By M. Keith Booker
The Nineteen Fifties are greatly considered as the golden age of yank technological know-how fiction. This publication surveys quite a lot of significant technological know-how fiction novels and flicks from the lengthy 1950s--the interval from 1946 to 1964--when the tensions of the chilly struggle have been at their top. the yankee technological know-how fiction novels and flicks of this era in actual fact replicate chilly conflict anxieties and tensions via their concentrate on such subject matters as alien invasion and nuclear holocaust. during this experience, they resemble the observations of social and cultural critics throughout the related period.Meanwhile, American technological know-how fiction of the lengthy Fifties additionally engages its ancient and political contexts via an interrogation of phenomena, reminiscent of alienation and routinization, that may be visible as outcomes of the advance of yank capitalism in this interval. This fiscal development is a part of the increase of the worldwide phenomenon that Marxist theorists have known as overdue capitalism. hence, American technological know-how fiction in this interval displays the increase of past due capitalism and participates within the beginnings of postmodernism, defined by way of Frederic Jameson because the cultural good judgment of past due capitalism.
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Additional resources for Monsters, Mushroom Clouds, and the Cold War: American Science Fiction and the Roots of Postmodernism, 1946-1964 (Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy)
Meanwhile, Dick's inquiry into the nature of reality in 1950s America strikingly anticipates the wave of nostalgia for the 1950s that would follow in subsequent decades. As Jameson points out, Dick's depiction of a simulated 1950s not only foreshadows the way concepts of "the fifties" would come to be packaged in the popular imagination, but also indicates the conventionality of all period concepts. From our future perspective, the artificiality of Gumm's "1950s" environment suggests that the nostalgic reminiscences of the fifties that would become popular in subsequent decades might be similarly false.
1. " Of course, this crisis, in the versions of both Lyotard and Bell, grows out of a number of historical events, including the traumas of World War II; the final realization of the West soon after the war that colonialism had been immoral, brutal, and unethical all along; and the rapid growth of technology during and after the war. This growth included, not only the development of nuclear weapons, which, for many, made human life so tenuous as to appear pointless, but also major innovations in communications, transportation, and automation.
3 Dick's fiction, with its consistent confusion of ontological levels, overtly thematizes many of the central concerns and characteristics of postmodernism. For example, in The World Jones Made (1956), Dick projects a post-nuclear holocaust world, in which attempts to avert the kind of fanaticism that can lead to nuclear war have resulted in an officially mandated relativism, which makes it literally illegal to proclaim the absolute truth of one's own position relative to the untruth of other competing positions.