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Science Fiction, Children's Literature, and Popular Culture: Coming of Age in Fantasyland. By Gary Westfahl. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2000. 157 pp.

Science Fiction, Children's Literature, and Popular Culture: Coming of Age in Fantasyland
This book was essentially an accident: I had several articles on hand that, for a variety of reasons, were not being published in the projects they were written for, and I suddenly realized that, by researching and writing a few additional articles on related subjects, I would have enough material for an original book. Arranging the essays in chronological order according to the time in my life when I had first encountered the texts they analyzed, the result was the closest thing to an autobiography I have ever produced, as I was often exploring materials that had been important parts of my childhood and adolescence. (Reflecting that, I submitted the book with the title Coming of Age in Fantasyland: Science Fiction, Children's Literature, and Popular Culture, but my editor switched the title and the subtitle, giving the book a very expansive title that has always discomfited me.)

Here is the publisher's description of the book, and here is its Table of Contents:

How Charlie Made Children Hate Him: Fantasy and Reality in Stories for Small Children
The Three Lives of Superman—and Everybody Else
Mystery of the Amateur Detectives:
The Early Days of the Hardy Boys
Giving Horatio Alger Goosebumps, Or, From Hardy Boys to Hapless Boys:
The Changing Ethos of Juvenile Series Fiction
From the Back of the Head to Beyond the Moon:
The Novel and Film This Island Earth
Opposing War, Exploiting War:
The Troubled Pacifism of Star Trek
Even Better than the Real Thing:
Advertising, Music Videos, Postmodernism, and (Eventually) Science Fiction
Legends of the Fall:
Going Not Particularly Far Behind the Music
Hollywood Strikes a Pose:
Seven Tales of Triumph, Treachery, and Travail in Old Tinseltown
In Defense of Stone Tablets: Isaac Asimov Explains
Why Science Fiction Is Skeptical about 'New Information Technologies"
Partial Derivatives:
Popular Misinterpretations of H. G. Wells's The Time Machine

To my knowledge, none of these essays have ever appeared online, and to this day I remain reluctant to make any of them separately available; even though its chapters are nominally unrelated, I still feel that this book should be read in its entirety, or not at all, because it reveals so much about its author.

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