Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

Committee Director

John McManus

Committee Member

Janet Peery

Committee Member

Luisa Igloria

Abstract

The Otherworlds of Men is a collection of short stories that draws equally from the traditions of speculative science fiction dystopias and western noir. The stories often have a plot grounded in gritty realism, similar to the stories of Annie Proulx, Daniel Woodrell, Cormac McCarthy, and Jim Harrison; however, the main character typically is typically injured by a psychic wound that leads to a speculative, otherworldly occurrence. The characters experience time travel, out of body experiences, wormholes to other worlds, spaceflight, distortions of relativistic physics, and, in one case, a character is haunted by Geronimo’s ghost. The characters experience these otherworldly adventures as coping mechanisms to help heal their unseen wounds. The speculative, dystopian aspects of the plots were influenced by writers such as Robert Heinlein, George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ray Bradbury.

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