Alternative realities: Science Fiction Literature and the Modern World

Online - Grades 9-12 (in English)

Time:  Fridays 17:00 CET
Duration:  2.10.23-30.09.24, Bavarian holidays and September excluded
Cost:  30€ per month (see Cost)
Prerequisites:  good active knowledge of English, love of reading

What will we learn?

We will be reading a selection of classic science fiction short stories from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The lessons will be focused on creative critical thinking, using these thought-provoking texts as starting points to inspire speculation about the world of today, and of the future. We will use science fiction as a lens through which contemporary culture can be seen in a new light. Reading and discussing science fiction literature will help us to develop a greater appreciation for the strange, scary and exciting changes that are currently taking place in the fields of science, society and the environment.

How will we work?

The lessons will take place every two weeks and each class will focus on a new short story. We’ll analyse the structure and style of the stories, examine their historical context and explore the significance of the key themes. The lessons will be focused on group discussion and students will be encouraged to think imaginatively and freely.

What are the goals?

Students will gain a strong appreciation for science fiction as a highly imaginative and culturally relevant literary genre; they will develop their critical and analytical skills in relation to science fiction. Students will become more confident in expressing their ideas through English and will develop a philosophical attitude to the world around them, inspired by the imaginative themes contained in science fiction.  

Reading List

We’ll be choosing short stories from a number of famous anthologies including:

  • A Science Fiction Omnibus, Aldiss, Brian (ed.) Penguin
  • Dangerous Visions, Ellison, Harlan (ed.), SF Masterworks
  • The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction, Evans, Arthur B. (ed.), Csicsery-Ronay Jr., Istvan
    (ed.), Gordon, Joan (ed.), Hollinger, Veronica (ed.), Latham, Rob (ed.), McGuirk, Carol( ed.),
    Wesleyan University Press.

Some Key Themes

  • Social organization and political systems (utopias/ dystopias)
  • Artificial Intelligence and post-humanism
  • Climate change
  • Intercultural (and interstellar) communication
  • Genetic engineering
  • Evolution and extended timescales (human, societal, planetary, cosmic)

If you need more information about the course,

please call us, write an email or fill in the contact form:
0151 701 66 162 |

We will contact you within 24 hours.


Francis Heery