The High Tech Hotel of 1921 Had an Alarm Clock In Every Room

Today, hotels offer high-tech amenities that just a generation ago would be astounding — RFID key cards, customizable ambiance at the push of a button, and coming soon, humanoid robot concierges. So what started the high-tech hotel craze? It can all be traced back to the 1920s, when Americans started to demand a… » 3/05/15 5:09am 3/05/15 5:09am

Why Is Pop Culture So Obsessed with the 1920s?

A great science fiction author once said that every story of the future is really about the "unthinkable present." The same is true of stories about history. And right now, a lot of our most popular stories are set in the 1920s, from Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire to the forthcoming Baz Luhrmann adaptation of The… » 2/13/13 11:30am 2/13/13 11:30am

10 Scariest Eco-Catastrophes from Early Science Fiction

These days, SF thrillers in which natural disasters end human life as we know it are mainstream fare. But long before M. Night Shyamalan and J.G. Ballard flirted with disaster, the authors of SF's Pre-Golden Age (1904-33) speculated wildly, and sometimes presciently, about the possible causes of dire biospheric… » 5/26/09 2:46pm 5/26/09 2:46pm

Science Fiction's Pre-Golden Age (1904-33), an Introduction

Earlier this year, I formulated an eccentric but strict periodization scheme, in which the Nineteen-Oughts (not to be confused with the 1900s), for example, run from 1904 through 1913; the Teens (not to be confused with the '10s) from 1914-23; and the Twenties (not to be confused with the '20s) from 1924-33. And so… » 11/29/08 11:38am 11/29/08 11:38am