More Influential Space Westerns?
Since running the 10 Most Influential Space Westerns article I’ve been contacted about a number of other works that should probably be included on the list (if not in the top 10, then at least in the top 20). Works have been recommended such as Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love, and Burroughs’Â A Princess of Mars, as well as the movies Outland and Pitch Black, among others. So… if there were to be an expanded list of the Most Influential Space Westerns, which works would you nominate to be on it?
While some of these may be historically important, I’m not sure the content is enough to be considered truly a “space Western,” as opposed to something like the anime “Cowboy Bebop” or “Trigun,” or even cult hits like “Battle Beyond the Stars” or “The American Astronaut.”
Which of the 10 do you think don’t qualify (and why)? What does it take for something to be considered a “true” Space Western? After reading several books of Western-genre criticism, I felt that if I could find the same themes in these science fiction works that are prevalent in Westerns, then they qualified. I just didn’t go by my own opinion either. For example, in his book The Six-Gun Mystique Sequel John G. Cawelti specifically cites Alien which, to be honest, isn’t a connection I would have made on my own. After re-watching it (with an eye towards Westerns) I saw that the primary conflict wasn’t actually between the crew and the alien (who was just a pawn) but between the crew (homesteaders/miners) and the corporation (industrialists), which is a classic Western conflict.
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