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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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Benford in His Own Words

Benford in His Own Words

Toward a Craft of Science Fiction

(p.20) Chapter 2 Benford in His Own Words
Gregory Benford

George Slusser

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers the series of essays Gregory Benford wrote for University of California Riverside's Eaton Conference from 1979 to 2009. It explores Benford's personal vision by connecting the various threads of his essays, including his analysis of J. G. Ballard's term of “experience” from the point of view of the “intuitionist” school of natural philosophy; the process of alien ingestion; the narrative and rhetorical devices needed to achieve what he calls that “falsely quiet” moment when the practicing scientist senses the possibility of alien encounter; the role of aliens in science fiction; his use of the cyberpunk phenomenon to denounce what he sees as the disturbing rise of fantasy as a cultural phenomenon; and the two-cultures gap in science fiction.

Keywords:   essays, Gregory Benford, University of California Riverside, Eaton Conference, J. G. Ballard, natural philosophy, alien encounter, aliens, science fiction, fantasy

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