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Franklin, H Bruce

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author, Critic, Editor.

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(1934-    ) US critic, John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers; emeritus since 2015. In 1961 Franklin gave at Stanford one of the earliest university courses in sf in the USA. In 1972 he was dismissed by Stanford for giving speeches protesting the university's involvement in the Vietnam War – a case well known to those interested in questions of academic freedom. His Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century (anth 1966; rev 1968; exp and rev 1978; exp and rev 1995) has been one of the most influential of sf Anthologies, in drawing attention to the sheer volume of nineteenth-century sf. A later Franklin anthology, containing sf about nuclear weapons, is Countdown to Midnight: Twelve Great Stories about Nuclear War (anth 1984). Franklin's two other books about sf are Robert A. Heinlein: America as Science Fiction (1980) and War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination (1988; exp rev 2008). The former relates Robert A Heinlein's career to contemporary US history from a Marxist perspective; the latter is a pungent and important study about the US preoccupation with super-Weapons in fact and fiction, and the way in which the fact has been influenced by the fiction, with a focus on sf tales which, tacitly or explicitly, anticipate World War Three. Franklin has published many other critical articles on sf and is among the genre's most respected commentators. He received the Pilgrim Award in 1983. He was a consulting editor of Science Fiction Studies from its inception until 2002. [PN]

see also: Critical and Historical Works About SF; Eaton Award; Future War; SF in the Classroom.

Howard Bruce Franklin

born New York: 28 February 1934



works as editor


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