Space opera: a hybrid form of science fiction and fantasy
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This thesis considers space opera as a hybrid form of science fiction and fantasy.“Falling Stars,” the creative component which includes fantasy, space opera and science fiction stories, constitutes a spectrum of speculative fiction. In order to illustrate the similarities and difference between the genres represented in the spectrum, I focus on the central figure of the alien other and the ways in which such a figure can be gendered and embodied. The space opera novella combines motifs of both fantasy and science fiction within the figure of the cyborg, Orlando, who is transgendered and hyperchangeably embodied.The exegesis offers a theoretical context through which to view the creative work. I argue that space operas are melodramatic adventure stories, which operate as a hybrid form of science fiction and fantasy, using the non-realist expectations inherent in both, but mixing the extrapolations and icons of science fiction with the self-consistent but unbelievable discontinuities of fantasy. I also consider space opera’s tendency to exhibit a conservative, unexamined colonialistic imperative, with the attendant assumptions that create a potential for feminist subversion.
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