NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Film

ENGL 2000

We will study fiction that is concerned with the impact of science and technology on the human imagination. We will do this by examining SF novels, short stories, TV shows, movies, and graphic novels, and we will explore the history of SF literature as well as its various manifestations and subgenres, i.e., alternate histories, post-apocalyptic visions, utopias and dystopias, galactic explorations, space operas, time travel, new wave SF, cyberpunk, and hard SF.

Our emphasis will be thus not only be with the text but also with its medium. I, therefore, ask that you subscribe to Amazon Prime to stream or purchase productions at $1.99 - $29.99. Netflix or Hulu might offer additional alternatives.


At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Utilize critical viewing and reading skills in a variety of genres and mediums;
  • Develop a confident command of both literary and filmic terminology;
  • Interpret and analyze SF adaptations in a variety of genres and mediums,
  • Read and write competently about SF and its adaptations.

Required Texts:

Texts have been ordered through the NDSU Bookstore. Other, and sometimes cheaper and quicker, purchasing options include Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and ebay. Buying used copies of all texts and DVDs is acceptable and encouraged; all editions need to be authoritative and unabridged

Course Reading:

  • M.T. Anderson, Feed
  • Margaret Atwood, Oryx & Crake
  • Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End
  • Samuel R. Delany, Babel-17
  • William Gibson, Neuromancer
  • Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness

+ 2 Graphic SF Novels

  • Marcos Martin, Barrier
  • Alan Moore, Watchmen
  • Additional reading includes short stories that will be made available on Blackboard.

Viewing (via streaming or DVD's)

  • Total Recall (1990) – available on Amazon Prime to rent for $4.99
  • Blade Runner- The Final Cut (1983) –available on Netflix with subscription and on Amazon to rent for $3.99 ($9.99 to buy)
  • Akira (1988) – DVD available for purchase on Amazon for $13.49
  • The Matrix (1999) – available on Amazon Prime to rent for $3.99 ($17.99 to buy)
  • Watchmen-movie (2009) and Watchmen-tv series (2019) – available on Amazon for $3.99 and with HBO trial membership
  • Childhood’s End (2015) - Season 1, episode 1 – available on Amazon Prime to rent for $2.99 (per episode)
  • Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – available on Amazon Prime to rent for $3.99 ($9.99 to buy)
  • The Worlds of Ursula LeGuin (2018) – documentary available with TOPIC trial subscription on Amazon Prime

Recommended Supplementary Materials

MLA Handbook or access to the Purdue OWL and a reliable glossary of literary and filmic terms; the Yale Film Analysis website is very useful also: http://filmanalysis.yctl.org/