Class: Yucky Gets Yummy: How Speculative Fiction Creates Society

Instructor: P.J. Manney

Next class date: Saturday, October 2, 2021, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.

Speculative fiction has assessed the Other for as long as we’ve told speculative stories. Are they villainous and evil, or “yucky” as termed by certain academics? Are they heroic and good, or “yummy?” Or are they a mix?

The last thousand years of social liberalization and technological progress in Western civilization evolved in these stories through feedback loops of storytelling, technological inspiration and acceptance, and social change by growing the audience’s empathy for these speculative characters. The larger historical arc of speculative fiction, technological acceptance and history shows the clear shift of the Other from yucky to yummy.

We’ll discuss paradigm-shifting works like The Bible, Greek myths, the Talmud, stories of alchemists and the Brazen Head, fairy and folk tales, Paradise Lost, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, gothic horror films of Germany and the U.S., Superman and the Golden Age of comics, and recent blockbusters, among others. And we’ll work on our own protagonists to see just how influential this concept is within our projects and culture.

Classes are taught online and require a reliable Internet connection, although in the past participants have logged on from coffee shops, cafes, and even an airplane; a webcam is suggested but not required.

Cost is $99 ($79 for Patreon supporters and former students, which includes classes/workshops with me in other venues, such as conference or convention workshops and mentoring sessions).

To register for this class, send an email with the following details:

  • Which class or classes and the dates you are registering for.
  • Remind me if you support me on Patreon or have already taken a class with me so you can get the special rate.
  • Whether you would prefer to pay via Paypal, check, Venmo, or some other means.
  • If you’re a new student, please let me know how you found out about the classes!

You will be invoiced when the class slot is reserved.

Free scholarships: If you cannot afford a class but really want to take one, apply for a Plunkett Scholarship. Each class has three slots reserved for such students, and the sole criteria is only that you can’t currently afford the class. To apply for a Plunkett, which covers the entire cost, mail me and tell me why you want to take the class in 100 words or less. QUILTBAG and PoC candidates are especially encouraged to apply. The Plunkett Scholarships are named for Edward Plunkett, who wrote as Lord Dunsany. Scholarships are given out on a rolling basis; I suggest getting them in sooner rather than later. You may apply for multiple classes.

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