Mark Bould (University of the West of England):
"The Great Clomping Foot of Nerdism Stamping on the Human Face--Forever: World-Building and Contradiction"


Mark J.P. Wolf's symptomatically encyclopedic, anatomizing but largely pre-critical Building Imaginary Worlds attempts to normalize one particular mode of building, and of consuming, imaginary worlds--a mode that suits Disney's tyranny over our cinema screens, ancillary media, and themed merchandizing. Taking M. John Harrison's notorious provocation about world-building and China MiƩville's unseemly enthusiasm for G. R. R. Tolkien's Watcher in the Water as its starting points, this paper will begin to explore the importance of contradiction to the worlds, fictional and otherwise, that we build.


Mark Bould is Reader in Film and Literature at the University of the West of England in Bristol. He is the winner of the 2016 SFRA Pilgrim Lifetime Achievement Award for critical contributions to the study of science fiction and fantasy. Accordingly, there is too much to write about him. In short, he has (co-)authored the BFI Classics volume on Solaris (2014), Science Fiction: The Routledge Film Guidebook (2012), The Routledge Concise History of Science Fiction (2011), The Cinema of John Sayles: Lone Star (Wallflower, 2009), and Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City (Wallflower, 2005). In addition he has (co-)edited two special issues of Paradoxa (#22 & 26), Neo-Noir (Wallflower, 2009), Red Planet: Marxism and Science Fiction (Wesleyan UP, 2009), The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction (2009), Fifty Key Figures in Science Fiction (Routledge, 2009), and Parietal Games: Critical Writings by and on M. John Harrison (Science Fiction Foundation, 2005). He is the co-editor of Science Fiction Film and Television and on the advisory boards of numerous journals, including Science Fiction Studies, Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres, Extrapolation, and Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media.