English Professor John Rieder’s interview about his new book Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System has been podcasted. The 53-minute interview was hosted by Carl Nellis for the New Books Network, a consortium of podcasts dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing serious authors to serious audiences. The podcast was created for the “new books in history and intellectual history” category of the network.

An excerpt from Nellis’ book review:

A deft and searching exploration of genre theory through science fiction, and science fiction through genre theory, John Rieder’s Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System (Wesleyan University Press, 2017) makes a significant contribution to the efforts to grapple with science fiction as a category of analysis and cultural production.
 
Building on his previous work in colonialism and science fiction, Rieder’s book begins with an assessment of the scholarship on mass culture and the media flows of the early twenty-first century, when science fiction gained currency as a genre identifier. Drawing together analyses of educational curriculum, technologies of publication, and the social production and distribution of literacy itself, Rieder makes the case for understanding science fiction as a social convention familiar to authors, editors, booksellers, and readers, but often the worse for its encounters with the jagged edges of traditional genre systems. Calling on the work of Frederic Jameson, Deleuze and Guattari, Bowker and Starr, and Gary Westfahl, among many others, Rieder traces a history of what SF has meant and currently means, revealing a variety of motives at work in defining and employing the genre.

To listen to the podcast or read Nellis’ full review, click here.