In this class we will read stories by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, H.P. Lovecraft, and excerpts from novels by Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, H.G. Wells, and others. We will also examine films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Alien, Children of Men, Arrival and Ex Machina. This body of literature and cinema will be placed in its social and historical context, as we trace the links between science fiction and the western literary and artistic tradition from antiquity to the 20th century. We will also address a number of current social, philosophical and linguistic issues, especially posthumanism and the defining principle of the genre: cognitive estrangement. Finally we will look at the three major techniques that authors employ in the construction of an imaginary space and time: analogy, extrapolation, and world reduction.