Saturday, April 5, 2008

Earliest science fiction

Science fiction is a huge and popular genre and can well serve the populace with sound science but for the most part this genre lives up to part of it name--"fiction". But where did science fiction begin. Most people would say it started with writers like H. G. Wells and Jules Verne--WRONG. It can be traced back to Voltaire's Micromegas [1752]. But wait...maybe back to Johannes Kepler's Somnium [1634]. Nope, let's go even further back to Lucian of Samosata's A True Story [1499]. [NOTE: the 1499 date is for the first printed edition whereas Lucian lived roughly between 125 to 180 AD.]

There are no online copies of Johannes Kepler’s its off to the library or But, here are Voltaire's Micromegas and Lucian's A True Story.

Voltaire's Micromegas

One could also include Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein, Edward Bulwer Lytton's The Coming Race, W. H. Hudson's A Crystal Age, Richard Jefferies's After London, and Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

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