Science fiction and the United States military often inhabit the same imaginative space. Weapons techlogy has taken inspiration from science fiction, from the bazooka and the atomic bomb to weaponized lasers and drones. Star-spangled superheroes sold war bonds in comic books sent to GIs during World War II, and adorned the ses of bombers. The same superheroes w appear in big-budget movies made with military assistance, fighting evil in today's war zones. A missile shield of laser satellites-dreamed up by writers and embraced by the high command-is partially credited with ending the Cold War. Sci-fi themes and imagery are used to sell weapons programs, military service and wars to the public. Some science fiction creators have willingly cooperated with the military; others have been conscripted. Some have used the genre as a forum for protest. This book examines the relationship between the U.S. military and science fiction through more than 80 years of vels, comics, films and television series, including Captain America, Starship Troopers, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Strangelove, Star Trek, Iron Man, Bill the Galactic Hero, The Forever War, Star Wars, Aliens, Ender's Game, Space: Above and Beyond and Old Man's War.
Stephen Dedman is a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Western Australia, the author of five novels and more than 100 short stories, and the former co-owner of a science fiction bookshop.