Journal of Sonic Studies: The Sound of Things to Come

Review of The Sound of Things to Come in the Journal of Sonic Studies

A groundbreaking approach to sound in sci-fi films offers new ways of construing both sonic innovation and science fiction cinema

In this ambitious and thought-provoking book, Trace Reddell sets himself the task of writing a history of science fiction film that focuses on the role played by sound within the genre. The key concept by which he navigates his history of science fiction cinema is the sonic novum, an alternative term for what might otherwise be described as “science fictional sounds” (p. 18). Conceptualizing film sound in terms of sonic objects, Reddell applies the notion of the novum to the film soundtrack, proposing that “the sonic objects of SF films are speculative constructions involved in the imaginary production of the futuristic and alien” (p. 8) – hence the book’s title, The Sound of Things to Come.


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