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Time and Antiquity in American EmpireRoma Redux$
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Mark Storey

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198871507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198871507.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Waiting for the Barbarians

Waiting for the Barbarians

Science Fiction

(p.194) { 5 } Waiting for the Barbarians
Time and Antiquity in American Empire

Mark Storey

Oxford University Press

The final chapter moves to the future-oriented narratives of American science fiction, broadly conceived as a mode of representation committed to the imagination of alternative lifeworlds. The chapter opens with the Roman fragments of Michael Crichton’s Westworld and the remains of New York City in late nineteenth-century dystopian fiction in order to outline the paradoxical relationship between historical representation and the imagination of an imperial (or decolonized) future. The chapter then moves to its three key writers, Isaac Asimov, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Samuel R. Delany. While each of them offer quite differently fantastical visions of antiquity’s place in the logics and aesthetics of the future, they all find connections through their employment of the ancient figure of the “barbarian” and its role in imperial philosophies and politics.

Keywords:   speculative fiction, pulp fiction, deep time, queer fiction, Westworld, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Samuel R. Delany, Isaac Asimov

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