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From Utopia to ApocalypseScience Fiction and the Politics of Catastrophe$
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Peter Y. Paik

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816650781

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816650781.001.0001

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the God That Succeeded

the God That Succeeded

(p.1) Introduction the God That Succeeded
From Utopia to Apocalypse

Peter Y. Paik

University of Minnesota Press

This introductory chapter presents the argument that science fiction and fantasy—particularly narratives drawn from media—are often dismissed as unserious and trivial. This refers to the comic book and the science fiction film. In contrast, these, this book argues, are capable of achieving profound and probing insights into the principal dilemmas of political life. The book examines the hypothetical transformations and imaginary upheavals overtaking fictitious individuals and societies. It explores themes such as the foundation of new political orders, the endeavor to realize utopia, the necessities behind tyranny, the relationship of a saintly politics to the practice of realpolitik, and the potential and limitations of radical politics in the present age. Science fiction, therefore, can serve as a vital instrument for the investigation of the contingencies governing political life, the forces that structure and dissolve collective existence, by providing the reader with visions, in which familiar realities are destabilized and transformed.

Keywords:   science fiction, fantasy, comic book, science fiction film, politics, utopia, realpolitik

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