The attraction of sloppy nonsense: resolving cognitive estrangement in Stargate through the technologising of mythology

Whitelaw, Sandra (2007) The attraction of sloppy nonsense: resolving cognitive estrangement in Stargate through the technologising of mythology. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The thesis consists of the novel, Stargate Atlantis: Exogenesis (Whitelaw and Christensen, 2006a) and an accompanying exegesis.

The novel is a stand-alone tie-in novel based on the television series Stargate Atlantis (Wright and Glassner), a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1 (Wright and Cooper) derived from the movie Stargate (Devlin and Emmerich, 1994). Set towards the end of the second season, Stargate Atlantis: Exogenesis begins with the discovery of life pods containing the original builders of Atlantis, the Ancients. The mind of one of these Ancients, Ea, escapes the pod and possesses Dr. Carson Beckett. After learning what has transpired in the 10,000 years since her confinement, the traumatised Ea releases an exogenesis machine to destroy Atlantis. Ea dies, leaving Beckett with sufficient of her memories to reveal that a second machine, on the planet Polrusso, could counter the effects of the first device. When the Atlantis team travel to Polrusso, what they discover has staggering implications not only for the future of Atlantis but for all life in the Pegasus Galaxy.

The exegesis argues that both science and science fiction narrate the dissolution of ontological structures, resulting in cognitive estrangement. Fallacy writers engage in the same process and use the same themes and tools as science fiction writers to resolve cognitive estrangement: they technologise mythology. Consequently, the distinction between fact and fiction, history and myth, is blurred.

The exegesis discusses cognitive estrangement, mythology, the process of technologising mythology and its function as a novum that facilitates the resolution of cognitive estrangement in both fallacy and science fiction narratives. These concepts are then considered in three Stargate tie-in novels, with particular reference to the creative work, Stargate Atlantis: Exogenesis.

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ID Code: 16547
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Bourke, Nicole & Bolland, Craig
Keywords: technologising mythology, cognitive estrangement, verisimilitude, fallacy, ontology, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, media tie-ins, media novels, mythology, science fiction television, SF, genre television, alien gods, extraterrestrial gods, cults, familiarisation, defamiliarisation, refamiliarisation, Lovecraft, Velikovsky, Hubbard, von Daniken, Sitchin, Campbell, Devlin, Emmerich
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Faculty of Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Sandra Whitelaw
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:05
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:41

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