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Seed, David

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Critic, Editor.

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(1946-    ) UK academic and critic who has concentrated on the teaching of sf for many years (see SF in the Classroom); his books divide more or less equally between individual studies and strongly edited anthologies. His first work of genre interest is The Fictional Labyrinths of Thomas Pynchon (1988), a general study issued before Thomas Pynchon began to publish much more frequently after 1990. A continued interest in the response of American sf writers to the Cold War-apocalypse meta-narrative (see Genre SF) shapes his most sustained books of analysis, American Science Fiction and the Cold War: Literature and Film (1999), which astutely anatomizes various 1950s and 1960s texts, including novels (apparently less familiar to many scholars) by authors like Mordecai Roshwald, whose Level 7 (1959) he has edited in a definitive version, Bernard Wolfe and Philip Wylie; and Under the Shadow: The Atomic Bomb and Cold War Narratives (2013), which builds on and expands upon the earlier volume, including discussions of relevant nonfantastic texts like The Bedford Incident (1963) by Marc Rascovich (?1918-1976). It is accompanied by Future Wars: The Anticipation and the Fears (anth 2012). Science Fiction: A Very Short Introduction (2011) is also of interest for its refusal to treat sf solely in terms of the common American assumption – certainly as regards Genre SF – that the heart of the genre lies in its fixated attention to the effects of advances in science and changes in Technology on the world to come.

Of Seed's several critical Anthologies the least academic (and most useful) is the massive A Companion to Science Fiction (anth 2005), containing a wide range of essays, arranged by theme and individual author, some of them ambitious. [JC]

David A Seed

born Nelson, Lancashire: 26 November 1946


works as editor


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