In this writing-intensive course, students explore the strange new worlds of science fiction and the possibilities of virtual reality. The roots of science fiction go back to 16th- and 17th-century writers like Thomas More, Margaret Cavendish, and John Milton, who confronted the onset of modernity with wildly extravagant utopian and cosmological imaginations. Science fiction since that time has often anticipated the developments of ever-accelerating technological transformation, asking critical questions about the nature of the human in the increasingly alien world we have created while addressing key questions of race, class, gender, and ability. Students in this course read works of classic and contemporary science fiction by such authors as Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Philip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard, Kathy Acker, and Ted Chiang, while studying the techniques of world-building, character development, and plot that enabl