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The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 2

Justine Larbalestier

The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction is a lively account of the role of women and feminism in the development of American science fiction during its formative years, the mid-20th century. Beginning in 1926, with the publication of the first issue of Amazing Stories, Justine Larbalestier examines science fiction's engagement with questions of femininity, masculinity, sex and sexuality. She traces the debates over the place of women and feminism in science fiction as it emerged in stories, letters and articles in science fiction magazines and fanzines.

The book culminates in the story of James Tiptree, Jr. and the eponymous Award. Tiptree was a successful science fiction writer of the 1970s who was later discovered to be a woman. Tiptree's easy acceptance by the male-dominated publishing arena of the time proved that there was no necessary difference in the way men and women wrote, but that there was a real difference in the way they were read.


Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 3

Camille Flammarion

Lumen was first published by Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) in 1872 as part of the Stories of Infinity collection. Flammarion was a well-known French astronomer, writer and highly successful popularizer of science during the late 19th century.

This famous novel, written in the form of a philosophical dialogue, features a cosmic spirit named Lumen who reveals the scientific wonders of the celestial universe to Quaerens, a young seeker of knowledge. Within its pages, the author mixes empirical observations about the nature and speed of light with vivid speculations about such diverse subjects as reincarnation, time travel, the reversibility of history and the ecospheres of alien planets. Lumen is one of the first science fiction novels to include detailed descriptions of alien life forms and the first to imagine (30 years before Einstein's theory of relativity) the differences in perception that might result from traveling at velocities close to and beyond the speed of light.

This Wesleyan edition is the first English translation of the original French text in over a hundred years. The volume includes notes, appendices and a critical introduction.

The Last Man

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 4

Jean-Baptiste Cousin de Grainville
I. F. Clarke

Originally published in French in 1805, The Last Man is a powerful story of the demise of the human race. Drawing on the traditional account in Revelations, The Last Man was the first end-of-the-world story in future fiction. As the first secular apocalypse story, The Last Man served as the departure point for many other speculative fictions of this type throughout the 19th century, including works by Shelley, Flammarion and Wells.

Grainville's masterful imagination is evident in the vast scale of the action as Omegarus, the Last Adam, and Syderia, the Last Eve, are led toward the moment when "the light of the sun and the stars is extinguished."

This is essential reading for anyone interested in the roots of apocalyptic science fiction.

The Yellow Wave: A Romance of the Asiatic Invasion of Australia

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 5

Kenneth MacKay

In Kenneth Mackay's 1895 admonitory tale, Britain's attention and military forces are diverted by a Russian attack on India, and Australia is left defenseless. The Russians lead the invasion force, but for readers of the Victorian Age, the real horror is the use of Chinese troops.

This sweeping speculative story foreshadows the rapid growth of nationalism in the 20th Century. It also takes remarkable risks with its subject matter and its audience, challenging both literary and moral conventions.

The Wesleyan edition--the first version of the book published in over a hundred years--includes facsimile illustrations from the original text, a new introduction and thorough notations. Peopled with extraordinary characters, swiftly plotted, and thrillingly romantic, this influential classic fantasy is as fascinating today as it was more than a century ago.

Cosmos Latinos: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Latin America and Spain

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 6

Andrea L. Bell

Opening a window onto a fascinating new world for English-speaking readers, this anthology offers popular and influential stories from over ten countries, chronologically ranging from 1862 to the present.

Latin American and Spanish science fiction shares many thematic and stylistic elements with anglophone science fiction, but there are important differences: many downplay scientific plausibility, and others show the influence of the region's celebrated literary fantastic. In the 27 stories included in this anthology, a 16th-century conquistador is re-envisioned as a cosmonaut, Mexican factory workers receive pleasure-giving bio-implants, and warring bands of terrorists travel through time attempting to reverse the outcome of historical events.

The introduction examines the ways the genre has developed in Latin America and Spain since the 1700s and studies science fiction as a means of defamiliarizing, and then critiquing, regional culture, history and politics--especially in times of censorship and political repression.

The volume also includes a brief introduction to each story and its author, and an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary works. Cosmos Latinos is a critical contribution to Latin American, Spanish, popular culture and science fiction studies and will be stimulating reading for anyone who likes a good story.


  • Juan Nepomuceno Adorno - "The Distant Future" (Mexico, 1862)
  • Nilo Maria Fabra - "On the Planet Mars" (Spain, 1890)
  • Miguel de Unamuno - "Mechanopolis" (Spain, 1013)
  • Ernesto Silva Roman - "The Death Star" (Chile, 1929)
  • Juan Jose Arreola - "Baby H.P" (Mexico, 1052)
  • THE FIRST WAVE: THE 1960s TO THE MID-1980s
  • Angel Arango - "The Cosmonaut" (Cuba, 1964)
  • Jeronimo Monteiro - "The Crystal Goblet" (Brazil, 1964)
  • Alvaro Menen Desleal - "A Cord Made of Nylon and Gold" (El Salvador, 1965)
  • Pablo Capanna - "Scronia" (Argentina, 1967)
  • Magdalena Moujan Otano - "Gu TA Gutarrack (We and Our Own) (Argentina, 1968)
  • Luis Britto Garcia - "Future" (Venezuela, 1970)
  • Hugo Correa - "When Pilate Said No" (Chile, 1971)
  • Jose B. Adolph - "The Falsifier" (Peru, 1972)
  • Angelica Gorodischer - "The Violet's Embryo's" (Argentina, 1973)
  • Andre Carneiro - "Brain Transplant" (Brazil, 1978)
  • Daina Chaviano - "The Annunciation" (Cuba, 1983)
  • Federico Schaffler - "A Miscalculation" (Mexico, 1983)
  • Braulio Tavares - "Stuntmind" (Brazil 1989)
  • Guillermo Lavin " - Reaching the Shore" (Mexico, 1994)
  • Elia Barrcelo - "First Time" (Spain, 1994)
  • Pepe Rojo - "Gray Noise" (Mexico, 1996)
  • Mauricio-Jose Schwarz - "Glimmerings on Blue Glass" (Mexico, 1996)
  • Ricard de la Casa and Pedro Jorge Romero - "The Day We Went through the Transition" (Spain, 1998)
  • Pablo Castro - "Exeriom" (Chile, 2000)
  • Michel Encinosa - "Like the Roses Had to Die" (Cuba, 2001)

Caesar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 8

Ignatius Donnelly

Published in 1890, Caesar's Column is an account of a trip to New York City in 1988 by a visitor from the Swiss colony of Uganda. The great metropolis dazzles with its futuristic technology, but its ostentatious wealth and luxury mask the brutal repression of the laboring classes by their rich bosses. The workers, aided by international terrorists, stage a violent revolt and the narrator flees the devastated city by airship to found an agrarian utopia in Africa.

Fueled by outrage at social conditions, Caesar's Column was the first major dystopian novel in the English language. Its author, Ignatius Donnelly, was the most famous-and controversial-American populist politician of the day, and his book became a huge bestseller and was often compared to such utopian works as Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888) and William Morris's News from Nowhere (1890).

This Wesleyan edition includes an insightful introduction and notes by Nicholas Ruddick.

The author also used the pseudonym of Edmund Boisgilbert M.D. for publication.

Star Maker

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 9

Olaf Stapledon

Widely regarded as one of the true classics of science fiction, Star Maker is a poetic and deeply philosophical work. This 1937 successor to Last and First Men offers another entrancing speculative history of the future. The story details the mental journey of an unnamed narrator who is transported not only to other worlds but also other galaxies, intelligent star clusters, mingles amoung alien races and continues on to parallel universes, until he eventually becomes part of the "cosmic mind."

First published in 1937, Olaf Stapledon's descriptions of alien life are a political commentary on human life in the turbulent inter-war years. The book challenges preconceived notions of intelligence and awareness, and ultimately argues for a broadened perspective that would free us from culturally ingrained thought and our inevitable anthropomorphism.

This is the first scholarly edition of a book that influenced such writers as C.S. Lewis, Doris Lessing, and Arthur C. Clarke. Jorge Luis Borges called this work "a prodigious novel."

The Moon Pool

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 10

A. Merritt

Returning to New York following a botanical expedition to the South Seas, Dr. Walter T. Goodwin encounters an old friend who relates a strange story of an exotic island, a strange stone door, and a hypnotic, mysterious light, but when he investigates the tale, he discovers more than he had bargained for.

One of the most gripping fantasies ever written, The Moon Pool embodies all the romanticism and poetic nostalgia characteristic of A. Merritt's writings. Set on the island of Ponape, full of ruins from ancient civilizations, the novel chronicles the adventures of a party of explorers who discover a previously unknown underground world full of strange peoples and super-scientific wonders. From the depths of this world, the party unwittingly unleashes the Dweller, a monstrous terror that threatens the islands of the South Pacific.

Although Merritt did not invent the lost world novel, following in the footsteps of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Burroughs and others, he greatly elaborated upon that tradition. This new edition includes a biography of the author, and an introduction detailing Merritt's many sources and influences, including the occult, mythological, and scientific discourses of his day.

H. G. Wells: Traversing Time

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 11

W. Warren Wagar

The English writer Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) is one of the giants of science fiction. His early novels, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, invented a number of themes now classic in science fiction. But he also wrote mainstream novels, journalism, political tracts, a memoir, and purely didactic fiction designed to support his various causes. In this comprehensive new critical study, W. Warren Wagar traces Wells's obsession with the unfolding of public time--in short, with the history and future of humankind--to show the persisting and provocative relevance of Wells's work.

Most interest in Wells today centers on his science fiction, but Wagar contends that one cannot fully understand or enjoy the science fiction without exploring the mind that produced it. This accessible overview takes the reader through dozens of Wells's most important works, following the twists and turns of his thought as he struggled with the great issues of human provenance and destiny.

Subterranean Worlds: A Critical Anthology

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 12

Peter Fitting

The bizarre idea that the earth's interior is hollow and, perhaps, even populated has been put to effective literary use by writers ranging from Edgar Allen Poe and Jules Verne to Rudy Rucker and Edgar Rice Burroughs. This notion had respectability as a scientific hypothesis until the early 1800s, and the theory that the earth "is hollow and inhabitable within" continues to find believers as an alternative description of the earth to this day.

The hollow earth is one of the most important settings in the literature of the imagination that fed into early science fiction. Subterranean Worlds presents a fascinating look at the theme of the hollow earth and its history, as well as the geological theories which produced many of these stories. It excerpts key passages from the major subterranean world fictions, some translated into English for the first time. With helpful introductions to each selection and a comprehensive bibliography, this book is the definitive treatment of this entertaining topic.


  • A Bluffer's Guide to The Underworld: An Introduction to the Hollow Earth
  • Theories and Descriptions of the Inner Earth, from Kicher to Symmes
  • Relation D'Un Voyage Du Pole Arctique Au Pole Antarctique
  • Lamekis ou les voyages extraordinaries d'un Egyptien dans la terre interieure
  • The Journey of Niels Klim to the World Underground
  • The Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins
  • A Voyage to the World in the Center of the Earth
  • L'aventurier Francois
  • L'Icosameron
  • John Cleves Symmes Jr. and Symzonia
  • Collin de Plancy: Voyage au centre de la terre
  • Edgar Allen Poe and "the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym"
  • Jules Verne: Voyage au centre de la terre
  • After Verne: Later Developments

The Centenarian: or, The Two Beringhelds

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 15

Honore de Balzac

Written for serial publication in 1822 under the pseudonym Horace de Saint-Aubin, this Faustian tale by Balzac has never before been available in English. More than a long-lost curiosity by an important writer, The Centenarian is also a seminal work of early science fiction, crucial to understanding both the development of the genre and the craft of this great author.

Beringheld, a 400-year-old "mad scientist," discovered the fluid necessary to human life, but he must extract the vital fluid of others to enlarge his own powers.

Balzac intertwines the mythic and the modern in ways that would prove enormously influential to science fiction. Like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this novel bridges the gap that separates alchemy and magic from the practice and problems of science. It is also crucial to an understanding of Balzac's oeuvre, as it anticipates significant themes of power, knowledge, and secrecy.

This Wesleyan edition features notes, appendices, and a critical introduction.

Star Begotten: A Biological Fantasia

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 16

H. G. Wells

In his 1898 War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells imagined aliens from Mars descending to Earth with violent intentions. In Star Begotten, first published in 1937, the suspicion arises that the Martians may have returned--this time using cosmic rays to alter human chromosomes. The protagonist Joseph Davis, an author of popular histories, grows fearfully obsessed with rumors of the Martian plan. He considers the possibility that mutation may have already occurred, and that his child, his wife, and even he may already be Martians.

An ironic and often comic novel, Star Begotten portrays discoveries in evolutionary biology and contemplates the benefits as well as the horrors of mutation. This new annotated edition situates the novel in its literary and historical contexts, explains its place in Wells's late development, and highlights its importance as a precursor to the dark comedies of delusion by writers like Robert Sheckley and Philip K. Dick.

The Coming Race

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 17

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Secrets Lie Within The Earth

"Tell me frankly what you saw in that chasm: I am sure it was something strange and terrible. Confide in me."

The engineer long endeavoured to evade my inquiries. But at last, he spoke.

"I will tell you all. A steady brilliant light. I left the cage and clambered down. As I drew nearer and nearer to the light, the chasm became wider, and at last I saw, to my unspeakable amaze, a broad level road at the bottom of the abyss, illumined as far as the eye could reach by what seemed artificial gas-lamps placed at regular intervals, as in the thoroughfare of a great city; and I heard confusedly at a distance a hum as of human voices. I know, of course, that no rival miners are at work in this district. Whose could be those voices? What human hands could have levelled that road and marshalled those lamps?"

"You will descend again?"

"I ought, yet I feel as if I durst not."

Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 19

John Rieder

This is the first full-length study of emerging Anglo-American science fiction's relation to the history, discourses, and ideologies of colonialism and imperialism. Nearly all scholars and critics of early science fiction acknowledge that colonialism is an important and relevant part of its historical context, and recent scholarship has emphasized imperialism's impact on late Victorian Gothic and adventure fiction and on Anglo-American popular and literary culture in general.

John Rieder argues that colonial history and ideology are crucial components of science fiction's displaced references to history and its engagement in ideological production. He proposes that the profound ambivalence that pervades colonial accounts of the exotic "other" establishes the basic texture of much science fiction, in particular its vacillation between fantasies of discovery and visions of disaster.

Combining original scholarship and theoretical sophistication with a clearly written presentation suitable for students as well as professional scholars, this study offers new and innovative readings of both acknowledged classics and rediscovered gems.

Includes discussion of works by Edwin A. Abbott, Edward Bellamy, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John W. Campbell, George Tomkyns Chesney, Arthur Conan Doyle, H. Rider Haggard, Edmond Hamilton, W. H. Hudson, Richard Jefferies, Henry Kuttner, Alun Llewellyn, Jack London, A. Merritt, Catherine L. Moore, William Morris, Garrett P. Serviss, Mary Shelley, Olaf Stapledon, and H. G. Wells.


  • Chapter 1. Introduction: The Colonial Gaze and the Frame of Science Fiction
  • Chapter 2. Fantasies of Appropriation: Lost Races and Discovered Wealth
  • Chapter 3. Dramas of Interpretation
  • Chapter 4. Artificial Humans and the Construction of Race
  • Chapter 5. Visions of Catastrophe
  • Notes
  • Works Cited

The Black Mirror and Other Stories

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 20

Franz Rottensteiner

An Anthology of Science Fiction from Germany and Austria.

This entertaining anthology delivers great reading and an overview of German-language science fiction, including works by the "German father of science fiction" Kurd Lasswitz, the Austrian writer Ludwig Hevesi (author of "Jules Verne in Hell"), the fantasist Paul Scheerbart (a scurrilous, idiosyncratic writer who was an outsider in both literature and science fiction), popular writers Otto Willi Gail and Hans Dominik, as well as the contemporary luminaries of the genre: Wolfgang Jeschke, Herbert W. Franke, Andreas Eschbach, and Carl Amery. The introduction by the editor gives a succinct history of German language science fiction, including its representation in Hugo Gernsback's popular magazines. With select bibliographies of German language science fiction and writings on German science fiction, this book will be appreciated by scholars and general readers alike.


  • xi - Introduction: A Short History of Science Fiction in German - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 3 - Kurd Lasswitz: "To the Absolute Zero of Existence: A Story from 2371" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 5 - To the Absolute Zero of Existence - novelette by Kurd Lasswitz (trans. of Bis zum Nullpunkt des Seins 1871)
  • 37 - Kurd Lasswitz: "Apoikis" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 39 - Apoikis - shortstory by Kurd Lasswitz (trans. of Apoikis 1882)
  • 49 - Ludwig Hevesi: "Jules Verne in Hell: A Letter to the Editor from the Late Writer" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 50 - Jules Verne in Hell: A Letter to the Editor from the Late Writer - shortstory by Ludwig Hevesi (trans. of Jules Verne in der Hölle: Ein Brief des verstorbenen Schriftstellers an den Herausgeber 1906)
  • 59 - Carl Grunert: "The Martian Spy" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 61 - The Martian Spy - shortstory by Carl Grunert (trans. of Der Marsspion 1908)
  • 68 - Paul Scheerbart: "Malvu the Helmsman: A Story of Vesta" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 70 - Malvu the Helmsman - shortstory by Paul Scheerbart (trans. of Steuermann Malwu. Eine Vesta-Novellette 1912)
  • 79 - Otto Willi Gail: "The Missing Clock Hands: An Implausible Happening" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 81 - The Missing Clock Hands - shortstory by Otto Willi Gail (trans. of Die verschwundenen Uhrzeiger 1929)
  • 91 - Egon Friedell: "Is the Earth Inhabited?" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 93 - Is the Earth Inhabited? - shortstory by Egon Friedell (trans. of Ist die Erde bewohnt? 1931)
  • 95 - Hans Dominik: "A Free Flight in 2222" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 97 - A Free Flight in 2222 - shortstory by Hans Dominik (trans. of Ein Freiflug im Jahre 2222 1934)
  • 121 - Herbert W. Franke: "Thought Control"; "Welcome Home"; and "Meteorites" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 123 - Thought Control - shortstory by Herbert W. Franke (trans. of Gedankenkontrolle 1958)
  • 125 - Welcome Home - shortstory by Herbert W. Franke (trans. of Willkommen daheim 1960)
  • 127 - Meteorites - shortstory by Herbert W. Franke (trans. of Meteoriten 1960)
  • 130 - Ernst Vlcek: "Say It With Flowers" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 132 - Say It With Flowers - shortstory by Ernst Vlcek (trans. of Ein Motor wie Monika 1980)
  • 133 - Carl Amery: "Just One Summer" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 135 - Just One Summer - (2008) - shortstory by Carl Amery
  • 156 - Horst Pukallus: "The Age of the Burning Mountains" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 157 - The Age of the Burning Mountains - (2008) - shortstory by Horst Pukallus (trans. of Die Ära der brennenden Berge 1989)
  • 175 - Johanna Braun & Günter Braun: "A Visit to Parsimonia. A Scientific Report" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 177 - A Visit to Parsimonia. A Scientific Report - (2008) - shortstory by Johanna Braun and Günter Braun
  • 184 - Erik Simon: "The Black Mirror" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 186 - The Black Mirror - [Riddh - 2] - shortstory by Erik Simon (trans. of Der schwarze Spiegel 1983)
  • 192 - Angela Steinmüller & Karlheinz Steinmüller: "The Eye That Never Weeps" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 195 - The Eye That Never Weeps - shortstory by Angela Steinmüller and Karlheinz Steinmüller (trans. of Das Auge, das niemals weint 1984)
  • 213 - Peter Schattschneider: "A Letter from the Other Side" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 214 - A Letter from the Other Side - shortstory by Peter Schattschneider
  • 224 - Wolfgang Jeschke: "Partners for Life" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 226 - Partners for Life - shortstory by Wolfgang Jeschke (trans. of Partner fürs Leben 1996)
  • 233 - Michael Marrak: "Astrosapiens" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 234 - Astrosapiens - shortstory by Michael Marrak (trans. of Astrosapiens 1998)
  • 256 - Thorsten Küper: "Project 38 or the Game of Small Causes" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 257 - Project 38 or the Game of Small Causes - shortstory by Thorsten Küper (variant of Projekt 38, oder Das Spiel der kleinen Ursachen 2003)
  • 274 - Michael K. Iwoleit: "Planck Time" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 276 - Planck Time - novelette by Michael K. Iwoleit (trans. of Planck-Zeit 2005)
  • 303 - Oliver Henkel:"Hitler on the Campaign Trail in America" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 305 - Hitler on the Campaign Trail in America - shortstory by Oliver Henkel (trans. of Hitler auf Wahlkampf in Amerika 2005)
  • 322 - Helmuth W. Mommers: "Habemus Papam" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 323 - Habemus Papam - shortstory by Helmuth W. Mommers (trans. of Habemus papam 2005)
  • 335 - Andreas Eschbach: "Mother's Flowers" - [Author and Shortfiction Introductions for 'The Black Mirror'] - essay by Franz Rottensteiner
  • 337 - Mother's Flowers - shortstory by Andreas Eschbach (trans. of Mutters Blumen)

The Fire in the Stone: Prehistoric Fiction from Charles Darwin to Jean M. Auel

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 21

Nicholas Ruddick

The genre of prehistoric fiction contains a surprisingly large and diverse group of fictional works by American, British, and French writers from the late nineteenth century to the present that describe prehistoric humans.

Nicholas Ruddick explains why prehistoric fiction could not come into being until after the acceptance of Charles Darwin's theories, and argues that many early prehistoric fiction works are still worth reading even though the science upon which they are based is now outdated.

Exploring the history and evolution of the genre, Ruddick shows how prehistoric fiction can offer fascinating insights into the possible origins of human nature, sexuality, racial distinctions, language, religion, and art.

The book includes discussions of well-known prehistoric fiction by H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, J. H. Rosny Aîné, Jack London, William Golding, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jean M. Auel and reminds us of some unjustly forgotten landmarks of prehistoric fiction. It also briefly covers such topics as the recent boom in prehistoric romance, notable prehistoric fiction for children and young adults, and the most entertaining movies featuring prehistoric humans.

The book includes illustrations that trace the changing popular images of cave men and women over the past 150 years.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes on References
  • Introduction: The Fiction of Hominization
  • From Boitard's Paris before Man to London's Before Adam
  • From Rosny's First Artist to del Rey's Last Neanderthal
  • From Fisher's "Testament of Man" to Auel's "Earth's Children"
  • Nature and Human Nature
  • Sex and Gender
  • Race or the Human Race
  • A Cultural Triad: Language, Religion, Art
  • Coda: Baxter's Evolution and Post-Hominization
  • A Prehistoric Chronology
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Illustration Credits
  • Index

Imagining Mars: A Literary History

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 22

Robert Crossley

For centuries, the planet Mars has captivated astronomers and inspired writers of all genres. Whether imagined as the symbol of the bloody god of war, the cradle of an alien species, or a possible new home for human civilization, our closest planetary neighbor has played a central role in how we think about ourselves in the universe.

From Galileo to Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Crossley traces the history of our fascination with the red planet as it has evolved in literature both fictional and scientific. Crossley focuses specifically on the interplay between scientific discovery and literary invention, exploring how writers throughout the ages have tried to assimilate or resist new planetary knowledge. Covering texts from the 1600s to the present, from the obscure to the classic, Crossley shows how writing about Mars has reflected the desires and social controversies of each era. This astute and elegant study is perfect for science fiction fans and readers of popular science.

The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 23

Rachel Haywood Ferreira

Early science fiction has often been associated almost exclusively with Northern industrialized nations. In this groundbreaking exploration of the science fiction written in Latin America prior to 1920, Rachel Haywood Ferreira argues that science fiction has always been a global genre. She traces how and why the genre quickly reached Latin America and analyzes how writers in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico adapted science fiction to reflect their own realities.

Among the texts discussed are one of the first defenses of Darwinism in Latin America, a tale of a time-traveling history book, and a Latin American Frankenstein. Latin American science fiction writers have long been active participants in the SF literary tradition, expanding the limits of the genre and deepening our perception of the role of science and technology in the Latin American imagination.

The book includes a chronological bibliography of science fiction published from 1775 to 1920 in all Latin American countries.

Three Science Fiction Novellas: From Prehistory to the End of Mankind

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 24

J. H. Rosny aine

To the short list that includes Jules Verne and H. G. Wells as founding fathers of science fiction, the name of the Belgian writer J.-H. Rosny Aîné must be added. He was the first writer to conceive, and attempt to narrate, the workings of aliens and alternate life forms. His fascination with evolutionary scenarios, and long historical vistas, from first man to last man, are important precursors to the myriad cosmic epics of modern science fiction.

Until now, his work has been virtually unknown and unavailable in the English-speaking world, but it is crucial for our understanding of the genre.

Three wonderfully imaginative novellas are included in this volume. "The Xipehuz" is a prehistoric tale in which the human species battles strange geometric alien life forms. "Another World" is the story of a mysterious being who does not live in the same acoustic and temporal world as humans. "The Death of the Earth" is a scientifically uncompromising Last Man story.

The book includes an insightful critical introduction that places Rosny's work within the context of evolutionary biology.

The Time Ship: A Chrononautical Journey

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 25

Enrique Gaspar

H. G. Wells wasn't the only nineteenth-century writer to dream of a time machine. The Spanish playwright Enrique Gaspar published El anacronópete--"He who flies against time"--eight years before Wells's influential work appeared.

The novel begins at the 1878 Paris Exposition, where Dr. Don Sindulfo unveils his new invention--which looks like a giant sailing vessel. Soon the doctor embarks on a voyage back in time, accompanied by a motley crew of French prostitutes and Spanish soldiers. The purpose of his expedition is to track down the imprisoned wife of a third-century Chinese emperor, believed to possess the secret to immortality.

A classic tale of obsession, high adventure, and star-crossed love, The Time Ship includes intricately drawn illustrations from the original 1887 edition, and a critical introduction that argues persuasively for The Time Ship's historical importance to science fiction and world literature.

We Modern People: Science Fiction and the Making of Russian Modernity

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 26

Anindita Banerjee

Science fiction emerged in Russia considerably earlier than its English version and instantly became the hallmark of Russian modernity. We Modern People investigates why science fiction appeared here, on the margins of Europe, before the genre had even been named, and what it meant for people who lived under conditions that Leon Trotsky famously described as "combined and uneven development."

Russian science fiction was embraced not only in literary circles and popular culture, but also by scientists, engineers, philosophers, and political visionaries. Anindita Banerjee explores the handful of well-known early practitioners, such as Briusov, Bogdanov, and Zamyatin, within a much larger continuum of new archival material comprised of journalism, scientific papers, popular science texts, advertisements, and independent manifestos on social transformation.

In documenting the unusual relationship between Russian science fiction and Russian modernity, this book offers a new critical perspective on the relationship between science, technology, the fictional imagination, and the consciousness of being modern.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Science Fiction and the Making of Russian Modernity
  • Chronology
  • Notes
  • Further Reading
  • Index

Vintage Visions: Essays on Early Science Fiction

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 29

Arthur B. Evans

Vintage Visions is a seminal collection of scholarly essays on early works of science fiction and its antecedents. From Cyrano de Bergerac in 1657 to Olaf Stapledon in 1937, this anthology focuses on an unusually broad range of authors and works in the genre as it emerged across the globe, including the United States, Russia, Europe, and Latin America. The book includes material that will be of interest to both scholars and fans, including an extensive bibliography of criticism on early science fiction--the first of its kind--and a chronological listing of 150 key early works. Before Dr. Strangelove, future-war fiction was hugely popular in nineteenth-century Great Britain. Before Terminator, a French author depicted Thomas Edison as the creator of the perfect female android. These works and others are featured in this critical anthology.

Contributors include Paul K. Alkon, Andrea Bell, Josh Bernatchez, I. F. Clarke, William J. Fanning Jr., William B. Fischer, Allison de Fren, Susan Gubar, Rachel Haywood Ferreira, Kamila Kinyon, Stanislaw Lem, Patrick A. McCarthy, Sylvie Romanowski, Nicholas Ruddick, and Gary Westfahl.


  • Preface
  • Sylvie Romanowski, Cyrano de Bergerac's Epistemological Bodies: "Pregnant with a Thousand Definitions" (1998, with an afterword by Ishbel Addyman)
  • Paul K. Alkon, Samuel Madden's Memoirs of the Twentieth Century (1985)
  • William B. Fischer, German Theories of Science Fiction: Jean Paul, Kurd Lasswitz, and After (1976)
  • Josh Bernatchez, Monstrosity, Suffering, Subjectivity, and Sympathetic Community in Frankenstein and "The Structure of Torture" (2009)
  • Arthur B. Evans, Science Fiction vs. Scientific Fiction in France: From Jules Verne to J.-H. Rosny Aîné (1988)
  • I.F. Clarke, Future-War Fiction: The First Main Phase, 1871-1900 (1997, with an afterword by Margaret Clarke)
  • Allison de Fren, The Anatomical Gaze in Tomorrow's Eve (2009)
  • Andrea Bell, Desde Júpiter: Chile's Earliest Science-Fiction Novel (1995)
  • Rachel Haywood Ferreira, The First Wave: Latin American Science Fiction Discovers Its Roots (2007)
  • Nicholas Ruddick, "Tell Us All About Rosebery": Topicality and Temporality in H.G. Wells's The Time Machine (2001)
  • Kamila Kinyon, The Phenomenology of Robots: Confrontations with Death in Karel Capek's R.U.R. (1999)
  • Patrick A. McCarthy, Zamyatin and the Nightmare of Technology (1984)
  • Gary Westfahl, "The Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe Type of Story": Hugo Gernsback's History of Science Fiction (1992)
  • William J. Fanning, Jr., The Historical Death Ray and Science Fiction in the 1920s and 1930s (2010)
  • Susan Gubar, C.L. Moore and the Conventions of Women's Science Fiction (1980, with an afterword by Veronica Hollinger)
  • Stanislaw Lem, On Stapledon's Star Maker (1987, with an afterword by Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr.)
  • 150 Key Works of Early Science Fiction
  • Bibliography of Criticism on Early Science Fiction
  • Contributors

Castaway Tales: From Robinson Crusoe to Life of Pi

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 31

Christopher Palmer

A wide-ranging and appreciative literary history of the castaway tale from Defoe to the present

Ever since Robinson Crusoe washed ashore, the castaway story has survived and prospered, inspiring a multitude of writers of adventure fiction to imitate and adapt its mythic elements. In his brilliant critical study of this popular genre, Christopher Palmer traces the castaway tales' history and changes through periods of settlement, violence, and reconciliation, and across genres and languages. Showing how subsequent authors have parodied or inverted the castaway tale, Palmer concentrates on the period following H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau.

These much darker visions are seen in later novels including William Golding's Lord of the Flies, J. G. Ballard's Concrete Island, and Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory. In these and other variations, the castaway becomes a cannibal, the castaway's island is relocated to center of London, female castaways mock the traditional masculinity of the original Crusoe, or Friday ceases to be a biddable servant. By the mid-twentieth century, the castaway tale has plunged into violence and madness, only to see it return in young adult novels--such as Scott O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins and Terry Pratchett's Nation--to the buoyancy and optimism of the original. The result is a fascinating series of revisions of violence and pessimism, but also reconciliation.


  • Acknowledgments Introduction
  • The Sea Captain and the Perfect Mango: Revision and Parody in Castaway Narratives
  • The Swiss Family Robinson to The Mysterious Island and Beyond: Vicissitudes of the Crusoe Template
  • Moreau and Its Progeny: Abstraction and Violence
  • Successors of Moreau: Madness and Cannibalism
  • Always Another Island: Females and Fridays
  • Recent Children's Novels: Recognizing Indigeneity, Facing Death
  • Recent Science Fiction Novels: Science Reaffirmed, Nature Rethought
  • Conclusion: Living Phenomena
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Sisters of Tomorrow: The First Women of Science Fiction

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 32

Lisa Yaszek
Patrick B. Sharp

Anthology of stories, essays, poems, and illustrations by the women of early science fiction

For nearly half a century, feminist scholars, writers, and fans have successfully challenged the notion that science fiction is all about "boys and their toys," pointing to authors such as Mary Shelley, Clare Winger Harris, and Judith Merril as proof that women have always been part of the genre. Continuing this tradition, Sisters of Tomorrow: The First Women of Science Fiction offers readers a comprehensive selection of works by genre luminaries, including author C. L. Moore, artist Margaret Brundage, and others who were well known in their day, including poet Julia Boynton Green, science journalist L. Taylor Hansen, and editor Mary Gnaedinger.

Providing insightful commentary and context, this anthology documents how women in the early twentieth century contributed to the pulp-magazine community and showcases the content they produced, including short stories, editorial work, illustrations, poetry, and science journalism. Yaszek and Sharp's critical annotation and author biographies link women's work in the early science fiction community to larger patterns of feminine literary and cultural production in turn-of-the-twentieth-century America. In a concluding essay, the award-winning author Kathleen Ann Goonan considers such work in relation to the history of women in science and engineering and to the contemporary science fiction community itself.

Table of Contents:

  • List of Plates
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: New Work for New Women


  • Clare Winger Harris, "The Evolutionary Monstrosity" (1929)
  • Leslie F. Stone, "Out of the Void" (1929)
  • Lilith Lorraine, "Into the 28th Century" (1930)
  • L. Taylor Hansen, "The Man from Space" (1930)
  • C. L. Moore, "Shambleau" (1933)
  • Dorothy Gertrude Quick, "Strange Orchids" (1937)
  • Amelia Reynolds Long, "Reverse Phylogeny" (1937)
  • Leslie Perri, "Space Episode" (1941)
  • Dorothy Louise Les Tina, "When You Think That... Smile!" (1943)


  • Julia Boynton Green, "The Night Express" (1931)
  • Julia Boynton Green, "Evolution" (1931)
  • Julia Boynton Green, "Radio Revelations" (1932)
  • Virginia Kidd, "Untitled" (1933)
  • Leah Bodine Drake, "They Run Again" (1939)
  • Leah Bodine Drake, "The Wood-Wife" (1942)
  • Leah Bodine Drake, "Sea-Shell" (1943)
  • Tigrina, "Defiance" (1945)
  • Tigrina, "Affinity" (1945)
  • Lilith Lorraine, "Earthlight on the Moon" (1941)
  • Lilith Lorraine, "The Acolytes" (1946)
  • Lilith Lorraine, "Men Keep Strange Trysts" (1946)


  • Ellen Reed, "Natural Ink" (1942)
  • Fran Miles, "Oil for Bombing" (1944)
  • Henrietta Brown, "Marine Engineering in the Insect World" (1945)
  • Lynn Standish, "The Battle of the Sexes" (1943)
  • Lynn Standish, "Scientific Oddities" (1945)
  • Laura Moore Wright, "Sunlight" (1946)
  • L. Taylor Hansen, "Scientific Mysteries: The White Race--Does It Exist?" (1942)
  • L. Taylor Hansen, "Scientific Mysteries: Footprints of the Dragon" (1944)
  • L. Taylor Hansen, H. Malamud, I. Berkman, and H. Rogovin, "A Protest" (1943)
  • L. Taylor Hansen, "L. Taylor Hansen Defends Himself" (1943)


  • Mary Gnaedinger, "Editorial Note" (1939)
  • Dorothy Stevens Mcilwraith, "The Eyrie" (1940)
  • Lilith Lorraine, "Cracks, Wise and Otherwise" (1943)
  • Mary Gnaedinger, "The Editor's Page" (1940)
  • Mary Gnaedinger, "The Editor's Page" (1943)
  • Dorothy Stevens Mcilwraith, "The Eyrie" (1940)
  • Dorothy Stevens Mcilwraith, "The Eyrie" (1941)
  • Lilith Lorraine, "Training for World Citizenship" (1946)
  • Lilith Lorraine, "The Story of Different" (1950)


  • Olivette Bourgeois
  • Lucille Webster Holling
  • Margaret Johnson Brundage
  • Dorothy Louise Les Tina
  • Dolly Rackley Donnell
  • Conclusion: "Challenging the Narrative, Or, Women Take Back Science Fiction", Kathleen Ann Goonan
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Celestial Empire: The Emergence of Chinese Science Fiction

Early Classics of Science Fiction: Book 33

Nathaniel Isaacson

Challenging assumptions about science fiction's Western origins, Nathaniel Isaacson traces the development of the genre in China, from the late Qing Dynasty through the New Culture Movement. Through careful examination of a wide range of visual and print media--including historical accounts of the institutionalization of science, pictorial representations of technological innovations, and a number of novels and short stories--Isaacson makes a case for understanding Chinese science fiction as a product of colonial modernity. By situating the genre's emergence in the transnational traffic of ideas and material culture engendered by the presence of colonial powers in China's economic and political centers, Celestial Empires explores the relationship between science fiction and Orientalist discourse. In doing so it offers an innovative approach to the study of both vernacular writing in twentieth-century China and science fiction in a global context.