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Showing posts from March, 2022

Lombroso's Criminal Types and the Dystopian Intersection of Social Control and Surveillance in Science Fiction

Cesare Lombroso, an Italian criminologist of the late 19th century, proposed that criminal behavior was rooted in biological traits inherited from primitive ancestors. This theory, though largely discredited today, continues to shape the creative landscape of science fiction, where authors and filmmakers explore the boundaries of humanity and the consequences of deviating from societal norms. In this article, we will examine ten notable works that exemplify the enduring impact of Lombroso's theory, shedding light on the intricate relationship between science, fiction, and the human condition. In H.G. Wells' "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1896), the eponymous character, Dr. Moreau, conducts gruesome experiments, transforming animals into human-like creatures. These atavistic beings exhibit both physical and behavioral characteristics that blur the line between humanity and savagery. Wells explores the consequences of tampering with nature and the potential for regression

Cultural Relativism in Harry Turtledove's Science Fiction

In Harry Turtledove's science fiction novels, the concept of cultural relativism takes center stage as he delves into alternative historical narratives. Turtledove skillfully crafts worlds where cultures collide, giving readers a unique perspective on the complexities of cultural diversity and the relativity of societal perspectives. Through his imaginative storytelling, Turtledove challenges readers to question their own biases and preconceived notions, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of different cultures and historical contexts. In "The Guns of the South," Turtledove explores the implications of cultural relativism by introducing a twist in the American Civil War. In this alternate history, time-traveling South Africans provide Confederate soldiers with AK-47 rifles, altering the course of the war. Turtledove showcases how different societies can shape the development and outcomes of conflicts, highlighting the relativity of cultural values in determining