Locating Science Fiction is a ground breaking and potentially paradigm-shifting book, a major intervention into contemporary theoretical debates about SF. Academic literary criticism has tended to locate SF primarily in relation to the older genre of utopia; fan criticism primarily in relation to fantasy and SF in other media, especially film and television; popular fiction studies primarily in relation to other contemporary genres such as the romance and the thriller. This bold new synthesis relocates SF in relation to each of these other genres and media and also to the historical and geographic contexts of its emergence and development. Locating Science Fiction effects a series of vital shifts in the way SF theory and criticism has conceptualised its subject, away from prescriptively abstract dialectics of cognition and estrangement and towards the empirically grounded understanding of what is actually a messy amalgam of texts, practices and artefacts. Inspired by Raymond Williams's cultural materialism, Pierre Bourdieu's sociology of culture and Franco Moretti's application of world systems theory to literary studies, Locating Science Fiction draws on the disciplinary competences of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Critical Theory and Sociology to produce a powerfully persuasive mode of analysis, engagement and argument.
Reviews'[A book of] calm sly good sense and hard thought about SF... the finest assessment of SF theory yet published.'
John Clute, Strange Horizons
'Worth the attention of all sf scholars for the range and acuity of its conception of the genre as well as its theoretical rigor.'
John Rieder, Science Fiction Studies
Science Fiction Studies, Volume 40
'Milner provides a vast list of primary works... suggestive of the encyclopedic reach of this study... Locating Science Fiction also encompasses several nuanced readings of particular works, including reassessments of canonical texts... as well as discussions of less well-known... Impressively, moreover, all quotations from non-English language texts are provided both in the original and in translation.'
Kate Rigby, Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology
Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology
'A consistently thoughtful account of its subject… The result never flags in offering consistently interesting insights into SF which do justice to its rich diversity.'