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Gregory Benford$
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George Slusser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038228

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038228.001.0001

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The Science Fiction Novel of Manners

The Science Fiction Novel of Manners

(p.139) Chapter 7 The Science Fiction Novel of Manners
Gregory Benford

George Slusser

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Gregory Benford's series of science fiction novels that could be classified as “science thrillers”: Cosm (1999), The Martian Race (1999), and Eater (2000). In these novels, some strange and often menacing occurrence (such as the approach of an alien object to Earth) triggers conflict between scientists, government interests, and global politics. Benford's scientific thrillers—in their detailed descriptions of how science works, how it is conducted in the laboratory, and how this interacts with personal conflicts and institutional politics—hearken back to an important current in his fiction that began with In the Ocean of Night and was perfected in Timescape (1980). Seamlessly integrating social activity and scientific research, Timescape represents a moment of supreme balance between the demands of science and of fiction.

Keywords:   science fiction, Gregory Benford, science thriller, Cosm, The Martian Race, Eater, science, In the Ocean of Night, Timescape, scientific research

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