (retitled Trouble on Triton)
    A satirical utopia stressing personal freedom and choice written partly in response to LeGuin’s The Dispossessed and drawing on Delany’s own experiences living in a commune and in an experimental marriage in the 1960s. Should be read in conjunction with his autobiographical volumes about that period The Motion Of Light In Water: Sex And Science Fiction Writing In The East Village 1957-1965 and Heavenly Breakfast: An Essay on the Winter of Love. Not for the squeamish–Delany is gay and into S&M (though the novel is much milder than the memoirs). Hint: there is a mailing list about Delany where the novel has been discussed, but read the book first–people talking about it tend to give away the ending:
  • Philip K. Dick: The Man in the High Castle
    The most famous of all alternative-history novels, in which Japan and Germany win World War II and conquer the U.S. Discussed in any survey of alternative history fiction. Hint: look for “alternate history” rather than “alternative history” as a subject. THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN SIGNED UP FOR BY AMY LAPTAD
  • Philip K. Dick: Ubik
    Considered by some to be Dick’s masterpiece, this is a work filled with his trademark satirical ambiguity and confusion about the nature of reality.
  • Thomas M. Disch: 334
    A grim portrait of a dangerous urban future which wrestles with many of the ethical issues we are only confronting seriously today. Discussed in most examinations of Disch’s fiction or in scholarship on urban SF.
  • Harlan Ellison: selected short stories.
    Ellison is one of the most influential short-story writers in the field. Identify a couple of his most-discussed stories and compare them. Identify which volumes the stories appear in by using the “Locus Index to Science Fiction” at Ellison’s stories are as often fantasy as they are SF (he objects strenuously to being labelled a science fiction writer). His work is often dark and shocking, but brilliant. He can be quite verbose in discussing his own work.
  • Aldous Huxley: Brave New World
    Huxley’s anti-utopia is still widely read and influential. Place it in the tradition of utopian and anti-utopian science fiction. THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN SIGNED UP FOR BY LIV LEID.
  • Ursula LeGuin: The Left Hand of Darkness
    LeGuin’s most-discussed novel, an early attempt at exploring gender roles and ambiguity, highly controversial in some circles.
  • C.S. Lewis: Out of the Silent Planet
    The first volume of Lewis’ Christian SF trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. Now rather dated, but Lewis is still popular with young Christian readers. If you’ve already read the first volume, you may wish to discuss the somewhat more interesting Perelandra instead.
  • Marge Piercy: Woman on the Edge of Time
    Many non-SF readers don’t recognize this as SF at all: a fierce attack on the medical establishment’s treatment of mental patients with elements of a future utopia. Included in most discussions of 1970s feminist utopias.
  • Joanna Russ: The Female Man
    A fiercely funny, highly experimental examination of gender roles by one of SF’s most uncompromising feminists, now retired from the faculty of the University of Washington. Discussed in almost every survey of feminist SF.
  • Robert Silverberg: Dying Inside
    Moving portrait of a man slowly losing his telepathic powers, by one of SF’s most influential and popular authors.
  • Olaf Stapledon: Sirius
    A sensitive love story of a girl and the super-canine she is raised with by one of SF’s most original thinkers. Not as widely discussed as some of his other works, but a better-constructed novel. Stapledon’s consistent themes are evolution and challenging traditional morals.
  • Theodore Sturgeon: More Than Human
    Sturgeon is famous for his sensitivity to character and especially to his depiction of children and adolescents. This is an unconventional approach to the future evolution of the human race with an emphasis on emotion rather than the flexing of super-powers.
  • James Tiptree, Jr.: Selected short stories
    Alice Sheldon, writing under this pseudonym, produced some of the most powerful short fiction ever in the field. Choose two of her most-discussed stories and compare them. Identify which volumes the stories appear in by using the “Locus Index to Science Fiction” at There is an award for feminist SF named after her.
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse Five: or the Children’s Crusade: A Duty Dance With Death
    Vonnegut has written many SF novels which he has persuaded his publishers not to label as such, thus breaking out of the SF ghetto into a wider audience. This anti-war novel about the Dresden bombing incorporates classic SF elements and is still widely read and discussed. THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN SIGNED UP FOR BY GUY SMURTHWAITE.
  • H. G. Wells: The Time Machine
    Wells’ first science-fiction novel, enormously influential; discussed in any survey of time-travel fiction. THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN SIGNED UP FOR BY MELISSA WEISE.


Science Fiction Film Syllabus

Welcome to English 340: Science Fiction Film. This is a class in the history of SF film, with about half the examples being featured dating from before 1968, when the modern era of SF film began with 2001: A Space Odyssey. We will not proceed in strictly chronological fashion, but by exploring certain themes, starting with the  “wonder city of the future” and “the monster.” The films are chosen for their historical importance and influence.


This class has very little outside reading assigned compared to the typical English class. Your “homework” is primarily done in the Tuesday afternoon lab sessions from 4:15-7:00. Almost all writing for the class is done in class, including writing assignments done in these lab sessions.


The experience of viewing these films in their original aspect ratio and at a large screen size is crucial, so the films are shown from DVD in a theater-like setting rather than as “videos” on small television monitors. The viewing for the class is done in the Tuesday lab sessions.


For both of these reasons, to pass the course you must be registered in the lab as well as the lecture section. If you are not yet registered in the lab, you must either add it now, or drop the course.


Every student will do one individual 15-minute oral presentation based on SF film from the list at the end of this syllabus. Look at that section now and try to choose a film that interests you. Sign-up sheets will be posted in the classroom on the second Monday of the semester.


Required Textbooks (do not substitute other editions):

John Scalzi: The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (readings include critical material not available in other editions)

Philip K. Dick: Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)

Ted Hughes: The Iron Giant



Warning: Some films shown in this class contain nudity and graphic violence and may be offensive to some viewers.


Course schedule:


August 21:

Georges Méliès: Le Voyage dans la lune (1902) (DVD 624) (shown in class)

Introduction to science fiction in film. Recommended Web reading before next class: (The Missing Link: Méliès) all four pages; click on “continued” links)


August 22: 

View Metropolis (1927) (DVD 437)


August 23:

Discussion of Metropolis


August 28:

Presentation: The City of the Future


August 29:

View Metropolis (2002) (VHS 20663). Japanese anime remake directed by Rin Taro


August 30:

Discussion of anime version of Metropolis; view premier episode of Futurama. Note: to be read by September 12: Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (the entire novel, including the preface), plus the articles on the following pages: 214-224, 251-261, 313-331.


September 4:

Labor Day Holiday


September 5:

View Brazil (1985) (DVD 771)


September 6:

Discuss Brazil


September 11:

Discuss Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the essays on pp. 214-224, 251-261, 313-331.


September 12:

Student report. View Frankenstein (1931) (DVD 756) & The Frankenstein Files


September 13:

Discussion  of Frankenstein

Student report


September 18:

Student reports


September 19:

Student report

View The Thing from Another World (1951) (DVD 847)

Read before class John Campbell’s story: “Who Goes There?” online in Griffin Course Reserves. Read also before class Susan Sontag’s The Imagination of Disaster in electronic reserves on Griffin.


September 20:

Discussion of The Thing from Another World


September 25:

Student reports


September 26:

Student report

View The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) (DVD 574)

Read before class Peter Biskind: “Pods, Blobs, and Ideology in American Films of the Fifties,” online in Griffin Course Reserves.


September 27:

Discussion of The Day the Earth Stood Still


October 2:

Student reports


October 3:

Student report

View It Came from Outer Space (1953) (DVD 655)


October 4:

Discussion of It Came from Outer Space


October 9:

Exam 1


October 10:

Student report

View Forbidden Planet (1956) (DVD 617)


October 11:

Discussion of Forbidden Planet


October 16:

Student reports


October 17:

Student report

View: Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb  (1964) (DVD 307)


October 18:

Discussion of Dr. Strangelove


October 23:

Student reports

Note that you have the novel Blade Runner to read before October 31.


October 24:

View 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (DVD 496)

Read before class the source story, “The Sentinel,” by Arthur C. Clarke online in Griffin Course Reserves.


October 25:

Discussion of 2001: A Space Odyssey


October 30:

Student reports


October 31:

Student report

View Blade Runner (1982) (DVD 6) Read the source novel before class: Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner)


November 1:

Discussion of Blade Runner


November 6:

Student reports


November 7:

Student reports

Presentation: The Roots of Star Wars, or Why Princess Leia Fights Like a Girl


November 8:

Exam 2


November 13:

Student reports


November 14:

Student report

View The Thirteenth Floor (1999) (DVD 738)


November 15:

Discussion of The Thirteenth Floor


November 20-22:

Thanksgiving vacation, no school.


November 27:

Student reports


November 28:

View The Abyss (1989)


November 29:

Discussion of The Abyss


December 4:

Student reports


December 5:

Student report

View The Iron Giant (1999)  (DVD 643). Read before class: Ted Hughes: The Iron Giant


December 6:

Discussion of The Iron Giant

Course evaluation


Final Exam

Monday, December 11, 3:10-5:10 PM

Note: you must be present and take the final exam to pass the course. Absolutely no early tests. Plan your travel now to be on campus until after this exam.



Exams:                                                             60%

Daily writings                                                 20%

Oral report                                                      20%



Attendance at all classes is expected, and is measured by the daily writings turned in at each session. The topics for each day’s writing will be announced in class. Some of these will be quiz-like, aimed at testing your knowledge of that day’s film; but others will be more informal. More than five of these writings missing will result in an immediate F for the course, regardless of examination grades. Save these five permitted absences for emergencies like illnesses, etc. No additional excused absences will be granted.


Walking out of class without prior notice is insulting to whomever is speaking and to your fellow students. It is not acceptable to take a quiz and leave, or do your own presentation and then walk out before other people’s presentations.



Doing a daily writing for another student is cheating. The student doing the writing and the student whose name appears on the writing will be given F’s for the course and their names reported to Student Conduct.


Students with Disabilities: I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course.  Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of every semester to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. All accommodations MUST be approved   through the DRC (Admin Annex Bldg, Rooms 205). Call 509 335 3417 to make an appointment with a disability counselor.


How to Do the 15-Minute Oral Report


1) Look over the list of possible films to report on at the end of this syllabus. These titles have been carefully chosen to fit one or more of the following criteria:


1)    They are important either because of some technical or stylistic innovation.

2)    They have been influential on other filmmakers or on society generally.

3)    They are considered “classic” films by critics and scholars, who have provided enough material for you to draw on for your report.

4)    They are available in the Holland Library collection.


Only one student can report on each title, so consider several possibilities.


2) Look up several film titles which interest you in the index in the rear of the The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies (the main textbook for this course). Read what the Guide has to say about these films and narrow your selection. Almost all of the films are discussed in the Guide, but if yours is not, ask me about it.


3) In class, sign your name next to the film you intend to report on. If your favorite is already taken, choose another. If you don’t recognize a title, try looking it up in the Guide or ask me about it.


4) At the same time, write your name on the “Student Report Date Sign-Up Sheet” for the date on which you intend to give your report. Do not put more than one name on a blank. Follow your name with the name of the film you will be reporting on.


Note: I would especially appreciate it if students reporting on versions of Frankenstein would sign up for September 13 or 18.


5) Look to see whether your film title has an asterisk following it on the sign-up sheet. If it does, that means the film is based on a story or novel which you are required to identify and read. Reports which ignore the print sources of films will receive lower grades. If you have trouble identifying the title or tracking down a copy of the book contact me. To do this successfully, you will need to begin working on your project right at the beginning of the semester, and not wait until just before the date it is due.


6) Go to Media Material Reserves in the library on the ground floor (downstairs from the entrance), check out your film and view it, taking notes. Also draw on “extras” on the disk: documentary features, director commentaries, etc. We try to have “director’s cuts,” “expanded editions,” etc. in the library so that you will have these extra sources to draw on, but if you have a superior edition from another source you may want to use that. The films are on reserve to guarantee they will be available for you. You can either view them  in MMR or take them home overnight; but be careful to return them the next day. There are stiff fines for keeping them too long. You can check out the films as many times as you need to. Again, if you delay doing this until the last minute you may find that someone else has your film when you need it; start early.


7) Use the online bibliography which you will be shown in class to look for articles and books about your film.

Borrow the materials you need, read them, and take notes. If an article you need is not in the library, contact me immediately and I will help you get it.


8) Prepare your report. Each one must last fifteen minutes and incorporate one or two short scenes from the film lasting a total of no more than five minutes.


You can use PowerPoint if you wish, or other presentation software, but you must bring your material to my office in 202H Avery an hour before class to be installed on my laptop. Do not bring other laptops to class. Presentations must be capable of running on a Macintosh laptop running System X.4. Computer-based presentations are not required. You may also speak from written notes on paper. If you would like technical help and advice, just ask me; but do so well in advance of your report due date.


Scenes can either be run from the laptop (again, you must come to my office before class and get your disc cued up) or run over the university system. Note that the distributed video system is often hard to control and cannot display full DVD resolution. If your film is available only on VHS tape you will have to use the university system.


If at all possible, choose scenes which begin at a chapter point that can be easily cued up. We do not want to take class time fast-forwarding through chapters to find a scene.


If you have the skills to rip a scene out and put it on a DVD-R, that can be useful. There is equipment for doing this in the library, but you cannot reserve it ahead of time and it is popular; so you need to start early to guarantee you will have access to it.


Here are the criteria by which your report will be judged:

  1. The clips (totaling 1-5 minutes) should be chosen to illustrate useful points. They should not be just spectacular scenes which speak for themselves. You must discuss the clips you present, explaining what makes them interesting or impressive. Analyze the clips, focusing on aspects like character development, lighting, costume, dialogue, editing, special effects, etc.
  2. Your report should concentrate on objective points of interest and is not highly subjective. You should concentrate on conveying information, including the critical and scholarly reputation of the film, and not merely giving your own opinions. Reports which consist mainly of expressing your dislike for a film mean that the individual did not begin your work early enough to make sure a film was chosen whose virtues could be understood. These are reports, not reviews.
  3. Your report must specifically draw on the scholarly and critical print sources. You must cite by author and title at least two print sources and explain something useful that they said about your film. In a very few cases, there are not enough print sources and you may use alternatives with my permission; but you need to consult with me well in advance of your report date to get help doing this.
  4. If your film is based on a book or story, you must discuss how it relates to that source. If your film is a sequel or a remake, you must have viewed the original and discuss how the new film differs from and resembles the original.
  5. Do not spend time summarizing the plot. No more than two or three sentences should be devoted to plot. Tell us what kind of film it is, but don’t retell the story.
  6. Concentrate on some of the following points in discussing your film: themes, symbolism, similarities and differences to other relevant films, narrative structure, characterization, acting, photography, editing, lighting, sound, music, continuity, historical significance, influence, social issues (gender, race, politics, militarism, etc.).
  7. Make it interesting. Think about the kinds of reports you enjoy listening to and try to make yours equally clear and captivating.


Nuclear Texts and Contexts

Nuclear Texts & Contexts

In 1988 a small number of scholars who met at the Modern Language Association national meeting organized a group called the International Society for the Study of Nuclear Texts & Contexts (ISSNTC). Besides small annual meetings of members thereafter and the maintenance of a mailing list for interested scholars, its main activity was the publication of a newsletter called Nuclear Texts & Contexts. Between 1988 and 1995, 12 issues of the newsletter appeared. At its height this newsletter had a circulation of over a hundred scholars in ten different countries who were interested in nuclear themes as reflected in fiction and the arts, and in the relationship of English and literary studies to nuclear issues generally. Provided here in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf) are copies of the first 8 issues, which were published at Washington State University.

Besides providing a snapshot of scholarly activity during the period at the end of the Cold War, some of the articles may still be of interest to researchers. Much of this material was later published elsewhere (notably much of the bibliographic material on fiction which appeared in each issue being incorporated into Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction). Every issue also included a running bibliography of new scholarship in the field. Some of the articles which appeared here have never been reprinted elsewhere. Many of the articles cited are brief notes, but they may be useful for some researchers.

To read these files you will need Acrobat Reader or Adobe Reader, which comes preinstalled on most computers.

Download issue no. 1, Fall 1988
Introduction to the newsletter, announcement of relevant sessions at scholarly meetings, report on an Irish nuclear discourse conference, article on Russian scholar Vladimir Gakov, review of Spencer Weart: Nuclear Fear, a History of Images, “Nuclear War Games,” “Short Story Anthologies,” “Readers and Textbooks,” “Nuclear War and Comic Books,” “Nuclear War Plays,” & “Nuclear War in Film.”

Download issue no. 2, Spring 1989
Announcement of the formation of ISSNTC, Report on the session of MLA devoted to “Nuclear Texts & Contexts” and a panel called “Nuclear Bombs in the Classroom?” at the Midwest Modern Language Association meeting, announcements of forthcoming meetings, news of Gakov’s forthcoming lecture tour, relevant books on tape, drama, Atomic Attack on videotape, Reviews of Valerie Andrews, Robert Bosnak & Karen Walter Goodwin, eds.: Facing Apocalypse, of Mick Broderick: Nuclear Movies: A Filmography, of H. Bruce Franklin: War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination, Teaching English in a Nuclear Age, J. Fisher Solomon: Discourse and Reference in the Nuclear Age, Corrections to issue 1, Letters from Gregory Benford, Michael Nagler, Bylaws of ISSNTC.

Download issue no. 3, Fall 1989
Announcement of ISSNTC monograph series, proposal for new scholarly anthology, meeting announcements, Reviews of Ira Chernus & Edward Tabor Linenthal: A Shuddering Dawn: Religious Studies and the Nuclear Age, of John Wittier Treat: Pools of Water, Pillars of Fire: The Literature of Ibuse Masuji, of Edward Linenthal: Symbolic Defense: The Cultural Significance of the Strategic Defence Initiative, bibliography of selected writings on “Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Bomb,” report on Gakov lecture tour, Ion Hobana: “Nuclear War Fiction in Eastern Europe,” films, trivia.

Download issue no. 4, Spring 1990
Reviews of Martha Bartter: The Way to Ground Zero: The Atomic Bomb in American Science Fiction, of Joseph Dewey: In a Dark Time: The Apocalyptic Temper in the American Novel of the Nuclear Age, Jeff Smith: Unthinking the Unthinkable: Nuclear Weapons and Western Culture, correction to Ion Hobana’s article in Issue no. 3.

Download issue no. 5, Fall 1990
Report on the “Facing Apocalypse II” Russian-American conference, reviews of a special issue of Papers on Language and Literature devoted to nuclear war fiction criticism by ISSNTC members (a few copies of this special issue are still available by writing to Paul Brians), of Vladimir Gakov’s Ultimatum, of Richard H. Minear, ed.: Hiroshima: Three Witnesses, of Robert Jay Lifton & Erik Markusen: The Genocidal Mentality: Nazi Holocaust and Nuclear Threat, recent films, comics, and a computer game, announcement of the resignation of Jean Kittrell, founding President of ISSNTC.

Download issue no. 6, Spring 1991
Daniel Zins: “No Time to Stop Worrying, Even If We Don’t Love the Bomb,” reviews of Ira Chernus: Nuclear Madness: Religion and the Psychology of the Nuclear Age, of Millicent Lenz: Nuclear Age Literature for Youth: The Quest for a Life-Affirming Ethic, of James Der Derian & Michael J. Shapiro, eds.: International/Intertextual Relations: Postmodern Readings of World Politics, of Martin Medhurst, Robert L. Ivie, Philip Wander & Robert L. Scott: Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor and Ideology, comics, films, meetings, surivalist postholocaust adventure stories.

Download issue no. 7, Fall 1991
Article by the editor on the future of the newsletter, reviews of Nancy Anisfield, ed.: The Nightmare Considered: Critical Essays on Nuclear War Literature, call for contributions to a book on Indians and the bomb, and another on nuclear bomb films, Daniel Zins: “Seventeen Minutes Till Midnight,” letter from Ian F. Clarke, correction to no. 6.

Download issue no. 8, Fall 1992
Farewell from departing editor Paul Brians and announcement of new editor Daniel Zins, “A Poet from Chernobyl,” “Nuclear Music,” reviews of Mick Broderick: Nuclear Movies: A Critical Analysis and Filmography of International Feature Length Films Dealing with Experimentation, Aliens, Terrorism, Holocaust and Other Disaster Scenarios, 1914-1898, of William Chaloupka: Knowing Nukes: The Politics and Culture of the Atom, letter from Melissa Walker, letter from Millicent Lenz.

Paul Brians’ home page

Research Sources for Nuclear Holocausts

Before the end of 1985, when the research for the first edition of this book concluded, very few studies of nuclear war fiction had appeared, but a number of important ones appeared shortly afterward. The very first was Sam Moskowitz’s “The Atom Smashers: Fiction’s Prophetic Parallel to Fact,” in a single-sheet fanzine entitled Fantasy Fiction Field, Whole Number 210 (October 6, 1945). It was reprinted with some revisions and additions in the November 1952 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly. It lists a few nuclear war stories, but most of it is devoted to describing the depiction of atomic science in pre-Hiroshima science fiction. Philip Duhan Segal’s unpublished dissertation (Yeshiva University, 1973), “Imaginative Literature and the Atomic Bomb: An Analysis of Representative Novels, Plays, and Films from 1945 to 1972,” is a pioneering study, but it is hardly definitive. Although Segal unearthed a number of very obscure novels and plays and although his bibliography is valuable for those studying the theme in other media, such as radio, television, and film, it suffers from a simplistic statistical analysis of themes which is rendered useless by the fact that he missed the vast bulk of the relevant works, largely by ignoring most science fiction.

Only one nuclear war novel (O’Brien’s Z for Zachariah) is discussed in Margaret Esmonde’s “After Armageddon: The Post Cataclysmic Novel for Young Readers” (Children’s Literature, Volume 6: The Annual of the Modern Language Association Group on Children’s Literature [Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1977], pp. 211-20). Much more useful is Albert I. Berger’s study, “The Triumph of Prophecy: Science Fiction and Nuclear Power in the Post-Hiroshima Period,” Science-Fiction Studies 3 (1976): 143-50, covering only the period 1940-47. Two related articles by the same author are “Nuclear Energy: Science Fiction’s Metaphor of Power,” Science-Fiction Studies 6 (1979): 121-28, and “Love, Death and the Atomic Bomb: Sexuality and Community in Science Fiction, 1935-55,” Science-Fiction Studies 8 (1981): 280-96. I. F. Clarke’s pioneering work,Voices Prophesying War 1763-1984 (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), an excellent study of future wars, devoted only a few pages to nuclear war. Clarke drew upon the first edition of Nuclear Holocausts, which he read in manuscript, to add a number of examples to the second edition, titled Voices Prophesying War: Future Wars 1763-3749 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Robert J. Lifton’s Death in Life: The Survivors of Hiroshima (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967) contains in its tenth chapter a fine survey of fictional reactions by Japanese authors to the atomic bomb and an appreciation of Ibuse’s Black Rain. German authors are discussed in exhaustive detail in Raimund Kurscheid’s Kampf dem Atomtod! Schriftsteller gegen eine deutsche Atombewaffnung [Fight Atomic Death! Writers Against German Nuclear Armament] (Cologne: Pahl-Rugenstein, 1981). A Russian view of the theme by Vladimir Gakov (“SF Writers on the March for Peace”) appeared in Soviet Literature 2 (January 1984): 158-65, which praises Western novels like On the Beach but defends the lack of anything similar in Communist nations. After I wrote to him about my work, Gakov arranged for me to participate in the Seventh World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in Moscow, 1987, beginning a relationship that produced his bibliography complimentary to this one entitled “Nuclear-War Themes in Soviet Science Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography,” Science-Fiction Studies 16(1989): 67-84. Gakov was able to identify and describe over seventy examples of a genre which I was repeatedly assured by Western experts did not exist.

Harold L. Berger’s Science Fiction and the New Dark Age (Bowling Green, Ohio: The Popular Press, 1976) contains a brief section on nuclear war fiction (pp. 147-55), which discusses Shute’s On The Beach, Wylie’s Triumph, Roshwald’s Level 7, and Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz. Postholocaust science fiction is discussed in chapter 9, “By the Waters of Babylon: Our Barbarous Descendants,” of Paul Carter’s The Creation of Tomorrow: Fifty Years of Magazine Science Fiction (New York: Columbia University Press., 1977). Andrew Feenberg’s “The Politics of Survival: Science Fiction in the Nuclear Age,” Alternative Futures 1 (1978): 3-23, strikingly manages to overlook most of the significant science fiction on the subject while making some intelligent observations.

Gary K. Wolfe’s The Known and the Unknown: The Iconography of Science Fiction (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1979) contains an excellent chapter entitled “Icon of the Wasteland” which covers a number of the works included here as well as others which deal with non-nuclear catastrophes. Wolfe’s emphasis on iconography has relieved me from the necessity of dealing with that aspect of the genre. Warren W. Wagar created a fine survey of apocalyptic fiction in Terminal Visions: The Literature of Last Things (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982). Wagar’s book ranges farther in time and subject matter than this one, but our views coincide on many points. Like Wolfe, however, Wagar is primarily interested in treating nuclear war fiction as metaphorical, whereas my emphasis, reflected in the structure of this volume, is on fiction as a reaction to and a warning against the actuality of nuclear war. The metaphorical approach is generally shared by the scholars represented in The End of the World, a collection of essays on apocalyptic fiction edited by Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander which appeared in 1983 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press). The present study is offered as a complement to and not a replacement for these books.

A brief discussion of Huxley’s Ape and Essence, Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz, and Hoban’s Riddley Walker, including comments about a few other nuclear war novels, appeared in the Fall 1984 issue of Extrapolation (Thomas J. Morrissey, “Armageddon from Huxley to Hoban,” pp. 197-213). Robert Mielke presents a suggestive typology based on a small sample of nuclear war fiction in his article “Imaging Nuclear Weaponry: An Ethical Taxonomy of Nuclear Representation” on pp. 164-80 of the Warnings anthology listed below H. Bruce Franklin’s anthology of fiction, Countdown to Midnight: Twelve Great Stories About Nuclear War (New York: DAW, 1984) contains an excellent “Historical Introduction” and authors’ notes. It is certainly a definitive collection of nuclear war short stories, although some of its selections do not meet the guidelines for the present study. My own article, “Nuclear War in Science Fiction, 1945-59,” appeared in Science Fiction Studies 11 (1984): 253-63, and was an early draft of material in this book. Daniel L. Zins’s “Teaching English in a Nuclear Age,” which appeared in College English 47 (1985): 387-406, is useful, although it relegates the few science fiction titles it mentions to a footnote. Thomas M. Disch’s The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World(New York: Free Press, 1998) includes a chapter sharply critical of SF’s treatment of nuclear war themes: “How Science Fiction Defused the Bomb” (Chapter 4, pp. 78-96).

The entire July 1986 issue of Science-Fiction Studies (vol. 13, part 2) is devoted to nuclear war and science fiction. It contains my article, “Resources for the Study of Nuclear War in Fiction” (pp. 193-97), which lists some useful articles not mentioned here. Other studies relating to the topic of nuclear war published after the first edition of Nuclear Holocausts includeDavid Dowling’s Fictions of Nuclear Disaster (London: Macmillan and Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1987), Martha Bartter’s “Symbol to Scenario: The Atomic Bomb in American Science Fiction, 1930-1960” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Rochester, 1985), and Robert Hostetter’s “The American Nuclear Theatre, 1946-1984” (Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University, 1985).

Two bibliographies which partially overlap with the present one appeared in 1984. The first is Grant Burns’s The Atomic Papers: A Citizen’s Guide to Selected Books and Articles on the Bomb, the Arms Race, Nuclear Power, the Peace Movement, and Related Issues (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press). Its thirteenth section, entitled “The Art of Fission: Novels and Stories with Nuclear Themes” (pp. 259-91), includes several dozen of the titles also listed here, with much briefer citations and annotations. More specialized because it deals exclusively with fiction is John Newman and Michael Unsworth’s Future War Novels: An Annotated Bibliography of Works in English Published Since 1946 (Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx). It lists 127 books which fit the guidelines of the present study, and annotates them in considerable detail. Although the authors have overlooked a great deal, they have uncovered some very obscure works, including a score which were previously unknown to me. Both of these bibliographies include near-wars, atomic test disasters, etc., which are excluded from the present study, and will be of interest to scholars pursuing those subjects, although both are far from complete. Newman and Unsworth do not list short stories. For a list of errors in Future War Novels, see my review in Reference Services Review 13 (1985), “Recent Reference Books” section, p. 20.

It may be helpful for readers unfamiliar with science fiction research to note those reference works which have proved especially useful to this study. The Science Fiction Encyclopedia edited by Peter Nicholls (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1979) contains an excellent article entitled “Holocaust and After.” Donald H. Tuck’s The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (3 vols.; Chicago: Advent, 1974, 1978, 1982), although it contains numerous errors (some of which are corrected in the Bibliography of the present volume), is invaluable in tracking down various editions of novels. Two very helpful surveys of science fiction with extensive annotation and criticism are Frank Magill’s Survey of Science Fiction Literature (5 vols.; Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Salem Press, 1979) and Neil Barron’s Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction (2nd ed.; New York: Bowker, 1981). British science fiction is listed and annotated in I. F. Clarke’s Tale of the Future. The third edition (London: Library Association, 1978) covers the period up to 1976 and provides many titles which would otherwise have been overlooked. Recent titles were discovered by perusing back issues of Fantasy Review, a journal whose review columns and publishing previews are an excellent resource.

The location of short stories is greatly facilitated by William Contento’s Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1978) and its supplement covering the years 1977-83 (from the same publisher in 1984). Short stories which appeared only in magazines may be located through the following three volumes which complement each other: Donald B. Day, Index to the Science Fiction Magazines 1926-1950, second edition, revised by Mrs. Donald B. Day (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982); Erwin S. Strauss, The MIT Science Fiction Society’s Index to the S-F Magazines 1951-1965 (Cambridge, Mass.: Erwin S. Strauss, 1965); and New England Science Fiction Association, Index to the Science Fiction Magazines 1966-1970 (West Hanover, Mass.: New England Science Fiction Association, 1971).

Critical books and articles on titles and authors listed in the Bibliography were located in the Survey of Science Fiction Literature: Bibliographical Supplement, compiled by Marshall B. Tymn (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Salen Press, 1982), in Thomas D. Clareson’s Science Fiction Criticism: AnAnnota ted Checklist (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1972); and Tymn and Roger C. Schlobin’s The Year’s Scholarship in Science Fiction and Fantasy: 1972-1975 (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1979), in their TheYear’s Scholarship in Science Fiction and Fantasy 1976-79 (same publisher, 1982), in Tymn’s The Year’s Scholarship in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Literature 1980 (same publisher, 1983), in the volumes (same title) for 1981 and 1982 (dates of publication not given), and in the continuations, under the same title, in Extrapolation, the 1983 bibliography in volume 26 (1985): 85-142, and the 1985 bibliography in volume 27 (1986), 123-73.

Although the following collections have only a tangential connection with the subject matter treated here, they will probably be of interest to anyone concerned with nuclear war and literature: the Editors of Northwest Review, Warnings: An Anthology on the Nuclear Peril (constitutes volume 22, numbers I and 2 of Northwest Review, Eugene, Oregon, 1984); Jim Schley, ea., Writing in a Nuclear Age (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1984, a reprint of NER&BLQ: New England Review and Bread Loaf Quarterly 5 [Summer 1983]); and Morty Sklar, ea., Nuke-Rebuke: Writers and Artists Against Nuclear Energy and Weapons (Iowa City, Iowa: Spirit That Moves Us Press, 1984). All of these emphasize poetry more than fiction.

Interest in the subject of nuclear war outside the science fiction community seems to have aroused very little interest in fiction depicting nuclear war. An entire issue of Diacritics (Summer 1984) was devoted to “nuclear criticism” without any of the contributors so much as mentioning a single piece of nuclear war fiction. Researchers interested in pursuing the subject of nuclear war as it has been depicted in the movies will want to consult Jack G. Shaheen’s Nuclear War Films (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1978) and Mick Broderick’s comprehensive Nuclear Movies: A Critical Analysis and Filmography of International Feature Length Films Dealing with Experimentation, Aliens, Terrorism, Holocaust, and Other Disaster Scenarios, 1914-1989 (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 1991). This replaces his earlier Nuclear Movies: A Filmography (Northcote, Vic, Australia: Post-Modem Pub., 1988)

An overview of current work and resources on the subject of nuclear war in the humanities is provided in the brief but excellent contribution of Philip N. Gilbertson to the special section of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists entitled “Nuclear War: A Teaching Guide” (see the section titled “Humanities,” 40 [December 1984]: 13s-l5s).

Among many other books on nuclear war itself and the public’s perception of it. the following proved especially useful:

  • Peter Biskind, Seeing Is Believing. How Hollywood Taught Us to Stop Worrying and Love the Fifties (New York: Pantheon, 1983);
  • Paul Bracken, The Command and Control of Nuclear Forces (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983);
  •  Nigel Calder, Nuclear Nightmares: An Investigation into Possible Wars (New York: Viking, 1979);
  • John W. Campbell, Jr., The Atomic Story (New York: Henry Holt, 1947);
  •  Magnus Clarke, The Nuclear Destruction of Britain (London: Croom Helm, 1982);
  •  Robert A. Divine, Blowing On the Wind: The Nuclear Test Ban Debate 1954-1960 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978);
  • Paul R. Ehrlich, Carl Sagan, Donald Kennedy, and Walter Orr Roberts, The Cold and the Dark: The World After Nuclear War (New York: Norton, 1984);
  • D. F. Fleming, The Cold War and Its Origins,vol. I (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1961);
  • Morton Halperin, China and the Bomb (New York: Praeger, 1965);
  • Gregg Herken, The Winning Weapon: The Atomic Bomb in the Cold War, 1945-1950 (New York: Knopf, 1980);
  • Stephen Hilgartner, Richard C. Bell, and Rory O’Connor, Nukespeak: Nuclear Language, Visions, and Mindset (San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1982);
  • Alice Langley Hsieh, Communist China’s Strategy in the Nuclear Era (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1962);
  • Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, 2nd ed. (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1969), and Thinking About the Unthinkable (New York: Horizon Press, 1962);
  • Fred Kaplan, The Wizards of Armageddon (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983);
  • The Pacific War Research Society, The Day Man Lost: Hiroshima, 6 August 1945 (Tokyo: Kodansha Interna tional, 1972);
  • The Editors of Pocket Books, The Atomic Age Opens (New York: Pocket Books, 1945);
  • Bertrand Russell, Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1959);
  • and Martin J. Sherwin, A World Destroyed: The Atomic Bomb and the Grand Alliance (New York: Knopf, 1975).

Other volumes containing fictional nuclear war scenarios are cited in the Bibliography.

An essential source for the study of the pre-Hiroshima period is H. Bruce Franklin’s War Stars: The Super-Weapon and the American Imagination (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1988). He discovered a number of early atomic war narratives which my research for the first edition had overlooked. For the period immediately after World War II, I drew on Paul Boyer’s outstanding study, By the Bomb’s Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age (New York: Pantheon, 1985). Its wealth of evidence surrounding the impact of the atomic bomb on the culture of the late forties proved invaluable, and helped to shape my discussion of that period. Also helpful are two articles by my colleague Alexander Hammond which appeared in the anthology Warnings, cited above: “God’s Nation Interprets the Bomb: A Collage from the Early Years” (pp. 2-11), and “Rescripting the Nuclear Threat in 1953: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” (pp. 181-94).

It has been customary in books of this sort to offer apologies for the study of science fiction as serious literature. None is offered here, but interested readers previously unaware of science fiction’s contemporary stature may wish to consult such scholarly works as the following:

  • Thomas D. Clareson, ea., Many Futures, Many Worlds: Theme and Form in Science Fiction (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1977);
  • David Ketterer, New Worlds for Old: The Apocalyptic Imagination, Science Fiction and American Literature (Garden City, New York: Anchor, 1974);
  • and Robert E. Scholes and Erik Rabkin, Science Fiction: History, Science, Vision (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977).

Additional sources:

  • Bartter, Martha. “Nuclear Holocaust as Urban Renewal,” Science Fiction Studies 13, Part 2 (July 1986): 148-158.
  • Berger, Albert I. The Magic That Works: John W. Campbell And the American Response to Technology. San Bernardino, Calif., Borgo Press, 1993.

Lots of useful information about nuclear themes in Astounding and the definitive account of the U.S. government reaction to Cleve Cartmill’s “Deadline.”

  • Canaday, John. The Nuclear Muse: Literature, Physics and the First Atomic Bombs. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000.
  • Seed, David, ed. Imagining Apocalypse: Studies in Cultural Crisis, London: Macmillan, 2000.
  • Seed, David. “H. G. Wells and the Liberating Atom,” Science Fiction Studies, 30, Part 1 (March 2003): 33-48.The World Set Free placed in its historical context.

Seed argues that the overwhelming impact of atomic weapons undermined the possibility of coherent narratives about them, and includes as examples A Canticle for Leibowitz and Riddley Walker plus dealing briefly with a number of other works.


Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction

by Paul Brians
Supplementary Checklists


The following checklists are provided to aid those in search of texts on themes closely related to nuclear war. They are not as comprehensive as the main bibliography (nothing published since 1984, for instance), and are merely suggestions for further study. The reader wondering why a particular item was not listed in the bibliography may well find his or her answer here.

Near-War Narratives

In this checklist, nuclear war is more or less narrowly averted, usually by the thwarting of the schemes of terrorists or nuclear blackmailers.

In a few cases, the war seems imminent, but does not actually break out during the story. Many of them are cold-war thrillers in which atomic bombs are used as a suspension-building threat, replacing the older threats of poison gas and the like. Often these novels have little to say about nuclear weapons as such, though some may be interesting to scholars. Many are discussed in Martha A. Bartter’s The Way to Ground Zero: The Atomic Bomb in American Science Fiction (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1988).

Ambler, Eric. The Dark Frontier. 1935.Anvil, Christopher. The Steel, the Mist, and the Blazing Sun. 1980.Ardies, Tom. This Suitcase Is Going to Explode. 1972.Asimov, Isaac. “Silly Asses.” 1958.Avallon, Michael. The Doomsday Bag. 1969.Ayer, Frederick. Where No Flags Fly. 1961.Bagley, Michael. The Plutonium Factor. 1983.Ball, John. The First Team. 1971.Bass, Milton R. Force Red. 1970.Beliayev, Alexander. The Struggle in Space. 1965Blish, James. “Sponge Dive.” 1956.Boland, John. Holocaust. 1977.Bone, J. F. “Triggerman.” 1958.Boulle, Pierre. “The Diabolical Weapon.” 1966.Boom, Ben. Kinsman. 1979. Millenium. 1976.Bretnor, Reginald. “Maybe Just a Little One.” 1947.Brodeur, Paul. The Sick Fox. 1963.Brunner, John. The Brink. 1959.Buckmaster, Henrietta. The Lion in the Stone. 1968.Bulmer, Kenneth. The Doomsday Men. 1968.Caidin, Martin. Operation Nuke. 1974.Carr, Robert Spencer. “Those Men from Mars.” 1951.Carter, Mary Arkley. The Minutes of the Night. 1965.Chandra, Vikram. Sacred Games. 2007.Chester, Roy. The Damocles Factor. 1977.Christian, John. Five Gates to Armageddon. 1975.Clark, Ronald. Queen Victoria’s Bomb: The Disclosures of Professor Franklin Huxtable, M.A. (Cantab.). 1967Collins, Larry, and Dominique La Pierre. The Fifth Horseman. 1980.Condon, Richard. The Manchurian Candidate. 1959.Conley, Rick. “The Best Laid Plans.” 1980.Cory, Desmond. Sunburst. 1972.Craig, William. Tashkent Crisis. 1971.Creasey, John. The Terror. The Return of Dr. Palfrey. 1964.Crowley, John: The Translator. 2002Cunningham, E. V. Phyllis. 1963.De Camp, L. Sprague. “Judgment Day.” 1955.del Rey, Lester. “Over the Top.” 1949.___. “Shadows of Empire.” 1950.Dick, Philip K. “Foster, You’re Dead.” 1954.Ehrlich, Max. Big Eye. 1949.Fellowes-Gordon, Ian. The Night of the Lollipop. 1979.Fitzgibbon, Constantine. When the Kissing Had to Stop. 1960.Follett, James. The Doomsday Ultimatum. 1976.Forbes, Colin. The Year of the Golden Ape. 1974.Frank, Pat. Forbidden Area. 1956.Freemantle, Brian. The November Man. 1976.Gallery, Daniel J. The Brink. 1968.Gardner, Alan. The Escalator. 1963.Garfield, Brian Wynne. Deep Cover. 1971.Gary, Romain. The Gasp. 1973.Granger, Bill. The Shattered Eye. 1982.Gray, Michael Waude. Minutes to Impact. 1967.Greatorex, Wilfred. The Freelancers. 1975.Griffith, Maxwell. Gadget Maker. 1955.Haggard, William. The Conspirators. 1967.___. The High Wire. 1963.___. Yesterday’s Enemy. 1976.Haining, Peter. The Hero. 1974.Harrington, Robert Edward. The Seven of Swords. 1978.Hodder-Williams, Christopher. Chain Reaction. 1959.Hoppe, Arthur. Miss Lollipop and the Doomsday Machine. 1973.Hough, S. B. Extinction Bomber. 1956.Hunter, Matthew. Cambridgeshire Disaster. 1967.Katz, Robert. Ziggurat. 1978.King, Stephen. The Dead Zone. 1979.King-Hall, Stephen. Moment of No Return. 1960.Knebel, Fletcher. The Night of Camp David. 1965.Kopit, Arthur. End of the World. 1984.Le Guin, Ursula. The Lathe of Heaven. 1971Luke, Thomas. The Hell Candidate. 1980.McCall, Anthony. The Holocaust. 1967.McCutchan, Philip. The Man from Moscow. 1965.MacLean, Alistair. The Golden Rendezvous. 1962.Maine, Charles Eric. Count-Down. 1958.Mair, George B. The Day Khruschev Panicked. 1961.Mason Francis Van Wyck. The Deadly Orbit Mission. 1968.Meadows, Patrick. “Countercommandment.” 1965.Meyer, Bill. Ultimatum. 1966.Milton, Joseph. The Man Who Bombed the World. 1966.Neville, Kris. “Survival Problems.” 1974.Pincher, Chapman. The Eye of the Tornado. 1978.Piper, H. Beam. “Operation R.S.V.R” 1951.Pohl, Frederik. “Critical Mass.” 1961.Poyer, Joe. Operation Malacca. 1966.Quest, Rodney. Countdown to Doomsday. 1966.Reeves, Lynette Pamela. Last Days of the Peacemaker. 1976.Reynolds, Mack. “Sweet Dreams, Sweet Princes. ” 1964.Rothberg, Abraham. Heirs of Cain. 1966.St. Clair, Margaret. Sign of the Labrys.Salinger, Pierre. On Instructions of My Government. 1971.Sambrot, William. “Deadly Decision.” 1958.Sanders, Lawrence. The Hamlet Ultimatum. 1977.Sela, Owen. An Exchange of Eagles. 1977.Serling, Rod. “The Shelter.” 1962.Setlowe, Rick. The Brink. 1977.Shore, Thelma. “Is It the End of the World?” 1972.Smith, Carmichael. Atomsk. 1949.Spillane, Mickey. The By-Pass Control. 1966.Stanton, Ken. Ten Seconds to Zero. 1970.Stewart, Edward. Launch! 1978.Sutton, Jeff. Bombs in Orbit. 1959.Taylor, Ray Ward. Doomsday Square. 1966.Tenn, William. “Will You Walk a Little Farther?” 1951.Terman, Douglas C. First Strike. 1980.Tregaskis, Richard. China Bomb. 1967.Trew, Antony. Ultimatum. 1977.Upward, Edward. The Night Walk and Other Stories. 1987.Van Vogt, A. E. The House That Stood Still. 1953 (rev. 1960 as The Mating Cry).Varley, John. The Barbie Murders. 1980.Vidal, Gore. Visit to a Small Planet. 1957.Wager, Walter. Viper Three. 1971.Walker, Jerry. Mission Accomplished. A Novel of 1950. 1947.Washburn, Mark. The Armageddon Game. 1977.Watts, Peter. Maelstrom. 2001.Way, Peter. Sunrise. 1979.Wheeler, J. Craig: The Krone Experiment. 1986.Wibberley, Leonard. The Mouse That Roared. 1955.Wilhelm, Kate. City of Cane. 1974. . Welcome, Chaos. 1983.Wynd, Oswald. Death, the Red Flower. 1965.

Doubtful Cases

In a surprising number of cases, it is uncertain whether a nuclear war has occurred or not. There are many vague holocausts to which no cause is ascribed. To list them all would be to go far beyond the bounds of this study; but in the case of most of the following works, one could make a reasonable case that the cause of the holocaust might well have been a nuclear war. In almost all cases, these works have been listed by one scholar or another as nuclear war narratives. Many others, erroneously listed as nuclear wars by these same scholars, have been omitted because their texts specifically make such a label inappropriate. Not uncommonly, tales of worldwide pollution (like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s False Dawn) and ecocatastrophes of other sorts have been misidentified as concerning nuclear holocausts.Bester, Alfred. The Demolished Man. 1952.Bishop, Michael. “Vox Olympica.” 1981.Black, Dorothy. Candles in the Dark. 1954.Boorman, John. Zardoz. 1974.Burns, A. Europe After the Rain. 1965.Dick, Philip K. “Imposter.” 1953.___. “The Turning Wheel.” 1954.Eklund, Gordon. Dance of the Apocalypse. 1976.Erlanger, Michael. “Silence in Heaven.” 1961.Farmer, Philip Jose. A Woman a Day or The Day of Timestop. 1953.Fitzgibbon, Constantine. Iron Hoop. 1949.Forstchen, William R. The Flame Upon the lce. 1984.Gibbs, Lewis. Late Final. 1951.Goldston, Robert. The Shore Dimly Seen. 1963.Groves, J. W. Shellbreak. 1970Harrison, Helga. Catacombs. 1962.Heyne, William R. Tale of Two Futures: A Novel of Life on Earth and the Planet Paliades in 1975. 1958.Kelleam, Joseph E. “The Eagles Gather.” 1942.Key-Aberg, Sandro. “The End of Man.” 1967.LeGuin, Ursula. City of Illusions. 1967.Macauley, Robie. Secret History of Time to Come. 1979.MacTyre, Paul. Midge or Doomsday 1999. 1962Murry, Colin. Phoenix. 1968.Piper. H. Beam. “The Keeper.” 1957.Seabright, Idris. “Short in the Chest.” 1954.Van Vogt, A. E. “Co-Operate–Or Else!” 1942.Wilhelm, Kate. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang. 1976.Williams, Jay. The People of the Ax. 1974.Wilson, Richard. “A Man Spekith.” 1969.Wongar, B. “Maramara.” 1978.Zelazny, Roger. Today We Choose Faces. 1975.

Nuclear Bomb Tests

In a number of cases a nuclear holocaust is not the result of a war at all, but of atomic bomb testing. These works, because they often closely resemble nuclear war novels, are likely to be of interest to the reader of this study, so they are listed below. A few deal with protests against atomic testing.

Anderson, William C[harles]. Five, Four, Three, Two, One–Pfftt.Anvil, Christopher. “Torch.” 1957.Asimov, Isaac. “Hell Fire.” 1956.___. “Paté de fois gras.” 1956.Ballard, J. G. “The Voices of Time.” 1960.Buzzati, Dino. “A Siberian Shepherd’s Report of the Atom Bomb.” 1963.Compton, David. “Mutatis Mutandis.” In Laughter and Fear. 1960.Dobraczynski, Jan. To Drain the Sea. 1964.Duncan, Ronald. The Last Adam. 1952.Ellanby, Boyd. “Chain Reaction.” 1956.Harrison, Michael. The Brain. 1953.Hatch, Gerald. The Day the Earth Froze. 1963.Lawrence, Henry Lionel. The Children of Light. 1962.Lymington, John. The Giant Stumbles. 1960.McAuley, Jacqueline Rollit. The Cloud.MacGregor, James Murdoch. A Cry to Heaven. 1960.Maine, Charles Eric. The Tide Went Out or Thirst. 1958.Masson, Loys. Barbed Wire Fence or The Shattered Sexes. I95X.Murphy, Robert. “Fallout Island.” 1962.Roberts, Keith. The Furies. 1965.Schary, Dore. The Highest Tree. 1960.Shadbolt, Maurice. Danger Zone. 1 976 .Trevor, Elleston. The Domesday Story.Wood, William. The News from Karachi. 1962.

Reactor Disasters

The following works concern accidents involving nuclear reactors and other nonmilitary atomic installations. Some of them closely resemble the nuclear holocausts listed in the main bibliography.Aldiss, Brian. Greybeard. 1964.Brennert, Alan. “Jamie’s Smile.” 1976.Brown, Jerry Earl. Under the City of Angels. 1981.del Rey, Lester. Nerves. 1942.Fontenay, C. L. The Day the Oceans Overflowed. 1964.Gotlieb, Phyllis. Sunburst. 1964.Heinlein, Robert A. “Blowups Happen.” 1940.Hoyle, Fred. The Westminster Disaster. 1978Jackson, Basil. Epicenter. 1976.Jameson, Malcolm. Atomic Bomb. 1943.Kavan, Anna. Ice. 1967.Levy, D. The Gods of Foxcroft. 1970.McQuay, Mike. Matthew Swain. Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight. 1981.Piper, H. Beam. “Day of the Moron.” 1951Pohnka, Bett and Barbara C. Griffin. The Nuclear Catastrophe. 1977.Queffele, Rodney. Countdown to Doomsday. 1966.Sambrot William “Nine Days to Die ” 1960Samuel, Edwin. “Danger!” 1960.Schroeder, Karl. “The Dragon of Pripyat.” 1999.Scortia, Thomas N. The Prometheus Crisis. 1976.Shiras, Wilmar H. Children of the Atom. 1953.Tubb, E. C. Breakaway. 1975.Warriner, Thurman. Death’s Bright Angel. 1956.Wells, Barry. The Day the Earth Caught Fire. 1962Womack, Jack. Ambient. 1987.Ziemann, H. H. The Explosion. 1979.


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Paul Brians