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ENGLISH 217 Fantasy & Science Fiction Survey

Class Details

Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30-2:45pm

Room: B360

Texts: Science Fiction: A Historical Anthology, Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit, A Spell for Chameleon, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. 

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Fiction is no longer a mere amusement; but transcendent genius accommodating
 itself to the character of the age, has seized upon this province of literature, 
and turned fiction from a toy into a mighty engine.
-- Channing

Class Policies

Attendance / Tardiness

Being in class is very important as most writing is done in class. Not all assignments will come from your book. Students who attend class regularly, answer questions, work in groups, and come prepared (always bring your book, paper, and pen or pencil) may receive bonus points towards their grade. If you are absent for more than 4 days you will be dropped!!! Students who arrive late / leave early cause class disruption and will be marked tardy. 3 tardies equals one absence, and the above drop rule applies.


Your respectful participation in this class is essential for your learning and the learning of your classmates. Students who commit disrespectful or distracting/ non-participatory behaviors will be asked to leave class, and will be marked absent. The above attendance policy applies.


The Communication Arts Department has a zero tolerance policy for cheating or plagiarism.  
According to the Cuyamaca College Catalog, Student Code of Conduct, Academic Dishonesty such as cheating or plagiarizing, is grounds for instructional and administrative sanctions. That means that if you present the words (even three or more in a row), ideas, or work of someone else as your own, or if you have your work heavily rewritten by someone else and turn it in as your own, your instructor has the right to fail the assignment. The same is true if you are seen or otherwise caught cheating on a quiz, exam or other non-collaborative assignment.   In addition to whatever penalty the instructor applies to your graded work, he/she will report your misconduct to the Department Chair, the Instructional Dean and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. The Associated Dean of Student Affairs will keep a master list of cases of student misconduct. Any student who is reported to have cheated or plagiarized twice will be called in for a meeting with that dean. It will be up to the dean's discretion to determine what action to take, but students may be SUSPENDED FROM THE COLLEGE OR PERMANENTLY EXPELLED for repeated acts of cheating or plagiarism. Please feel free to consult the college catalog for further information or visit

Writing Center (B-167, 660-4463) 
To help you succeed in this class, sign up for Supervised Writing tutoring at the Writing Center.  All tutoring sections are FREE.  Tutors can assist you in analyzing sentence and paragraph structure to improve your overall writing skills, and your grade!

Students with disabilities who may need academic accommodations should discuss options with their instructors during the first two weeks of class.  It is also recommended that you contact Disabled Students’ Programs & Services (DSP&S) in A-114.  You may also call DSP&S at 660-4576 to schedule an appointment. 


Reading Journal:                                                                                          10 pts cr/ncr

This journal will be used in class discussions, and it will help you with your Final Paper and quizzes. You must finish a minimum of 22 complete journals to receive credit.

Most journals will be about the specific stories we have read though a few of them will cover the genre of science fiction and its relationship to other genres.

The journal allows you to record your ideas and feelings about what you read, to write questions when you run across things you don’t understand, and to write notes in class when you find answers. Sometimes I will ask you to analyze certain aspects of a piece of writing and record your thoughts in the journal as well. At the beginning of each class, I will take a few minutes to look at your journal. You should write about each of your readings, a total of 4-5 pages per class. For each reading you should do the following: Write the title of the reading and then write about it. Here are some questions you might ask yourself :

What was it about?      How do the characters interact or change over time? Why?    Is the title important? Why did I like/dislike it? Did I learn something from it?   Why was it written? Have I seen similar writings before? Can I relate it to my own life? What hidden or implied meanings do I see?  What don’t I understand?    

Reading Quizzes                                                                                30 Points A-F

These quizzes are multiple choice [bring a Scranton] and are designed to see how well you read and understood the literature that has been discussed in class.  There are three quizzes given: one on March 11th, one on April 15th, and one on May 22nd.

Oral Report                                                                                       10 Points A-F

Each student will be assigned a date to present a report on a science fiction or fantasy novel that we do not cover in class [no 2 students may do the same novel, so sign up early to get the one you want!] You will present a 3-5 minute report and then provide one handout to each student about the novel. You will be given a detailed handout as to how the paper will be written.

Final Paper                                                                                        40 Points A-F
You have two choices for your final paper due on May 28th : [online submission]

A: 7-10 page double spaced typed analysis comparing and contrasting two or three readings will be due. You will be given a detailed handout as to how the paper will be written.

B: 7-10 page double spaced typed fantasy / science fiction / mixed genre story of your own creation. You will be given a detailed handout as to how the paper will be written.

Student Participation                                                                        10 Points A-F
Much of the class is based on student discussion of readings. You will be working in groups and as a class to create and answer questions about the readings. For this reason, attendance is very important. If you miss more than 1 class without excuse, your grade will drop one letter. Also, the amount of your participation in the groups and class discussions will be graded as well.

This course adheres to the policies and procedures listed in the college catalog.


*Subject to change*

August 18th -
Introduction to Class and expectations - book report assignments

August 20th - 
Discussion of Beginnings of Fantasy, and film: Princess Bride
Journal #1 - your personal definition of science fiction and fantasy fiction [Describe the components of each genre]

August 25th - 
finish film and discussion 
Journal #2 - how does the film Princess Bride embody ideals of fantasy

August 27th -
Discussion of Fantasy - Arthurian Legends 
Journal #3: Arthurian Legends, The Tale of the Wife of Bath [handbook]

September 1 - Holiday

September 3rd - 
Hero’s Quest
Journal #4 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight & Morte de Arthur [all in handbook]

September 8th - 
Fantasy and the Fairy Tale
Journal #5: Cinderella [handbook] & 1/2 Alice in Wonderland [novel]

September 10th - 
More Wonder
Journal #6 finish Alice in Wonderland

September 15th - 
Fantasy and Satire 
Journal #7: The Leech Gatherer [handbook] & 1/2 Through the Looking Glass [Novel]

September 17th -
Good and Evil in Fantasy
Journal #8 Finish Through the Looking Glass [Novel]

September 22nd -
From Fantasy to Science Fiction - Satire of Earth and other Worlds
Journal #9: Gulliver’s Travels [Rabkin], Journey to Center of Earth [handbook]

September 24th -
More satire and speculation
Journal #10 From Other Worlds [Rabkin]

September 29th Quiz #1

October 1st - 
The Horror of Science & Science vs. God
Journal #11 The Sand Man & Frankenstein [Rabkin]

October 6th -                                                                                                               Dark Fantasy & Dark Magic 
Journal #12 Rime of the Ancient Mariner & Demon Pope [Handbook]

October 8th -                                                                                                               discussion of the paths of science fiction and fantasy
Journal #13 - Using the information gleaned from this course, how would you now define Science Fiction and Fantasy as genres [ Describe not only the components of each genre but their evolution and relationship to other genres].

October 13th -
Future Society 
Journal #14: From Looking Backward 2000-1887 [Rabkin], Brave New World [Handbook], The Star [Rabkin], First 1/4 Hobbit

October 15th -
Post War Society & War from a Fantasy Perspective
Journal #15: There Will Come Soft Rains [Handbook], The City [Rabkin], Through the Dragon Glass [Handbook] & Second 1/4 Hobbit [Novel]

October 20th -
Hero’s Journey, Good and Evil, Signs of Science & The Next Journey
Journal #16: Beowulf [Handbook] & Third 1/4 The Hobbit [Novel]

October 22nd -
Journal #17 Finish The Hobbit

October 27th - Quiz #2

October 29th -
Fantasy, Religion, & Magic 
Journal #18: Lion, Witch and Wardrobe [Novel],

November 3rd - Discuss Final Paper

November 5th -
Magic in the modern world 
Journal #19 : First 1/2 of Harry Potter [Novel]

November 10th -
Magic & Myth
Journal #20: Finish Harry Potter [Novel]

November 12th -
Golden Years of Science Fiction
Journal #21: Robbie [handbook], Reason & Flowers for Algernon [Rabkin], first 1/3 A Spell for Chameleon [Novel]

November 17th -
Humor in Fantasy
Journal #22 : Second 1/3 A Spell for Chameleon [Novel]

November 19th -
Puns and more puns
Journal #23: Finish Spell for Chameleon

November 24th -
Making fun in fantasy 
Journal #24 : First 1/2 Hitchhiker’s Guide [Novel]

November 26th -
More fun in fantasy -Satire & Heroes’ Journey?
Journal #25 : Second 1/2 Hitchhiker’s Guide [Novel]

December 1st - 
2001 Space Odyssey - what do we learn as we look at the past as it looks forward?
Journal #26: Using the information gleaned from this course, how would you now define Science Fiction and Fantasy as genres [Describe not only the components of each genre but their evolution and relationship to other genres in terms of themes, writing styles, and conventions].

December 3rd -Finish 2001 Space Odyssey

December 8th - Peer Review of final paper - Quiz #3

Dec 10th - Online submission of Final Paper due to Blackboard by 12/8/2014 at 1:30pm

This course adheres to the policies outlined in the Cuyamaca College catalogue. For further information, see Academic Policies stated in the catalogue.

Last Updated: 06/10/2015

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Dr. Lyn Neylon-Craft

English as a Second Language

Office:  B-355
Hours:  Posted on door
Phone:  619-660-4241
Fax:  619-660-4399

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  • Cuyamaca
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