Nineteenth Century Science Fiction
Volume I: Experiments, Inventions, and Case Studies
- Available for pre-order on June 27, 2023. Item will ship after July 18, 2023
Prices & shipping based on shipping country
This volume presents a selection from the American and British fiction of the nineteenth century which was evolving into what we now know as science fiction. Taking Frankenstein as its formative work, it assembles stories and excerpts from narratives exploring the complex impact of new technologies like the telegraph and later the cinema, or new scientific practices like mesmerism (hypnotism) and microscopy. The selected authors range from those famous within the realist tradition like George Eliot and Mark Twain to scientists like the physician Silas Weir Mitchell and the inventor Thomas Edison. They repeatedly destabilize their narratives so that some come to resemble scientific records and frequently leave their endings unresolved, encouraging the reader to speculate about their subjects, which include extensions to the senses, new inventions, and challenges to individual autonomy. Many focus on experiments but might combine scientific enquiry with the supernatural, producing hybrid narratives as a result which are difficult to classify.
David Seed holds a chair in the English Department of Liverpool University. He has written and edited a number of works on Science Fiction including Anticipations: Essays on Early Science Fiction and its Precursors (1995) and a critical edition of Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1871 novel The Coming Race. He is currently co-editor of Liverpool University Press’s international Science Fiction Texts and Studies series.