Rocky Mountain Refuge: Constructing “Colorado” in Science Fiction

Citation data:

Science Fiction Studies, ISSN: 0091-7729, Vol: 39, Issue: 2, Page: 221-242

Publication Year:
2012
Usage 6953
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Repository URL:
https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/usp_fac/76; https://works.bepress.com/carl_abbott/41
DOI:
10.5621/sciefictstud.39.2.0221
Author(s):
Abbott, Carl
Publisher(s):
SF-TH, Inc.
Tags:
Arts and Humanities; Science fiction -- History and criticism; Fiction; Modern Literature; Urban Studies and Planning
article description
Colorado has long functioned in American culture as the epitome of the American West, identified both as a safe refuge and as a place for starting over. This essay examines the ways in which writers of speculative ficiton have drawn on Colorado's historically constructed identity as the setting for stories of refuge and retreat. The discussion examines parallels in the use of the Colorado setting by sf writers Robert A. Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Walter M. Miller, Jr., Leigh Brackett, and Ursula K. LeGuin, by political novelist Ayn Rand, and by mainstream thriller writers Stephen King and Justin Cronin. The analysis suggests that popular ideas about regional characteristics can play important roles in framing the science-fiction imagination. © 2000-2013 ITHAKA.