Science Fiction Literature/Introduction and Historical Overview

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Science fiction is the literature of the possible. It generally involves a story grounded in science, whether actual or extrapolated, rather than in magic or myth.

Science fiction flowered as a literary genre in the twentieth century, though it has a long history.

Precursors of Science Fiction[edit | edit source]

Here are some of the early works that are considered to be related to science fiction, even if they don't fully align with the definition.

  • Lucian of Samosata, ca. 120 - 180
    • Vera Historia - This tells of a group of travelers who voyage beyond the Gates of Hercules, are blown off course, and travel all the way to the Moon.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, 1619-1655
    • L'Autre monde ou les états et empires de la Lune (French)
  • Voltaire, 1694-1778
    • Romans — Volume 3: Micromégas (French)

Science Fiction Begins[edit | edit source]

  • Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851
    • Frankenstein - usually considered to be the first science fiction novel, published in 1818.
    • The Last Man
  • Edward Bulwer Lytton 1803-1873
    • The Coming Race
  • W. H. Hudson 1841-1922
    • A Crystal Age
  • Richard Jefferies 1847-1887
    • After London, or Wild England
  • Fitz-James O'Brien
    • The Diamond Lens
  • Mark Twain, 1835-1910
    • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894
    • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • H. G. Wells
    • The Time Machine
    • The War of the World
    • The Island of Doctor Moreau
    • The Invisible Man
  • Jules Verne
    • Journey to the Center of the Earth
    • 20,000 Leagues under the Sea

External Links[edit | edit source]