From Lucian to Lucas: Science fiction & the Classics

Tony Keen

Due to health issues, Dr. Keen has been forced to change the dates for jhis SF and Classics course, which will now run from 12 May through to 14 July. We wish him a speedy recovery. 

It is a commonplace that every generation reinvents its history. But it is also true that every generation reinvents the future. So what happens when the two coincide? That’s the subject of this course, a look at how texts of science fiction and fantasy have used the ancient world. We’ll be looking at a wide variety of media, including novels, movies, television and comics. Each week we’ll look at a different work, that illustrates a particular genre or approach.

12 May 2021: The Classical origins of science fiction. Key text: Lucian of Samosata, The True History (second century CE) .

19 May 2021: The emergence of science fiction: Key text: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818).

26 May 2021: The scientific romance. Key text: H.G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon (1901).

2 June 2021: Galactic empires and the pulps. Key text: Isaac Asimov, Foundation (1951).

9 June 2021: American TV. Key text: Star Trek: ‘Who Mourns for Adonais?’ (1967)

16 June 2021: British TV. Key text: Doctor Who: ‘Underworld’ (1978).

23 June 2021: Modern fantasy. Key text: Gene Wolfe, Soldier in the Mist (1986).

30 June 2021: Comics. Key text: George Pérez, Wonder Woman: Gods and Monsters (1987).

7 July 2021: Movies. Key text: Star Wars—Episode II: Attack of the Clones (dir. and scr. George Lucas, 2002).

14 July 2021: Modern Science Fiction: Sophia McDougall, Romanitas (2005).

Day: Wednesdays                                     Time: 7 – 9pm
10 weeks, 12 May to 14th July 2021.


Price for full course Price for single session
£75 £9

Please book through Eventbrite:
Full course:
Individual sessions:

Contact details: Tony Keen