Postmodern apocalyptic visions of the future : Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction film and the quest for final meaning.
This thesis articulates theoretical views on science fiction in relation to our world as viewed from a postmodern perspective. Inherent herein, is the exploration of the ambivalent nature of the theme of the apocalyptic and its pervasive influence in contemporary science fiction texts, in particular the selected canonical works of Arthur C. Clarke and contemporary film. The pertinent idea inherent in these texts is its concerns regarding the future of humanity. The social anxieties of our postmodern age are foregrounded thereby bridging the intersection of apocalyptic narrative with the concept of the postmodern. Of particular significance is the presentation of social degeneration, the collapse of civilized society through advanced technologies as well as the ending and transcendence of human time. This study sheds important light on the need and search for meaning in a world plunged by chaos and incoherence. This is imbued in the way science fiction texts mirror and develop such concerns in our postmodern period. In an attempt to construct meaning it thereby renders an exploratory examination of our postmodern world in relation to its dreams, visions and anxieties.