Frontiers 100.001 / In Memoriam, to Shipmates Lost, 2006

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Watery Frontiers: Voyages of Self-Discovery

Instructor: Arnold Sanders, English Department (VM G57, OH 11:30-12:20 MWF and by app't.)

MWF 12:30-1:20, VM 103

"The Blue Marble" used courtesy of NASA's Visible Earth Site:  Image created on February 8, 2002, using  the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, mounted on a satellite orbiting 700 km. above the surface.  Click on the image to see a composite near-real-time image of today's planetary cloud cover from the U. Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center.  Click here for the USGS map of world earthquakes in the past seven days.

New!--12/4/06--  Sterling concludes his short story "appendix" to the longer narrative, Schizmatrix, with a structurally strange coda, "Twenty Evocations."  "Evocations" of what?  While a cynic might suggest he was finding a place to park some short story ideas he did not want to complete, a more careful comparison of "TE"'s relationship with the short stories might suggest the twenty short vignettes are related to the short stories' description of humanity's fragmentation into "Posthuman" subspecies just as the short stories were related to the longer narrative's focus on the lifespan of one character (Abelard Lindsay, an early "Shaper").  The "Evocations" are shorter and their subjects are less continuous because they "evoke" or suggest the various ways the Posthuman experiment was fragmenting human consciousness.  That is, Sterling seems to suggest that fictions are communicable only within a coherent group consciousness, and once one reaches the "event horizon" of such a group consciousness, the limits of the conventions we share, narrative itself may fall apart.

    For an example of what I would like to see from Watch Presentation groups in the future, click here for what I had ready for class. 

        I've revised the watch presentation schedule to accommodate the current "crew" size.  Click here for the quick version.  I'll update the syllabus later.

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