Every SF Epic Based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey?

Patrick Nielsen Hayden shot me an email pointing me to this chart of ten well-known SF tales (some of them movies, some books) and the extend to which they map to Campbell’s notion of the Hero’s Journey. Star Wars, had the most hits, with 19 out of 20 criteria matching. The story listed with the least resemblance (only 7 matches) is Jumper.

Now, also in the list are things I wouldn’t necessarily consider classics, like, say, The Last Starfighter, but I was still chuffed to see my little baby in the mix with things like A Wrinkle In Time, Starship Troopers, and Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

3 thoughts on “Every SF Epic Based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey?

  1. Most of my sf books are in the garage right now, but my (admittedly vague) memory is that Heinlein’s essay about The Three Stories is from 1947 or 1948.

    Must be the publicity machine.

    Still, cool company to be in, even if you did have to be shoehorned.

  2. They do seem to be trying awfully hard to make the data fit the model. The fit for Jumper seems to be based on the last third of the book (compare to Reflex, which is relatively more of an epic, and which has more in the way of “spiritual guides” and companions), and the fit to the Hitchhiker’s Guide seems to be based more on Arthur’s displacement than any particularly heroic action against, e.g., the Vogons (compare to Life, the Universe, and Everything, which is at least an epic).

    That said, Jumper is certainly in the same league as Ender’s Game.

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