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Go to Dark Literature. Dark Literature is a project of John T. Cullen to explain DarkSF, using Aristotle's definitions of poetry Go to Dark Literature. Dark Literature is a project of John T. Cullen to explain DarkSF, using Aristotle's definitions of poetry Go to Dark Literature. Dark Literature is a project of John T. Cullen to explain DarkSF, using Aristotle's definitions of poetry

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Examples of DarkSF Fiction (Literature)

NOTE: These are not exhaustive lists. Many DarkSF novels have been made into movies. This does not count the many Classical works with SF elements (e.g. the Trojan Horse in post-Homeric Classical Hellenic literature). DarkSF does not include Sigh-Fie melodramas.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe 1719
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 1816 (first telling)
The Narrative of A.G. Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe 1838
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville 1851
The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne 1874
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells 1895
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 1931
At The Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft wr1931
Anthem by Ayn Rand 1937
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 1953
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson 1954 (see 1971 film Omega Man)
1984 by George Orwell 1948
The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. van Vogt 1951
Lord of the Flies by William Golding 1954
The Inheritors by William Golding 1955
The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney 1955
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester 1956
Time Out Of Joint by Philip K. Dick 1959
Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle 1963
Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith 1964
Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouye 1964
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton 1969
Enemy Mine by Barry B. Longyear 1979
Friday by Robert A. Heinlein 1982
Robinson Crusoe 1,000,000 A.D. by John Argo (me) 2003
the list of classic DarkSF novels is a long one…

Examples of DarkSF Movies (Film)

NOTE: Many such films are based on fictional works. Some, like 1719 Robinson Crusoe, have been remade so many times that the subgenre has acquired a name (*Robinsonade*). Verne's 1874 The Mysterious Island is a prime example, based, like Defoe's, on a true story. SF versions include the 1964 SF film Robinson Crusoe on Mars and the 2016 SF film The Martian. I just coined the awkward term Frankensteinade to describe the subgenre based on Mary Shelley's 1814 (first told) Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, whose many offshoots include Ridley Scott's 1982 movie Blade Runner. One must mention Rod Serling's Twilight Zone TV series, and its predecessor, Tales of Tomorrow.

Metropolis dir. Fritz Lang 1927
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Don Siegel 1956 (Jack Finney novel 1955)
Lord of the Flies dir. Peter Brook 1956 (William Golding novel 1954)
Alphaville dir. Jean-Luc Godard 1965
Planet of the Apes dir. Franklin Schaffner 1968 (Pierre Boulle novel 1963)
Omega Man dir. Boris Sagal 1971
The Andromeda Strain dir. Robert Wise 1971 (Michael Crichton n. 1969)
Soylent Green dir. Richard Fleischer 1973
Westworld dir. Michael Crichton 1973
Star Wars dir. George Lucas 1977
Alien dir. Ridley Scott 1979
Blade Runner dir. Ridley Scott 1982 based on a Philip K. Dick novel
They Live dir. John Carpenter 1988
Enemy Mine dir. Wolfgang Petersen 1985
Dark City dir. Alex Proyas 1998
The Matrix dir. Wachowski Brothers 1999
I Am Legend dir. Francis Lawrence 2007
Chrysalis dir. Julien Leclercq 2007
The Dark Knight dir. Christopher Nolan 2008
Inception dir. Christopher Nolan 2010
The Martian dir. Ridley Scott 2016 based on Andy Weir's novel
the list of DarkSF movie classics is a long one…

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NOTE: Site under construction. All this stuff, currently on one page, will be more aesthetically chopped up and posted on multiple subordinate pages on this site. Thank you for your patience.

DarkSF: Subset of Dark Literature & Film

John T. Cullen—Author & Publisher

Welcome to this special project site. I have devised the terms "Dark Literature" and (its subset) DarkSF or Dark Science Fiction to create new ways of understanding the literature and filmography of speculative fiction.

Distinctions: SF, Techno-Thriller, Fantasy, Horror. I'll develop these ideas further on the DarkSF site (in work). For the moment, in my view, let's assume that technology and science go hand in hand, meaning we can lump technothrillers with SF. By my definition, the Horror trope covers both Fantasy and SF, as (more loosely) does the term Speculative Fiction. It remains to clarify the diametric differences between Fantasy and SF. The great Speculative Fiction anthologist Judith Merril (1923-1997) in a radio interview once clarified that Fantasy is a literature of the impossible and improbable, whereas SF is a literature of the possible and the probable. Fantasy normally includes such elements as elves, magic, fairies, and the like; while SF deals in technological and scientific speculation. These are quick and dirty definitions; I'll delve into more complexity and gray areas later (TBD).

Expanding Our SF List. Once we understand that technological fiction is SF, by easy logic, then we see that the flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh (borrowed by Solomon's scribes a thousand years later to create Noah's flood in Genesis, oh yes) is SF; and the wooden horse in post-Homeric literature is an SF element; Plato's Atlantis in the Timaios discourse is pure SF; and the ever-provident shipwreck in Daniel Defoe's 1719 Robinson Crusoe is SF. Again, the list is endless and ultimately encompasses a vast swath of both serious (as well as melodramatic) literature and film.

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