Nineteenth-Century sf

Authored by: Arthur B. Evans

The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction

Print publication date:  January  2009
Online publication date:  March  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415453783
eBook ISBN: 9780203871317
Adobe ISBN: 9781135228361

10.4324/9780203871317.ch2

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Abstract

The sf genre obtained its name and social identity during the early decades of the twentieth century in the American pulp magazines. But a recognizable literary tradition was, according to many critics, conceived during the industrial revolution and born during the latter half of the nineteenth century in Jules Verne’s voyages extraordinaires and H.G. Wells’s fin-de-siècle “scientific romances.” These two sf variants pioneered by Verne and Wells (hard/didactic versus speculative/fantastic) became the two major modes that have dominated the genre ever since.

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