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|Title:||Fedora Hats and the Great Gazoo: Pop Culture References in Robert J. Sawyer's novel Triggers and Red Planet Blues|
|Keywords:||science fiction;Robert Sawyer;pop culture|
|Abstract:||Robert J. Sawyer has stated in an interview that regardless of the setting of a science fiction novel it is always about the time in which it was written. In fact, he often uses pop cultural references to draw readers away from the novel’s setting such as the many 20th century references in the futuristic Red Planet Blues which ground it within the hardboiled and noir movements. Over dinner Sawyer admitted that one of his favorite uses of a pop culture reference was using The Great Gazoo to explain a point in Triggers. This is remarkable because Triggers was contemporary to its publication in 2012 while The Great Gazoo is an obscure animated character from 1965. In this case Sawyer’s pop reference moves the reader from the present to the past. Such temporally displaced references may threaten the readers willing suspension of disbelief, but Sawyer finds them an irresistible component in positioning his readers in multiple time settings. This paper is intended to be a multidisciplinary examination and comparison of the effects of pop cultural references in Robert J. Sawyer’s novels Triggers and Red Planet Blues. Particular attention will be paid to differences caused by Triggers’ movement of the reader’s attention from the present to the past versus Red Planet Blues’ movement of the reader’s attention from the future to the past, the past in both cases referring to the middle of the 20th century. In addition to textual analysis, interviews will be referenced (and more conducted), and some sociological analysis of the choice of pop culture references will be considered.|
|Appears in Collections:||Science Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Genre|
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