Class Notes for 4/25/17

Extension of the 4/25 blog for the reflection of the first 6 chapters of Parable of the Sower to tomorrow night.

Science Fiction Archive Collection.

  • Covers are eye-catching
  • The Age of Writing molds Science Fiction
  • Interesting that City Tech has such a collection of Science Fiction in the Library Archives.
  • Variety of Science Fiction books
  • Hard work into the archives, with plans of expansion of space and books.
  • Historic feel of the Science Fiction Archives ranging from pulp fiction to novels.

Science Fiction vs. Science Fantasy

  • Hard Science Fiction: Bare-bones about provable science
  • Middle: Uses science, but is not 100% bound to it
  • Science Fantasy: Loosely based on science


  • Brave New World
    • Cloning
    • Human Manufacturing
  • 1984
    • Futuristic Technology
    • Politics
  • Parable of the Sower
    • Hyperempathy
    • Post-Apocalyptic

Parable of the Sower was nominated to a Nebula award and Hugo Award.

Mundane Science: Everyday, “normal” science in fiction.

Parable of the Sower

  • Settings:
    • Gated Community
    • Targeted community by outsiders
    • Rarely Rains
    • A lot of drugs
    • People, included children and the Priest, uses guns
    • Harsh Environment
    • 20 miles away from Los Angeles in a gated cul-de-sac
  • Conflicts:
    • Attacked by gangs, criminals, and arsonists/druggies
    • Lauren finds her religion, but follows her father
    • The possibility of the wall being torn down
  • Politics:
    • People see no point in voting, so most people don’t vote.
    • Despite the world being Post-Apocalyptic, Presidents still exists/are important.
  • People:
    • Have tall walls around houses and blocks to protect them from arsons, gangs, and thieves.
    • Religious.  Goes to church despite leaving their walls that protects their homes.
    • Schools are small and taught by the community.
    • People teach children about guns and train children 15 years old or older how to use and shoot guns.
    • Denial of the world; hoping things will just get better in the future.


  • Diseases
  • Drugs
  • Economy Collapse
    • Water and Gas prices are up and very expensive.
  • Environmental crisis like natural disasters, lack of food, lack of clean water.
  • Poor State of Affairs

God is Change.  Each chapter has bold excerpts at the beginning of each chapter that talks about this.

  • Hyperempathy
    • Lauren, the main character of the book, has this
    • Her description tells about the world
    • Has to change with the world and learn to kill or despite her hyperempathy
  • Tone
    • Redemptive apocalypse; hope of things getting better
    • Day by day existence; living/surviving one day at a time
    • Harshness and Tragedy

One thought on “Class Notes for 4/25/17

  1. Thanks Aneita for these notes!

    A few quick revisions:

    1. The blog that is due this week (extended to W 4/26) is on chapters 1-13 (not chapters 1-6). Everyone should categorize as such, and anyone who posted already can go in and edit their posts as they see fit (if they want).

    2. The novel, ‘Parable of the Sower,’ was nominated for the Nebula Award for best novel (in 1994), not the Hugo award (though we did discuss the two awards, and their role in science fiction, in class).

    3. Another important idea we discussed, related to Lauren’s “hyperempathy” is that we, as readers, through Lauren’s descriptive, first-person writing, really feel/absorb the dire setting/circumstances of the characters, and in a (non-literal) way, experience “hyperempathy” too (the narrative affects us, as readers, greatly).

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