October 26, 2004 – Larry McCaffery: “The Coevolution of SF, the Avante Garde, & Avant Pop”

Tuesday, October 26 / 4 PM / Cowell Conference Room

Focusing on developments in science fiction during the past twenty years, this talk will explore interactions between science fiction and the avant garde. These supposed life-long enemies co-evolved, so that by the early 1980s they existed in a relationship characterized by a rapid relay of information, stylistic tendencies, narrative archetypes, and character representations. These interactions have produced some of the most culturally significant art of our times. Works to be discussed include William Burroughs’s Nova Express, William Gibson’s early cyberpunk novels, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Laurie Anderson’s “Big Science,” and Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation.” 

Larry McCaffery, Professor of English at San Diego State University, has published widely on science fiction, the avant garde, and avant pop. He is the editor of the groundbreaking Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Science Fiction (Duke, 1991) and After Yesterday’s Crash: The Avant Pop Anthology (Penguin, 1995). He is also co-editor, with Ronald Sukenick, of Fiction Collective Two’s Black Ice Books.

Sponsored by the Science Fiction Research Cluster