For the final exam, please select ONE of the following five stories to write about:
SF 2017 Final Exam Readings (PDF packet of five short stories)
Ursula LeGuin “Nine Lives” (Playboy, 1980)
Pamela Zoline “The Heat Death of the Universe” (New Worlds Speculative Fiction, July 1967)
Stanislav Lem “How the World Was Saved” (The Cyberiad, 1965)
Philip K. Dick “Beyond Lies the Wub” (Planet Stories, July, 1952)
Arthur C. Clarke “The Sentinel” (10 Story Fantasy, Spring, 1951)
For the final exam, you will write about ONE of these five short stories in the context of what you have learned about SF studies, literary studies, and other SF texts we have read or seen this semester. For the exam, you will write a short essay explaining what the story is about by describing its fictional elements, reflecting on the importance of story in the context of literary studies and in sf studies, and finally arguing for why you believe that the story should be added to Professor Rodgers SF course syllabus by discussing the connections between the story and other SF short stories that we have read this semester.
NOTE: You will need to print out a copy of the story you select to write about for the final exam.
For some sample draft summaries, you may want to read through these posts by students summarizing “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” and critique them. How well do they summarize the Dick story? What might you change in these summaries? What do you admire in these summaries?
Additionally, to prepare for the final exam, in which you will write an essay about one short story that you have selected, you will want to:
- Review Course Notes (both those posted and those you have taken)
- Review your assignments
- Re-read the “Introduction” to the Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction
- Make some notes on the short story you have selected. What do you have to say about the story in the context of SF studies, literary studies, and the texts we have read this semester? Although you will be writing the final exam essay in class, I expect you to come prepared with an outline of the key points that you want to make about the story.