LANG 2051 Writing and Reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102772

Coordinator Sara Knox Opens in new window

Description This unit covers the basic creative writing techniques for 'worldbuilding' in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Through guided reading and writing you'll explore what happens when ordinary human predicaments are deepened and complicated when represented as happening in a world not our own: one with different physical laws, belief systems, technologies and cultural practices. In a workshopping environment, you will build outward from a 'story-bud' about an alternative or alien world to explore the logic of that world and its implications for the creation of believable characters, setting, action and - overall - the development of a successful story.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Incompatible Subjects LANG 3090 - Writing and Reading Sci Fi and Fantasy

Restrictions Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Assumed Knowledge

Good standard of written English expression.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of science fiction and fantasy fiction.
  2. Apply the techniques of world-building to flesh out story ideas.
  3. Effectively utilise face-to-face and online workshop environments for the brainstorming of ideas and the troubleshooting of work in progress.
  4. Critically assess works of published Science Fiction and Fantasy to identify the logic of world-building.
  5. Demonstrate competence in writing coherent and credible fantasy or science fiction.
  6. Identify the qualities of effective writing; and
  7. Demonstrate those qualities in their own writing.

Subject Content

The history of fantasy and science fiction as literature and popular fiction.
Race, religion and gender: re-working power in genre fiction.
Genre reading for writing technique.
The story-bud: graft from an existing stock or invent something wholly new?
Consequential logic and the rules of invention: 'if this is so, then what...'
Cosmologies: world-building beliefs.
On creating non-human characters.
Science and Physics: how much do you need to know?
Future technologies and savage worlds: what kind of detail do I need?
Writing the credible incredible setting.
Alternative histories: when time gets out of hand.
Under the shadow of Harry Potter: can I do magic?
Zombies and Vampires: can the undead live on the page?

Assessment

The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Reflection: Online journal (reading responses on aspects of world-building and genre technique in the set texts) 3 x 300 words approximately 25 N Individual
Applied Project: First draft of project 1,500 words approximately 35 N Individual
Applied Project: Final draft of project 2,000 words approximately 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • 102772 Electronic Reader (A collection of weekly reading resources selected by the subject coordinator)

Teaching Periods