Archives for posts with tag: German Science Fiction

Last week, I presented a paper at the Once and Future Fantasies Conference in Glasgow as part of a panel titled: Changing the Genre for a Better Tomorrow: Manifesting Progressive Science
Fiction in Germany

Andreas Eschbach’s novel, Eines Menschen Flügel (2020) weaves together elements of SF and fantasy, creating a minutely designed future world on which humans have been genetically altered to have wings. The novel appears to be targeted at a YA readership, and yet it contains a series of messages and philosophical reflections on the role of science and ‘progress’ as well as the posthuman condition that make it a rewarding read for adult readers as well. The ‘avian’ society is based on mutual help, everyone shares what they have and contributes towards the common good. Writing at a time when social divisions, identity politics, fears of terrorism, right-wing populism, and environmental disasters have created a seemingly all-pervasive dystopian mood in Germany, the bestselling author offers a (precarious) concrete utopia. My paper explored whether a ‘progressive fantastic’ can escape its niche of worthy but commercially unsuccessful productions and enter the mainstream.

Since the turn of the millennium, German writers have increasingly engaged with moral and ethical dilemmas created by scientific and technological advances. But what can these texts tell us about the future?

You can listen to my take on this question in this podcast created for the Ilkley Literature Festival ‘Settee Seminars’:—What-can-German-Science-Fiction-tell-us-about-the-future-e1ecnls

This volume, edited by my colleague (and Leverhulme Visiting Professor to Leeds) Dr Lars Schmeink and myself, will be published on 29 May 2022. It will provide readers with an up-to-date overview of the state of German SF in Literature, Film and TV.

New Perspectives of Contemporary German Science Fiction (cover)