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Welcome to English 242, Introduction to Science Fiction Fall 2023

(CRN: 74739)

Professors: Sally Demarest and Matthew Fleming

Email:  sarah_demarest@cuesta.edu

Email: mfleming@cuesta.edu


Distance Education Course: We have no face-to-face meetings, only virtual.

Fall 2023, Course Start and End Dates:  August 15th-December 16th.


Please login to Canvas on August 15th and begin working in the class.  If you have not logged in by Thursday, August 18th by 10:00 a.m., you will be dropped from the course.


Welcome potential students! My name is Matthew Fleming, and I look forward to working with you this semester. This course is going to be out-of-this-world.  Not only will we be taking a journey through the universe, but you'll have two fairly experienced captains helping you on the way. My good friend and colleague Professor Sally Demarest will be co-teaching the course with me. That means that you all are getting two professors for the price of one! :)

What you should know:

  • This course is 18 weeks of intensive study
  • We have no face-to-face meetings
  • You must participate in this course on an almost every-other-day basis
  • You must write a minimum of 300 words a week in online forums
  • You will have homework assignments and readings due every Monday.
  • You will write a series of essays including drafts and peer reviews
  • You will be dropped if you fail to log in for more than 7 days and/or if your postings-to-forum or postings-to-homework percentage falls below 50%.

Required Text:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick

Dawn  by Octavia Butler

Old Man's War by John Scalzi

All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Required Regular and Effective Contact:

This course requires regular and effective contact among all students and the instructor for the full 18 weeks of the course. We will achieve this in a variety of ways:

  • throughout the week postings in discussion and homework forums in Canvas
  • weekly book homework readings and submissions,
  • interactive online essay work-shopping through Canvas forums
  • viewing of short video lectures and content
  • writing of a series of essays using turnitin.com

Course Learning Management System (LMS):


We will be using the Learning Management System (Canvas), so please feel free to ask questions, look up youtube videos on how Canvas works, and contact our support desk when needing help: Send an email to support@my.cuesta.edu

  • Include your name, class, section number (CRN), instructor's name.
  • Describe the problem you are experiencing.

Course Description:

Introduces students to the literary genre known as science fiction, which can be defined as a speculative, science-based genre of literature, but which can also include elements of fantasy and horror. The course will examine the canonical traditions of the genre as well as the socio-political contexts from which popular science-fiction stories derive. Students will study the history of science fiction as well as prevailing trends in contemporary SF. Advisory: ENGL 201A. Transfer: CSU, UC.


Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Write a fair and persuasive argument that takes a clear position while incorporating differing viewpoints.

  2. Write an essay that is effectively and clearly organized.

  3. Find necessary information, assess its value, and use it in a research paper.
  4. Integrate and document sources correctly, clearly, and ethically.

  5. Write clear, grammatical sentences with few errors.




Canvas Browser requirements/minimum computer specifications:


Academic Policies (add, drop, waitlist, academic honesty, etc.):


Distance Education Support:


Disabled Student Services Program:

If you have a disability and might need accommodations (support services) in this class, please contact Disabled Student Program & Services in Building 3300 as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the accommodations in a timely manner.

https://www.cuesta.edu/student/studentservices/dsps/index.html Links to an external site.


Student Code of Conduct: http://go.boarddocs.com/ca/cuesta/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=A2SMMY5BC350 Links to an external site.


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