Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

On successful completion of this subject, you will be able to:

  1. recognise and understand the genres of Gothic and Speculative Fiction
  2. familiarise yourself with the foundational ideas relevant to these forms of narrative
  3. engage with fiction from the perspective of a writer through skills of close and observant reading
  4. analyse and discuss ideas relevant to creative writing in your own work and that of others
  5. exercise the creative and professional skills of writing, reading, argumentation and analysis through online discussion with your peers based on set readings (some purchased and others provided online).
  • Topics
    • Introducing Gothic and Speculative Fiction
    • Meeting the Audience: The Power of Terror
    • Dark Plots: story-telling in the Gothic tradition
    • Gothic Themes and Archetypes
    • Writing from the Senses: ways to grab readers
    • Gothic Ambiguity
    • Haunted by the Past
    • Realms of the Imagination
    • Dystopia and Speculative Fiction
    • The Body in Speculative Fiction
    • Visions of the Future
    • Negotiating Gothic and Speculative Authorship
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Online Assessment
      • Printable format materials
      • Resources and Links

Entry Requirements

You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:

Special requirements

No special requirements

From its beginnings the gothic novel and its cousins, speculative and fantasy fiction, have been popular and sometimes controversial story forms that explore the outer edges of the imagination through fantasy, space, myth, the future the supernatural and the borderlands of desire. This is a realm where nothing is as it appears to be. Safe suburban homes, families, planets, cities and the human body are all vulnerable to authoritarian powers, strange beings, dark spaces, unknown territories, uncanny secrets, and the return of the repressed.

This subject offers you a chance to study and practise writing genre narrative. We will look at a selection of popular gothic and speculative fiction, past and present, by practitioners that range from Le Fanu to Bacigalupi, as a springboard for discussion and creative practice.

  • Assignment 1 - Online Discussion (30%)
  • Assignment 2 - Fiction piece (35%)
  • Assignment 3 - Fiction piece (35%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

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