The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World (Paperback)

How Science Fiction Conquered the World

By Thomas M. Disch

Free Press, 9780684859781, 272pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2000



From one of science fiction's most acclaimed novelists comes this engrossing journey through the books, movies, and television programs that have shaped our perspective of both the present and the future. In an uncompromising, often irreverent survey of the genre from Edgar Allan Poe to Philip K. Dick to "Star Trek, " Thomas M. Disch analyzes science fiction's impact on technological innovation, fashion, lifestyle, military strategy, the media, and much more.
An illuminating look at the art of science fiction (with a practitioner's insight into craft), as well as a work of pointed literary and cultural criticism, "The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of" reveals how this "pulp genre" has captured the popular imagination while transforming the physical and social world in which we live.

About the Author

Thomas M. Disch is the author of such classic works of science fiction as Camp Concentration, 334, The Brave Little Toaster, and On Wings of Song, all of which are cited in David Pringle's Science Fiction: 100 Best Novels. His criticism has appeared in the country's leading magazines and newspapers. His book The Castle of Indolence was a nominee for the National Book Critic Circle's Award in Criticism.

Praise For The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World

Alexander Star
The New York Times

Disch is an eloquent storyteller and polemicist....[His] book is consistently rewarding.

Frank McConnell
San Jose Mercury News

Brilliant....It's a wonderful book, and no one who cares about science fiction, or about American culture, should miss reading it.

George Feeley
The Washington Post

Witty, urbane and generous....Thomas M. Disch has got it right.

Robert Silverberg
The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Disch's lively and provocative new book is a science-fiction insider's brilliant attempt to come to terms with the bizarre morphing of our civilization in the past fifty years into something that might well have leaped out of the archetypical tales of yesterday's SF masters.

Alyssa Katz

[Disch speaks] for the entire genre with admirable authority and grace.

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
The New York Times


Dick Allen
The Hudson Review

Entertaining and provocative....Long overdue -- a pioneering look at what other cultural observers have ignored....Disch convinces us that any cultural study of our century which does not deal seriously with the genre is or will be fatally flawed.

Robert Taylor
The Boston Globe

A provocative and enjoyable book.

Robert Sheckley
San Francisco Chronicle

Sharp, provocative....More than just a history, Disch gives us a sense
of the events and moods that are so much a part of science-fiction....[Disch] has covered the vital aspects of the field in a highly readable book.

Michael Jacobs
USA Today