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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that the prescriptive turn in literary aesthetics over the last two centuries has marginalized science fiction, placing it in the category of the “Sublime” rather than the “Beautiful.” However, this is a position that recent advances in cognitive poetics are in the process of reversing. Stockwell explores the science-fictional beauty of expression, beauty of structure, and beauty of world to propose that the key to the immersive experience of science fiction is that it is a genre of compulsion. Close consideration is given to the work of Ray Bradbury, China Miéville, and Roger Zelazny.

Keywords: science fiction, aesthetics, the Beautiful, the Sublime, cognitive poetics, immersive experience, Ray Bradbury, China Miéville, Roger Zelazny

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