1/2; page. Her book is a "thought-provoking work of criticism that provides a new and interesting perspective on some basic elements in science fiction," including the 'sense of wonder'. It must come from within, and when it does, all the wonders of the universe are within reach." There was nothing in Minnesota to give her cause to return. b : to feel surprise. I … As an example James takes the short story 'The Nine Billion Names of God' by Arthur C. Clarke. He could just see Chuck's face, a white oval toward the sky. See more. Wonder meaning and example sentences with wonder. As a "sense," it is clearly not about ideas and indeed seems in opposition to them; wonder even more so, with its implications of awe that short-circuits analytic thought.[3]:71. We were wondering where you were. Sometimes these are details about the universe. One of the major writers of the Golden Age, Isaac Asimov, agreed with this association: in 1967 commenting on the changes occurring in SF he wrote, And because today's real life so resembles day-before-yesterday's fantasy, the old-time fans are restless. It can be found in short scenes (e.g., in Star Wars (1977), it can be found, in a small dose, inside the line "That's no moon; it's a space station.") Learn a new word every day. Jill I would hope she would return to the jungle, leave her job in Minnesota. Two previous Mars expeditions have failed. He states that, ... in doing so, it [science fiction] can create a rival sense of wonder, which acts almost as a replacement religion: a religion for those deprived of all traditional certainties in the wake of Darwin, Einstein, Plank, Godel, and Heisenberg.[10]:106. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. ", This page was last edited on 12 October 2020, at 19:56. 'An Interview with Jack Williamson' in, Dalgleish, David. 12; pg. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! 125, Iss. He explains: A computer is installed by Western technicians in a Tibetan lamasery; its task is in to speed up the compilation of all the possible names of God. It's there in his novel's Childhood's End, The City and the Stars, Rendezvous with Rama and his short stories "The Star", "Jupiter V" and "The Nine Billion Names of God"—possibly the definitive "sense of wonder" story. Send us feedback. Both are concerned with the states of mind that science and art have in common: acute responsiveness to the objects of the world, the testing (often involuntary) of the categories conventionally used to interpret the world, and the desire to articulate what consciousness finds inarticulable. 130, Iss. Top definition is 'have a wish or desire to know something'. 'State of Wonder' is an imaginative tale of mystery, morals, ethics, and the delicate balance that can exist within the world, both within a single ecosystem and within ourselves. 1; page. This distinction is true to their difference. Included are brief discussions of mathematical and other scientific problems that evoke a kind of old-fashioned sense of wonder about the universe without disrupting the flow of the story. 'Introduction' in David Seed (ed. The quality that arouses such emotion: "Her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face" (James Joyce). Information and translations of wonder in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. 128, "The story is also far less melodramatic than it might have been if published during the 1950s. 135, "I first read Thrust Into Space by Maxwell W. Hunter II 30 years ago when I was around 11 or 12. There was, to me, a clear connection to the sfnal "sense of wonder" that helped explain why twentieth-century science fiction was predominantly American." A sense of wonder (sometimes jokingly written sensawunda) is an intellectual and emotional state frequently invoked in discussions of science fiction and philosophy. Analog Science Fiction & Fact. The supernatural marvels that had been a staple of epic and lesser forms from Homeric times would no longer do as the best sources of sublimity. [19]:327, As a concept especially connected with science fiction, Examples of the 'casual' use of the term in science fiction criticism. "Our society," writes Ben-Tov, "lost the basis for transcendent experience by losing the relationship with numinous nature"(23). ...—people in droves came to the books looking for adventure and got it, but with an edge of scientific inquiry that left them with a new, very different sense of wonder. [9]:2, Alkon concludes that "science fiction ever since [the 19th century] has been concerned as often to elicit strong emotional responses as to maintain a rational basis for its plots. Jeffrey D Kooistra. Definition of wonder in the Definitions.net dictionary. (There is always a last time for everything.). Meaning of wonder. . 118, Iss. This phrase is widely used in contexts that have nothing to do with science fiction. Wonderment is a synonym for the noun definition of wonder.It is a noun meaning a state of reverence or adoration. The emotion aroused by something awe-inspiring, astounding, or surprising: gazed with wonder at the northern lights. [19]:327 In his review of Ben-Tov's work for the SF critical journal Extrapolation David Dalgleish, quoting from the text, points out that, Ben-Tov asserts that SF's (in)famous "sense of wonder" is an attempt to evoke a sublime transcendence, achieved through Nature, and "Nature is an animate, feminine, and numinous being" (23). Hope Davis renders the characters in a way that enhances the ever more engrossing narrative. Another word for wonder. Its fascinating shape-shifting would be the object of sublime awe were it not for its sadistic violation of mundane flesh[3]:76, There is no doubt that the term 'sense of wonder' is used and understood by readers of SF without the need of explanation or elaboration. Edward James quotes from Aldiss and Wingrove's history of science fiction in support of the above suggestion as to the origin of the 'sense of wonder' in SF, as follows: In the Gothic mode, emphasis was placed on the distant and unearthly ... Brooding landscapes, isolated castles, dismal old towns, and mysterious figures ... carry us into an entranced world from which horrid revelations start .... Terror, mystery and that delightful horror which Burke connected with the sublime ... may be discovered ... in science fiction to this day.[8]:103. “Wonder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wonder. However, the editor and critic David Hartwell sees SF's 'sense of wonder' in more general terms, as ”being at the root of the excitement of science fiction". Vol. [12]:1, Kathryn Cramer in her essay 'On Science and Science Fiction' also explores the relationship of SF's 'sense of wonder' to religion, stating that "the primacy of the sense of wonder in science fiction poses a direct challenge to religion: Does the wonder of science and the natural world as experienced through science fiction replace religious awe?” verb (when tr, may take a clause as object) (when intr, often foll by about) to indulge in speculative inquiry, often accompanied by an element of doubt (concerning something)I wondered about … ... "I wonder whether this was the right thing to do" "she wondered whether it would snow tonight" ... a state in which you want to learn more about something. Marina is both an MD and a PhD. The basic plot of "State of Wonder": In the first sentence we learn that Dr. Anders Eckman is dead. The magic of the realms of fantasy had been superseded by the fascination of speculation rooted in reality.[5]:10. 136, "The sense of wonder that marks the SF sensibility is hard to teach and certainly cannot be dictated or overlain on a soul that lacks it. State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss. ... Now it's the turn of the international free-lancers ...The landing is successful, right on target and just a few minute' stroll from the Dulcinea. But in SF as Ben-Tov sees it, this natural transcendence is merely an illusion; in fact, the transcendent is only achieved through technology, achieved by alienating feminine Nature. Marina is both an MD and a PhD. 'On the Grotesque in Science Fiction'. New York: Jan 2001. George Mann defines the term as "the sense of inspired awe that is aroused in a reader when the full implications of an event or action become realized, or when the immensity of a plot or idea first becomes known;”:508 and he associates the term with the Golden Age of SF and the pulp magazines prevalent at the time. ), Ashley, Mike. How to pronounce wondering (audio) \. New York: Jan/Feb 2010. The word thus occurs particularly in the plural, in such phrases as " doleful dumps." 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wonder.' Vol. Readers’ questions about State of Wonder. ", "The backstory. n. 1. a. Cramer, Kathryn. The grotesque, on the other hand, is a quality usually attributed to objects, the strange conflation of disparate elements not found in nature. ), Larry McCaffery and Jack Williamson. It is a tale that leads the reader into the very heart of darkness, and then shows us … Dr Marina Singh journeys into the depths of the Amazon rain forest in search of her former mentor, who has vanished while conducting research into the prolonged fertility of the women of an isolated Amazonian tribe. Perhaps the single most famous example of "sensawunda" in all of science fiction involves a neologism, from the work of A. E. van Vogt (Moskowitz 1974): The word "sevagram" appears only once in the series, as the very last word of 'The Weapon Makers'; in its placing, which seems to open universes to the reader's gaze, and in its resonant mysteriousness, for its precise meaning is unclear, this use of "sevagram" may well stand as the best working demonstration in the whole genre sf of how to impart a sense of wonder.[14]:1269. These discussion questions allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the overarching plot, characters, and scenes in Ann Patchett's novel, State of Wonder. ... what this reader (at the age of 13 or 14) learned from the story was the unimaginable size of the universe and the implausibility of some of the traditional human images of God. A sense of wonder (sometimes jokingly written sensawunda) is an intellectual and emotional state frequently invoked in discussions of science fiction and philosophy. They feel the loss of a "sense of wonder" because what was once truly confined to "wonder" has now become prosaic and mundane.[4]:ix. State of Wonder is a 2011 novel by American author Ann Patchett. I may well use his latest ... too. Tests swiftly verified that WAM's taxidermied platypuses did indeed glow, which made Kenny Travouillon, the museum's curator of mammalogy, The current messaging of vaccine importance may seem tone-deaf to those in a community who, The collaboration feels wholly natural and makes listeners, For the flip side of the equation, the Spurs only need to look to the chaos on the opposite bench at Toyota Center tonight — and, Post the Definition of wonder to Facebook, Share the Definition of wonder on Twitter, used to ask a question or make a polite request. This entry focuses on one specific use of the phrase "sense of wonder." Delivered to your inbox! State of Wonder Ann Patchett, 2011 HarperCollins 368 pp. Learn more. New York: Jul/Aug 2002. At a time when I was just discovering real science fiction, and first reading the works of Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke, this book evoked for me exactly the same " sense of wonder" as did the works of that great trinity." Book Review: 'State Of Wonder' A new novel from Ann Patchett, called State of Wonder, is set in the Amazon jungle where a drug has … Marina Singh is sent into the isolated regions of the Rio Negro to investigate the death of one colleague and meet up with her … Vol. a feeling of great surprise and admiration, or someone or something that causes such feelings: [ U ] People simply stared at her in wonder. b. I'm not sure if this failure was due to its pessimistic themes or to people feeling the stuff was too pretentious. Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out. 'Wonder if the computer's finished its run. [ C ] She’s a wonder! Other times, the observations take the form of details about people or the lives we live: overlooked realities that ring true as they float across the page before us." 121, Iss. . The titles of the most popular sf magazines of that period—Astounding, Amazing, Wonder Stories, Thrilling, Startling, etc.—clearly indicate that the putative cognitive value of sf stories is more than counter-balanced by an affective power, to which, in fact, the scientific content is expected to submit. "[3]:71 The reason he suggests is that, A "literature of ideas," as sf is often said to be, invites discussion of ideas; but the sense of wonder seems doubly to resist intellectual investigation. wonder (n.) 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