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      City Limits: Boundary Conditions and the Building-Cities of Science Fiction

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          Abstract

          Can the rigidly bound city-buildings of science fiction (SF) provide a critical space to resist a movement towards structural divisions within the urban realm? Drawing on the growing body of urban studies research that utilizes the radical imagination and cognitive estrangement of SF as tools for critiquing the modern city, this paper focuses on three SF texts which explicitly address the architectural and social implications of extreme urban enclosure: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s Oath of Fealty ( 1981), Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel (1953) and James Blish and Norman Knight’s A Torrent of Faces (1967). In each, the implications of gated communities are extrapolated and exaggerated to offer a glimpse into societies where a physical boundary creates spatial privilege by intensifying difference. By providing an estranging and critically distanced perspective on urban enclosure, these novels support existing movements to identify and resist damaging social division and structural segregation in the cities we currently inhabit.

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          Most cited references 24

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          The Edge and the Center: Gated Communities and the Discourse of Urban Fear:

           Setha M. Low (2001)
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            Padding the Bunker: Strategies of Middle-class Disaffiliation and Colonisation in the City

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              Introduction: International Perspectives on The New Enclavism and the Rise of Gated Communities

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                03 August 2018
                2018
                : 4
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Reading, GB
                Article
                10.16995/olh.233
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                Self URI (journal-page): https://olh.openlibhums.org/
                Categories
                Imaginaries of the future 03: utopia at the border

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