The Road to Science Fiction: From Gilgamesh to Wells (Road to Science Fiction (Scarecrow Press)) (Volume 1)

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0810844141

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Now in Paperback!

Between an ancient Roman's trip to the moon and the fantastic tales of H.G. Wells lies a journey through time and space and an awesome evolution in scientific thinking. From Gilgamesh's search for immortality to Lucian's odyssey on the moon; from Jonathan Swift's hilarious satire on scientists in Gulliver's Travels to Mary Shelley's horrifying description of a scientist who has gone too far in Frankenstein from Edgar Allan Poe's balloon trip in the year 2848 to Jules Verne's prophesies of the impact of scientific inventions on future civilization; from Edward Bellamy's utopian escape from the industrial Revolution to H.G. Wells's magnificent story of Earth threatened by an inescapable menace-here are the chief ancestors of the modern science fiction story. For the first time, these and other key works are gathered together in one anthology, complete with revealing commentary on the authors, their eras, and the role each played in establishing what we today recognize as science fiction.

The Road to Science Fiction is a six-volume anthology of science fiction that covers the development of science fiction from its earliest prototypes in the Sumerian Gilgamesh and the Greek epics to approximately 1990. Created originally to provide anthologies for use in classes, these volumes have become mass-market sellers as well, since they are not only a source of outstanding stories but also explain what constitutes science fiction, how it developed and the contribution the authors and the stories have made to the evolution of science fiction.

Cloth edition previously published in 1979.

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make a failure; in short, I refused to become a merchant. But it was necessary for me to select some pursuit. My parents were staid New England people, who insisted on the necessity of labor; and therefore, although, thanks to the bequest of my poor Aunt Agatha, I should, on coming of age, inherit a small fortune sufficient to place me above want, it was decided that, instead of waiting for this, I should act the nobler part, and employ the intervening years in rendering myself independent.

direct into the return-mains. The turbines whistle reflectively. From the low-arched expansion-tanks on either side of the valves descend pillar-wise to the turbine-chests, and thence the obedient gas whirls through the spirals of blades with a force that would whip the teeth out of a powersaw. Behind, its own pressure held in leash or spurred on by the lift-shunts; before it, is the vacuum where Fleury’s Ray dances in violet-green bands and whirled turbillons of flame. The jointed U-tubes of

Nevertheless I found the Sun to be in the Meridian, and that it was Noon. I leave it to you to judge, in what Amazement I was; The truth is, I was so strangely surprised, that not knowing what to think of that Miracle, I had the insolence to imagine that in favour of my Boldness God had once more nailed the Sun to the Firmament, to light so generous an Enterprise. That which encreased my Astonishment was, That I knew not the Country where I was; it seemed to me, that having mounted straight up, I

with greater clearness. This advantage hath enabled them to extend their discoveries much further than our astronomers in Europe; for they have made a catalogue of ten thousand fixed stars, whereas the largest of ours do not contain above one third part of that number. They have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve about Mars, whereof the innermost is distant from the centre of the primary planet exactly three of the diameters, and the outermost five; the former

spiritual a love of science?” “God forbid,” answered the professor, somewhat testily; “at least, unless they take sounder views of the healing art than those adopted by Rappaccini. It is his theory that all medicinal virtues are comprised within those substances which we term vegetable poisons. These he cultivates with his own hands, and is said even to have produced new varieties of poison, more horribly deleterious than Nature, without the assistance of this learned person, would ever have

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