The Story of Science Fiction
Is space really the final frontier? Join us to discover how science fiction as developed over the centuries, and its relationship to science fact.
At a Glance
- Live online course
- Tuesdays 18:00 - 20:00
- 20 weeks: October to March
- Tutor: Dr Glyn Morgan
- Fees from £252 to £470
The Story of Science Fiction is a journey into the history of science fiction in literature, film, art and television. We invite you to join Dr Glyn Morgan of London's Science Museum on a live-online exploration of the history and form of science fiction through the ages.
Science fiction is currently going through a renaissance, and this course is designed to give us the opportunity to explore the history and development of science fiction in all its forms. We will look at work from the start of science fictional thought from ancient myth to writers such as Margaret Cavendish in the seventeenth century, through to the creators of blockbuster science fiction movies today.
We will discover how the genre has evolved, how it has manifested itself in different media and at different times, and how it often says as much about the time in which it is created as it does about an imagined future. On the course we will look at a number of science fiction writers and film and television makers in detail, as well as at the changing aesthetic of imagined worlds in science fiction art, literature and film.
Along the way the course will also examine how science fiction has changed the world, from cultural movements to influencing the development of life-saving technologies like pacemakers, or everyday objects like mobile phones. As well as shaped the way we think about ourselves and our future from human beings colonising Mars to utopian societies rebuilding Earth.
Live Online Course
This course will be taught live online (via the internet). To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped device for session attendance each week on the weekday and time shown above.
Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate
Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment
Course Programme and Additional Reading
Course Programme (programme and exact order of classes are subject to modification)
- Session 1: What is Science Fiction (SF)?
- Session 2: Proto-SF: Imaginary Voyages, Dreams and Visions
- Session 3: Frankenstein, 1818: The Birth of a Genre?
- Session 4: Scientific Romance
- Session 5: American Pulp
- Session 6: What is a Golden Age?
- Session 7: New Wave
- Session 8: Punking SF
- Session 9: Queering SF
** Christmas break **
- Session 10: Alternate History
- Session 11: Arabic SF
- Session 12: Space Opera
- Session 13: SF Comics
- Session 14: Chinese SF
- Session 15: SF Art
- Session 16: Architecture and SF
- Session 17: Afrofuturism
- Session 18: Science, Poetry and SF
- Session 19: Ecological SF
- Session 20: 21st Century SF
To enable discussion, a selection of short stories and extracts will be provided by the tutor each week.
Dr Glyn Morgan is a curator at the Science Museum in London working on the major exhibition "Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination" opening in October 2022, exploring the links between science and science fiction. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool. He is author of Imagining the Unimaginable: Speculative Fiction and the Holocaust (Bloomsbury, 2020) and co-editor of Sideways in Time: Critical Essays on Alternate History Fiction (Liverpool University Press, 2019) which was shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association Award. As well as the editor of the companion volume to the Science Museum Exhibition, published by Thames & Hudson in Autumn 2022.
Course Fees and Discounts
|Hours||Weeks||Standard Rate||Internal Rate||Associate Rate|
|40||20||Early Bird: £423 (£10.58 p/h)
Full price: £470 (£11.75 p/h)
|Early Bird: £252 (£6.30 p/h)
Full price: £280 (£7 p/h)
|Early Bird: £333 (£8.33 p/h)
Full price: £370 (£9.25 p/h)
|All fee rates quoted are for the whole 2-term course. Early Bird rates available 1 August to 30 September 2022 only. Part-payments are not possible. Equivalent to hourly rate is shown for comparison guidance only, it is not possible to pay pro-rata hourly rates.|
Rate Categories and Discounts
- Available to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.
- Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
- Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
- Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
- Students, staff and Governors of Woodhouse College and the IC Mathematics School
- Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should contact firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the online enrolment form
- Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
- Austrian Cultural Forum staff
- City & Guilds College Association members
- Co-operative College members
- Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
- Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
- Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
- Friends of Leighton House/ Sambourne House
- Friends of the Royal College of Music
- Harrods staff
- Historic Royal Palaces staff
- Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
- Members of the Friends of Imperial College
- Members of the Kennel Club
- Members of the London Zoological Society
- Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
- Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- National Health Service (NHS) employees
- Natural History Museum staff
- Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
- Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
- Royal Geographical Society staff
- Science Museum staff
- Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
- Students (non-Imperial College)
- Teachers and other staff of UK schools
- Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
- Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
- Victoria and Albert Museum staff
It is possible to enrol on many of our adult education courses after the course has already started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.
Friends and Family Scheme
This course is eligible for the Friends and Family scheme, allowing Imperial College students and staff to share their discount with their friends and family.
Term Dates 2022-2023
|Hours||Weeks||Autumn term||Spring term||Summer term|
|40||20||Week commencing 17 October to week ending 17 December 2022 (9 weeks)||Week commencing 9 January to week ending 25 March 2023 (11 weeks)||n/a|
|Term 1 and 2 are separated by the Christmas break|
Web enrolment starts 1 August 2022. Early bird discounts are available from 1 August to 30 September 2022.
Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:
- Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
- If you are a first-time eStore user you will need to create an account before enrolling. You can do this by entering an email address and password. This account can then be used for any future enrolments via the eStore.
When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:
|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Is sent straight away following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Is usually sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
If you have any questions about the academic content or teaching of this course please contact the Course Tutor, Dr Glyn Morgan, email@example.com
If you have any questions about your enrolment or payment processes please contact the Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi, firstname.lastname@example.org