The second issue of James Gunn’s Ad Astra offers two sets of scholars. The first two articles examine the philosophical underpinnings of Star Trek and the process and struggles of bringing science fiction criticism into the academic environment.
Next is offered a series of conference papers presented at the 2013 Eaton Science Fiction Conference in a panel honoring the work and achievements of Professor James Gunn, inspiration and the founder of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction. These are the papers as they were presented at the conference, by students, colleagues, and friends of Prof. Gunn.
Both sets of papers show the diversity of speculative fiction scholarship, and how important it is to continue to examine science fiction, fantasy, and related genres.
We invite you to read and enjoy, and then comment and share the post/story on your favorite social media venue.
- Philosophical Concepts in Star Trek: Using Star Trek as a curriculum guide introducing fans to the subject of Philosophy - By Victor Grech — Star Trek is a popular cultural phenomenon and each series reinvents cast and plot, providing a unique backdrop with which to study the evolution of philosophy as a curricular subject. This paper identifies philosophical concepts explored through the various series and movies set in the Star Trek universe, which are deontological and invoke Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Kant and Regan.
- Science Fiction Goes to College: Jack Williamson, James Gunn, and the Early Years of Academic SF - By Michael R. Page — Science fiction became a subject for academic study and a regular part of the college curriculum in the early 1970s. Writers Jack Williamson and James Gunn were at the center of this blossoming of SF into academia and they helped shape the future of science fiction scholarship and teaching. This article examines the legacies and impacts Williamson and Gunn have had on academe.
- Celebrating James Gunn: Writer, Scholar, Teacher - By Nathaniel Williams — The introduction for the 2013 Eaton/SFRA panel that discussed the legacy and works of Professor James Gunn, the inspiration for Ad Astra.
- James Gunn and the Foundations of Academic Science Fiction Criticism - By Michael R. Page — An analysis of James Gunn's work in the early days of serious literary criticism of science fiction.
- Kirk T. Pistol Closely Encounters Enormous Flight Changes At the Last Minute—Sans Starship: A True James Gunn Appreciation Story - By Marleen S. Barr — A somewhat-fictionalized retelling of a headlong flight taken by Our Hero in order to meet Jim Gunn.
- James Gunn: The Man Who Taught Us All Science Fiction - By Christopher McKitterick — Personal reflections on the achievements and influences of James Gunn.