Anders Celsius, inventor of the temperature scale, was also a science…

The name Anders Celsius will be familiar to readers from his invention of the universally-used temperature scale. But Celsius (1701-1744) was much more than that: he was a professor of astronomy, he went on latitude-measuring expeditions, he gave early warning about the melting of the Arctic ice cap...and he wrote… » 3/04/13 2:21pm 3/04/13 2:21pm

Pulp Science Fiction in Spain, Before And During Totalitarianism

This is the fourth part of a four-part series on the pulps under totalitarianism. Read more: Pulp Scifi Under German Totalitarianism | Pulp Scifi Under Russian and Soviet Totalitarianism | Pulp Scifi Under Japanese Totalitarianism

Like most European countries Spain has a tradition of science fiction and proto-science… » 1/18/13 6:38pm 1/18/13 6:38pm

Mirai-ki: The Forgotten History of Japan’s Early Science Fiction

The history of Japanese science fiction usually begins with the 1880 translations of Jules Verne's From The Earth to the Moon and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Most Japanese science fiction of this era bears Verne's influence, most notably Shunro Oshikawa (1877-1914) and his six book "Undersea Warship" series. But… » 10/22/12 11:02am 10/22/12 11:02am

The Black Fantastic: Highlights of Pre-World War II African and…

Africans, and those of African descent, have not been treated well by speculative fiction, both inside its texts and in real life. Anti-African racism is a fact of life in Western culture, and was even more pronounced before 1945. Not surprisingly, the number of works of speculative fiction written by black writers is… » 9/27/12 4:00pm 9/27/12 4:00pm

The Worst Science Fiction Novel of the 19th Century

A number of science fiction novels were published in the 19th century which hold up today and can genuinely be considered as good literature: Walter Besant's The Inner House, Joseph Nicholson's Thoth, and H.G. Wells' Time Machine. But the good novels are far outnumbered by the bad ones. The borders and matter of the… » 3/05/12 4:18pm 3/05/12 4:18pm

The strange afterlife of pulp hero Franke Reade

Portland-based Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett are a husband-and-wife team of multimedia artists who have produced a variety of work from comics (the science fiction romance Heartbreakers and the superhero Chronos, among others) to the website and book about Boilerplate, a robot. Their new book, Frank Reade: Adventures… » 2/03/12 4:59pm 2/03/12 4:59pm

Before Science Fiction: Romances of Science and Scientific Romances

The origin of science fiction stories is well-known to both critics and the public: by consensus, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) was the first SF novel. But the origins of "science fiction" as a concept are neither well-known nor agreed-upon. The phrase "science fiction," meaning the genre of… » 12/23/11 11:56am 12/23/11 11:56am

Sex Change in the Pulps: Demonic Shapeshifters, Feminist Conspiracies,…

In many ways the science fiction pulps and the science fiction novels of the pulp era were conservative when it came to gender matters. Women – if they appeared at all – were usually relegated to the roles of girlfriends or victims, and sex was never mentioned. Compared to the romance, detective, and especially the… » 12/09/11 4:00pm 12/09/11 4:00pm