- Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.) -- Fiction,
- Science-fiction writers,
- West (U.S.) -- Historiography
Many science fiction writers depend on the multiple narratives of the American West as templates for framing their understandings of the future. This essay examines the ways in which the western homesteading story has been adapted in fictions about future planetary settlement. It argues that the increasing complexity of these treatments reflects the deepening awareness of the ambiguities of the American homesteading experience and parallels many of the insights of the 'new western history.' Key texts discussed include Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, Robert Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky, Philip K. Dick's Martian Time-Slip, Kim Stanley Robinson's Blue Mars, Jonathan Lethem's Girl in Landscape, and Molly Gloss's The Dazzle of Day.