Essay Index

Unwarranted Conclusions and Dubious Data

References to Warminster UFO sightings that I discovered during research for In Alien Heat sometimes puzzled me. In some cases, it seemed data had been garbled, or that data had been used, perhaps second-hand without further research. There were also indications that Shuttlewood had "gilded the lily". This essay examines some of these reports.

The Free, Spontaneous and Heroic Life: Dystopian Visions in British Science Fiction Films

This essay examines the dystopian visions presented by three of these British SF films: Zardoz (1973), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Brazil (1985). These films carry on the tradition of British sf literature (Ballard, Wyndham, and Christopher, for example) in dealing with disaster and dystopia.

Representations of Science and Scientists in Kubrick's 'Science Fiction Trilogy'

Representations of science and scientists in the texts of popular culture help set the tone for the way in which science is popularly viewed. This essays examines such representations in three Kubrick movies.

Science, Forteans and Skeptics

Both fortean and skeptic communities are interested in what might be loosely termed fortean topics. Both communities have their own ways of approaching such topics, into which enter such questions as trust in science, anti-scientific sentiment, and so on. This essay describes and discusses representations of science and scientists in these communities.

Continuing Popular Belief in the Supernatural in the Nineteenth Century

This essay examines the continuing popular belief in the supernatural in the nineteenth century. To keep this essay within reasonable bounds, it examines in particular fairies, ghosts, and witches. Whatever their phenomenological reality, the popularity of particular beliefs has moved up and down the cultural elevator. What occult beliefs we maintain seem as much a whim of fashion as the music we listen to.

Prog-Rock: Pop or Not?

Prog-rock was a musical genre that developed in the late 1960s and incorporated elements of those musical forms recognised as having "status" - that is, classical and jazz. The popularity of prog-rock as genre - and thus its place as an aspect of popular culture - cannot be denied. This short essay takes a brief look at some of the technological and cultural well-springs of the genre.