• Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy, an Enriched English 12 elective!
     
    The goal of this course is to give students the opportunity to experience great works of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and to introduce and develop the vocabulary and skills necessary to appreciate the works critically, in addition to reading them for pleasure.  Science Fiction and Fantasy are not often taken seriously in the literary community, despite their timeless audience appeal.  Why is that?  Why do works like The Hobbit, I, Robot, and Harry Potter appeal so much to audiences, but are not viewed as having "literary merit"?  This course examines these questions, and many more throughout our study of great Science Fiction and Fantasy literature.
     
    Below are links to the course syllabus and an outline of the course's reading calendar (each semester will be provided a calendar with readings, assignments, and paper due dates.)  This course is run the style of a college classroom to better prepare students for the rigors of adult scholarship and responsibility, so please review the course syllabus carefully and contact Mr. Oswin with any questions at oswind@madisonnjps.org. 
     
     
    "There is an area where Science Fiction has most often failed to judge itself, and where it has
    been most harshly judged by its nonpartisans.  It is an area where we badly need intelligent
    criticism and discussion.  The oldest argument against Science Fiction is both the shallowest
    and the profoundest: the assertion that Science Fiction, like all fantasy, is escapist...
    If it's worth answering, the best answer is given by Tolkien, author, critic, and scholar.  
    Yes, he said, fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory.  If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy,
    don't we consider it his duty to escape?  The moneylenders, the knownothings, the 
    authoritarians have us all in prison; if we value the freedom of the mind and soul, if we're
    partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can."
     -Ursula K. LeGuin on escapism and Tolkien in
    The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction
     
    Recommended Readings in Sci Fi & Fantasy: