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Many of these movies were based on stories by Campbell's writers. John Wyndham's cosy catastrophes , including The Day of the Triffids and The Kraken Wakes , provided important source material as well. At the same time, science fiction began to appear on a new medium — television.
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In The Quatermass Experiment was shown on British television, the first significant science fiction show, though it could also be described as horror. Seeking greater freedom of expression, writers started to publish their articles in other magazines, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction , If magazine , a resurrected Amazing Stories , and most notably, Galaxy.
Under editors H. Gold and then Frederik Pohl , Galaxy stressed a more literary form of science fiction that took cues from more mainstream literature. It was less insistent on scientific plausibility than Campbell's Astounding. The rise of Galaxy signaled the end of Golden Age science fiction, though most of the Golden Age writers were able to adapt to the changes in the genre and keep writing. Some, however, moved to other fields. Isaac Asimov and several others began to write scientific fact almost exclusively. Until about magazines were the only way authors could publish new stories.
Only small specialty presses like Arkham House and Gnome Press published science fiction hardcover books, all reprints of magazine stories.
Most genre books were sold by mail from small magazine advertisements, because bookstores rarely carried science fiction. By the small presses proved that demand existed for science fiction books, enough to cause magazines to print regular review columns. They issued fixups such as The Martian Chronicles , novel versions of serialized stories, and original fiction. Demand for content grew as the specialty presses had depleted the supply of easily reprinted, high-quality stories; new genre magazines appeared 38 different science fiction publications existed in the US and UK in ; and large-circulation magazines like Playboy , Collier's , and Esquire published stories.
Genre stories like Walter M. Miller, Jr. For the first time an author could write science fiction full time; Barry N. Malzberg calculated that producing 1, words a day would earn twice the national median income,   and Asimov stopped teaching at Boston University School of Medicine after making more money as a writer. The mainstream book companies' large print runs and distribution networks lowered prices and increased availability, but displaced the small publishers; Algis Budrys later said that "they themselves would draw little but disaster" from the science fiction boom of the s they helped to begin.
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In the former all sense of place and time are dispensed with; all that remains is a voice poised between the urge to continue existing and the urge to find silence and oblivion. The only other major writer to use "The Unnamable" as a title was H. In the latter, time and the paradoxes of cause and effect become thematic. Beckett's influence on the intelligentsia—as well as the general influence of existentialism and the legal battles to publish books then classified as obscene—made science fiction more sophisticated, especially in Britain.
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Burroughs — was the writer who finally brought science fiction together with the trends of postmodern literature. With the help of Jack Kerouac , Burroughs published Naked Lunch , the first of a series of novels employing a semi- dadaistic technique called the Cut-up and postmodern deconstructions of conventional society, pulling away the mask of normality to reveal nothingness beneath. Burroughs showed visions of society as a conspiracy of aliens, monsters, police states, drug dealers and alternate levels of reality.
The linguistics of science fiction merged with the experiments of postmodernism in a beat generation gestalt. In , British novelist Kingsley Amis published New Maps of Hell , a literary history and examination of the field of science fiction. This serious attention from a mainstream, acceptable writer did a great deal of good, eventually, for the reputation of science fiction. Another milestone was the publication, in , of Frank Herbert 's Dune , a complex work of fiction featuring political intrigue in a future galaxy, mystical religious beliefs, and the ecosystem of the desert planet Arrakis.
Another was the emergence of the work of Roger Zelazny , whose novels such as Lord of Light and his famous The Chronicles of Amber showed that the lines between science-fiction, fantasy, religion, and social commentary could be very fine. Also in French director Jean-Luc Godard 's film Alphaville used the medium of dystopian and apocalyptic science fiction to explore language and society. In Britain, the s generation of writers, dubbed " The New Wave ", were experimenting with different forms of science fiction,  stretching the genre towards surrealism , psychological drama and mainstream currents.
The 60s New Wave was centred around the writing in the magazine New Worlds after Michael Moorcock assumed editorial control in William Burroughs was a big influence. The writers of the New Wave also believed themselves to be building on the legacy of the French New Wave artistic movement. Though the New Wave was largely a British movement, there were parallel developments taking place in American science fiction at the same time.
The relation of the British New Wave to American science fiction was made clear by Harlan Ellison's original anthology Dangerous Visions , which presented science fiction writers, both American and British, writing stories that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in a science fiction magazine. Isaac Asimov, writing an introduction to the anthology, labeled it the Second Revolution , after the first revolution that produced the Golden Age.
The New Wave and their contemporaries placed a greater emphasis on style and a more highbrow form of storytelling. They also sought controversy in subjects older science fiction writers had avoided. For the first time sexuality, which Kingsley Amis had complained was nearly ignored in science fiction, was given serious consideration by writers like Samuel R. Delany , Ursula K. Contemporary political issues were also given voice, as John Brunner and J.
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Ballard wrote cautionary tales about, respectively, overpopulation and apocalypse. Asimov noted that the Second Revolution was far less clear cut than the first, attributing this to the development of the anthology, which made older stories more prominent. But a number of Golden Age writers changed their style as the New Wave hit. Robert A. Many others also continued successfully as styles changed.
Science fiction films took inspiration from the changes in the genre. Ursula K. Le Guin extrapolated social and biological changes that were anthropological in nature.
Dick explored the metaphysics of the mind in a series of novels and stories that rarely seemed dependent on their science fictional content. Le Guin, Dick, and others like them became associated with the concept of soft science fiction more than with the New Wave. Soft science fiction was contrasted to the notion of hard science fiction. Though scientific plausibility had been a central tenet of the genre since Gernsback, writers like Larry Niven and Poul Anderson gave hard science fiction new life, crafting stories with a more sophisticated writing style and more deeply characterized protagonists, while preserving a high level of scientific sophistication.
By the early s the fantasy market was much larger than that of almost all science fiction authors. As new personal computing technologies became an integral part of society, science fiction writers felt the urge to make statements about its influence on the cultural and political landscape. Drawing on the work of the New Wave, the Cyberpunk movement developed in the early 80s. Though it placed the same influence on style that the New Wave did, it developed its own unique style, typically focusing on the 'punks' of their imagined future underworld.
Cyberpunk authors like William Gibson turned away from the traditional optimism and support for progress of traditional science fiction. Though Cyberpunk would later be cross-pollinated with other styles of science fiction, there seemed to be some notion of ideological purity in the beginning.
John Shirley compared the Cyberpunk movement to a tribe. During the s, a large number of cyberpunk manga and anime works were produced in Japan, the most notable being the manga Akira and its anime film adaptation , the anime Megazone 23 , and the manga Ghost in the Shell which was also adapted into an anime film in Contemporary science fiction has been marked by the spread of cyberpunk to other parts of the marketplace of ideas.
No longer is cyberpunk a ghettoized tribe within science fiction, but an integral part of the field whose interactions with other parts have been the primary theme of science fiction around the start of the 21st century. Notably, cyberpunk has influenced film, in works such as Johnny Mnemonic and The Matrix series , in anime such as Akira and Ghost in the Shell , and the emerging medium of video games , with the critically acclaimed Deus Ex and Metal Gear series.
This entrance of cyberpunk into mainstream culture has led to the introduction of cyberpunk's stylistic motifs to the masses, particularly the cyberpunk fashion style. It has also led to other developments including Steampunk a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery and Dieselpunk which combines the aesthetics of the diesel-based technology of the interwar period through to the s with retro-futuristic technology and postmodern sensibilities.