What International Air Travel Was Like in the 1930s

Today we largely take international air travel for granted. Every major city in the world is little more than a hop, skip, and jump away. But what was it actually like to fly halfway around the world in the 1930s, when the very concept was still novel? Pretty incredible, as it turns out—provided you could afford it. » 11/27/13 6:11pm 11/27/13 6:11pm

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

Singing Cowboys vs. Radium in "The Phantom Empire"

One of the best parts of watching old science fiction serials from the 1930s are the strange title cards that come at the beginning of each installment to remind you about what happened in the last. This is a gallery of those titles from The Phantom Empire, a popular serial starring "singing cowboy" Gene Autry, who… » 1/04/08 9:00am 1/04/08 9:00am