Table of contents for Frontiers past and future : science fiction and the American West / Carl Abbott.

Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog.

Note: Contents data are machine generated based on pre-publication provided by the publisher. Contents may have variations from the printed book or be incomplete or contain other coding.

 Introduction: Launching Pads Chapter 1:
 Never Final Frontiers
Chapter 2: Beyond Alaska: Sourdoughs, Lunies,
and Other Tough Guys
 Chapter 3: Science Projects
 Chapter 4: Johnny Appleseed, John Wayne, and
Homesteading on the Extraterrestrial Frontier
 Chapter 5: Frontier Democracy Chapter 6: On
 the Urban Edge
Chapter 7: Information Everywhere: Pacific
Destinies in
the Twenty-First Century
 Chapter 8: Bigger than Texas! Americans,
Our Wests, and Science Fiction
 This book is an exploration of overlaps
between writing about the American West and
writing about the American future. On the first
side of the equation is the solid territory of
frontier and western history, descriptive
writing, and regional fiction. On the second
side is speculative fiction whose authors have
used ideas about the western past and present to
help them think about the future. Substantial
and insightful bodies of analysis have developed
as guides to each territory-the fields of
western history and western literary studies on
one side and science fiction criticism on the
other. I understand that I may have sacrificed
some depth by trying to span the gap between
these different intellectual realms, but I hope
that my bridge allows some interesting views and
vistas not possible from each side alone.
 I have been a regular reader of science
fiction since I was in the fourth grade and
discovered the juvenile fiction of Robert
Heinlein. I can tell you exactly where I was
when I first read Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo
(1947), Space Cadets (1945), and Red Planet
(1944). Andre Norton's Star Man's Son: 2250 AD
(1952)was scary but her Star Rangerswas
exciting, and the series of science fiction
novels for young people published by Winston
from 1952 through 1956 whetted my appetite for
the adult books of Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson,
and many others. Since then, science fiction has
been my major recreational reading. I have tried
to keep up with new and interesting authors and
with the more consumeroriented criticism. From
this base of familiarity, I have looked for
science fiction narratives that start with an
understanding of the historical present and work
forward from that understanding with care for
logic and plausibility.
 The majority of evidence comes from science
fiction novels written and published in the
United States since the 1940s. Novels allow the
fullest development of ideas, sometimes in a
series of several books with continuous action
or with common backgrounds and premises. Novels
are accessible in libraries and in new and used
bookstores for readers who want to follow up on
my arguments. In addition, much of the best and
most ambitious pulp magazine writing of the
Golden Age of the later 1930s and 1940s were
serials and novellas that were later expanded
into books. I supplement science fiction novels
with shorter fiction from magazines and
anthologies, with movies, and with television
shows. As a check on my personal knowledge,
because hundreds of
science fiction novels appear each year, I have
also considered the appropriateness of all the
novels that have won the annual Hugo and Nebula
awards. Hugos have been conferred by fans at
Worldcon, the major annual science fiction
convention, since 1953, and Nebulas are given by
the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of
America (formerly the Science Fiction Writers of
America) since 1965.
 For help with the paragraphs about space
cowboys, many thanks to participants on the H-
West Internet discussion list as moderated by
Elliott West. J. R. "Jones" Estes helped to run
down many references and introduced me to some
knowledgeable friends. For suggestions about
books, movies, and television shows to consider,
thanks to those who commented on versions of my
ideas as presented at the Western History
Association, the Western History Workshop at the
Autry National Center, the University of London
conference on Metropolitan Catastrophe, the
Newberry Library's weekly colloquium series, and
the colloquium series of Stanford University's
Center for the Study of the North American West.
I also appreciate the comments of a number of
writers who have been willing to answer e-mail
queries about their work, particularly Kim
Stanley Robinson, James Gunn, Greg Bear, and
Melissa Scott.
 My writing has been facilitated by a sabbatical
from Portland State University and by a summer
research fellowship from the Oregon Council for
the Humanities. A different version of Chapter 4
has appeared in "Homesteading on the
Extraterrestrial Frontier," Science Fiction
Studies 32 (July 2005): 240-64, and portions of
Chapters 3 and 5 in the "Falling into History:
The Imagined Wests of Kim Stanley Robinson in
the Three Californias and Mars Trilogies,"
Western Historical Quarterly 34 (Spring 2003):

Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:

Science fiction, American -- History and criticism.
Alternative histories (Fiction), American -- History and criticism.
American fiction -- West (U.S.) -- History and criticism.
Western stories -- History and criticism.
Frontier and pioneer life in literature.
Literature and history -- West (U.S.).
West (U.S.) -- In literature.