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9780198853619

The Origins of Science Fiction

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780198853619

  • ISBN10:

    0198853610

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2022-01-03
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Summary

'Few travelled in these days, for, thanks to the advance of science, the earth was exactly alike all over. Rapid intercourse, from which the previous civilization had hoped so much, had ended by defeating itself. What was the good of going to Peking when it was just like Shrewsbury?', The
Machine Stops, E. M. Forster

This anthology provides a selection of science-fiction tales from the close of the 'Romantic' period to the end of the First World War. It gathers together classic short stories, from Edgar Allan Poe's playful hoaxes to Gertrude Barrows Bennett's feminist fantasy. In this way, the book shows the
vitality and literary diversity of the field, and also expresses something of the potent appeal of the visionary, the fascination with science, and the allure of an imagined future that characterised this period. An excellent resource for those interested in science fiction, and also an essential
volume for understanding the development of the genre.

In his introduction, Michael Newton draws together literary influences from Jonathan Swift to Mary Shelley, the interest in the irrational and dreaming mind, and the relation of the tales to the fact of Empire and the discoveries made by anthropology. He also considers how the figure of the alien
and non-human 'other' complicated contemporary definitions of the human being.


Author Biography


Michael Newton, Senior Lecturer, Department of English, University of Leiden

MICHAEL NEWTON is the author of Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children (2002) and Age of Assassins: A History of Conspiracy and Political Violence, 1865-1981 (2012). On the subject of cinema, he has written Show People: A History of the Film Star (2019) and books on Kind Hearts and
Coronets (2003) and Rosemary's Baby (2020) for the BFI Film Classics series. He has edited Edmund Gosse's Father and Son and Victorian Fairy Tales for Oxford World's Classics, and Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent and The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories for Penguin Classics, and co-edited the
anthology, Literature and Science, 1660-1834: Science as Polite Culture (Pickering & Chatto). He teaches literature and film at Leiden University.

Table of Contents


Introduction
Note on the Texts
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of the Origins of Science Fiction
The Mortal Immortal, Mary Shelley
The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion, Edgar Allan Poe
Rappaccini's Daughter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, Edgar Allan Poe
The Diamond Lens, Fitz-James O'Brien
The Lifted Veil, George Eliot
Pausodyne: A Great Chemical Discovery, Grant Allen
The Water-Devil. A Marine Tale, Frank R. Stockton
The Crystal Egg, H. G. Wells
'Wireless', Rudyard Kipling
The Hall Bedroom, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
The Country of the Blind, H. G. Wells
The Machine Stops, E. M. Forster
The Terror of Blue John Gap, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Red One, Jack London
Friend Island, Gertrude Barrows Bennett
The Comet, W. E. B. Dubois
Explanatory Notes

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