Eng 335: sf as Social Criticism Fall 2012 Hour Examination #1 [150 Points]

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ENG 335: SF as Social Criticism Fall 2012 Hour Examination #1 [150 Points]

Your first hour examination, as discussed in our course policies, will occur on Wednesday, September 19. It will cover fifteen matching questions and two essay questions. The specific format of the examination follows.

Section I: 15 Matching [3 points each = 45 points].

Place the letter of the alphabet corresponding to the correct story title in the blank preceding each item. The stories are presented in alphabetical order and assigned a letter of the alphabet below.

A. “Act of God” by Jack McDevitt

B. “First Commandment” by Gregory Benford

C. The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

D. “Microcosmic God” by Theodore Sturgeon

E. “The Quest for St. Aquin” by Anthony Boucher

F. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

G. “Twilight” by Joseph Campbell

I will supply a quotation, character, concept, or event, and you will place the letter of the alphabet corresponding to the correct story title in the blank preceding the item.  Please note that we have covered only 7 texts to date, so each story can be the correct answer to more than one item. Therefore, it is not at all useful to keep track of which stories you have used and which you haven't while entering your answers. Some may be the correct response on three or more occasions, while others may be the correct response only once. Here are a couple of sample questions; use the above key to select your answers:

__ __1. She paused a moment, peering at the reflection, which at just the right angle looked like the holy cross.

__ __2. Maybe the God who's actually running things is just a guy in a laboratory in another reality.

Section II. 2 Essay Responses. [100 points]

You will write two essay responses discussing the notion of "Deep" SF, one using The Time Machine to explore more recent SF and the other using The Island of Dr. Moreau. You should be able to complete each short essay response in a page and a half or so, depending on how direct and concise you are in your answers.  Your answers, of course, will contain three significant parts:

  1. A clearly stated, concise thesis statement [It may be more than one sentence.] that specifies the relation of Deep SF to the stories in question, establishing a basis for discussing how the more recent story depends on the Wells novel.

  2. The above should lead into a brief definition of Deep SF that prepares for discussion of the recent SF that you will discuss in the context of the Wells novel. [You might look at "The Ashes of Time Travel" by John Clute for his definition of Deep SF as "SF one needs other SF to understand": The Ashes of Time Travel. Clute only discusses his concept in paragraph 3; you do not need to read his entire essay to get his point, which we have more fully discussed in class. Here, of course, you will identify how specific elements of the novel prepare us to understand the more recent SF.

  3. A discussion of the story [#1] or stories [#2] that relates specific details and events in them to the Wells novel and the idea of Deep SF. Here, it is crucial that you supply specific, concrete examples. Recall our class discussions and see the handout on How to Respond Effectively to Quiz Questions.

For each of these essay responses, you may bring a 4 X 6 note card with your thesis statement written out and a list of supporting details that you intend to use to write your response. These cards will help you to outline your response; the note cards must have your name on them, for they will be submitted with your answers.

Here are the essay questions:

  1. Discuss how John Campbell's "Twilight" demonstrates the idea of Deep SF through its dependence on H.G. Wells's The Time Machine. Of course, you can defend your answer through discussion of thematic concerns, frame tale narratives, the club atmosphere, methods of maintaining reader interest [prods and foils], or any other common features of the two stories that indicate how Campbell's story might depend on or be derived from elements of The Time Machine. [45 Points]

  1. Discuss how TWO of the following stories demonstrate the idea of Deep SF through their relation to H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau. As in question #1, your goal here is to illustrate the concept of “Deep SF” by discussing how the more recent stories to some extent reflect on and extend concepts developed by H.G. Wells in The Island of Dr. Moreau. You will need to identify specific aspects of each story that demonstrate how it relies on prior aspects of SF found in the Wells novel. Of course, similar characterizations, thematic concerns [science vs. religion or ethics, for example], or extrapolation on existing technologies are all good choices here. [Since this question involves two stories plus the Wells novel, it has a slightly higher point value: 60 points.] Select TWO of the following stories:

“Act of God” by Jack McDevitt

“First Commandment” by Gregory Benford

“Microcosmic God” by Theodore Sturgeon

“The Quest for St. Aquin” by Anthony Boucher

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