List of Early Science Fiction (not yet in the catalog!)

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » January 20th, 2017, 11:59 am

I don't think anyone has mentioned The Social War of 1900 yet, possibly because it's often referred to as THE WORST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL EVER WRITTEN. Seriously. Even the Wikipedia page describes it as "[c]ommercially unsuccessful... noted for its lack of literary merit and the repugnance of the ideas it advances." So much for that so-called lack of editorial bias!

I won't lie... a perverse part of me wants to take this one on as a solo. :-P It sounds absolutely vile and riotous and I kinda want to record every last chapter from it.

The best part? This book comes in two flavors... novel and play form! I'm not kidding!

https://archive.org/details/socialwaryearor00landgoog

https://archive.org/details/socialwarof190000land

I'm probably the only person really, really excited about this horrible book.

EDIT: By the way, I might do this as a group project sometime in the future... unless someone else is interested in this?
Last edited by ChuckW on January 29th, 2017, 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sjmarky
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Post by sjmarky » January 20th, 2017, 1:03 pm

I like that the play was "Printed but not published by the author at his medical institute". I have to admit, it's intriguing.
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » January 20th, 2017, 3:14 pm

sjmarky wrote:I like that the play was "Printed but not published by the author at his medical institute". I have to admit, it's intriguing.
I know, right? This article sheds some light on the author and this book... and the whole thing just seems too ridiculous to pass up!

http://io9.gizmodo.com/5890703/the-worst-science-fiction-novel-of-the-19th-century
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Post by sjmarky » January 20th, 2017, 3:50 pm

I know, right? This article sheds some light on the author and this book... and the whole thing just seems too ridiculous to pass up!
yikes
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » January 29th, 2017, 8:40 pm

Another recommendation, this time for something legitimately great...

Phrenology, A Detector of Murder: A Tale of the Fortieth Century

This one is a doozy: a murder mystery wrapped up inside a satirical work of photo-steampunk held together by puns, barbs, and footnotes... all originally published in 1840!

The plot summary alone should have you intrigued (from io9):

"The anonymously-written Anti-Humbug: Phrenology as Detector of Murder is a murder mystery set in the 40th century. The most powerful political figure of the 40th century is the Landgrave of von Epperstein, who is possessed of advanced technology. He has a giant condor whose intelligence has been boosted to human levels through galvanic plates in its brain. The condor can be summoned through a galvanic telegraph or through an infinitely-extensible acoustic tube. The Landgrave also has an enormous dirigible, which he uses to take flights to Mars and Venus. Other steam technology includes a steam razor, steam-powered locomotives which travel along railways connecting the earth, the moon, and Jupiter, and steam-powered robot gardeners and valets. But the marriage between the Landgrave and the Landgravine, Honoratissimatatremenda, is not a happy one. The Landgravine falls in love with Starzen, the handsome son of the ruler of Chimborazo province in Ecuador. The Landgravine uses hypnosis to put her husband to sleep, then murders him by driving a nail through his head. But Starzen uses phrenology to examine the Landgrave's skull, discovers the nail, leading to the Landgravine's arrest and conviction. (Her sentence: wearing men's clothing)."

I was actually thinking about recording this myself, but just trying to wrap my mouth around some of the prose in this one was far too challenging for me. I submit this to all interested parties... it's a total blast.
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » February 1st, 2017, 4:52 pm

I hope you guys don't mind me constantly resurrecting this old thread. I just picked up a copy of Science Fiction: The Early Years from the local library, and the whole thing is chock full of fascinating SFF novels we've yet to record.Ie've found some really interesting projects that could be added to this ever-expanding list:

Gloriana, or The Revolution of 1900 (Lady Florence Dixie) - Feminist utopian fiction that features cross-dressing, kidnapping, and a matriarchal political revolution. Looks really, really fun.

Yezad: A Romance of the Unknown (George Babcock) - Somewhat bizarre mixture of interplanetary fiction and occult teachings. A pretty wild one.

Hallie Marshall: A True Daughter of the South - Alternate history story about a man who travels to an alt-United States where the Confederacy won the Civil War. Somewhat utopian in tone. Reportedly not quite as racist as that summary makes it sound (although still pretty racist).

The Struggle for Empire (Robert William Cole) - Early space opera, described in the book as a sort of 19th-century E.E. Smith.

The Queen of Appalachia (Joe H. Borders) - Bizarre story about a magical secret monarchy somewhere in the heart of Kentucky. Seems like a pretty nutty book.

I'll post more as I stumble upon them...
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Post by Carolin » February 3rd, 2017, 4:00 am

i dont know what this is but the frontispiece has spaceships
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/54096
Olga Romanoff by George Chetwynd Griffith
Carolin

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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » February 3rd, 2017, 7:28 am

Carolin wrote:i dont know what this is but the frontispiece has spaceships
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/54096
Olga Romanoff by George Chetwynd Griffith
This is actually a sequel to a book we already have in the catalogue.

https://librivox.org/the-angel-of-the-revolution-by-george-griffith/

So yeah... someone should DEFINITELY record it!

(I'll volunteer to DPL for any of these books, FYI... especially this one or Gloriana!).
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » February 11th, 2017, 6:23 am

Okay, no more fooling around. This isn't some obscure, barely known gem. This is one of the big masterpieces of Victorian science fiction.

THOTH

Here's the summary:
"One of the major science-fiction novels of the nineteenth-century" - Everett F. Bleiler

Daphne is rescued by a mysterious man from a plague in ancient Athens, and transported to a city somewhere in Africa which he rules. The city is full of technological wonders far beyond those of Daphne's Greece, and she is invited by him to become his queen. However, Daphne soon discovers that dark secrets lie behind the marvels she has seen; and her powerful stranger is secretly plotting the destruction of all mankind!

Joseph Shield Nicholson (1850-1927) was a highly regarded British economist, political theorist and academic. The author of many books and articles on economic theory, he published 'Thoth' anonymously.
The best part is that the book is only 228 pages... perfect for a shortish solo project.
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Post by Elizabby » February 11th, 2017, 2:53 pm

Good find! I reckon this one would lend itself to a female voice too - which I feel a lot of SF does not. This one is definitely going on my list - I speak Greek too, and I see there are lots of Greek names in this one!
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » February 11th, 2017, 4:43 pm

Elizabby wrote:Good find! I reckon this one would lend itself to a female voice too - which I feel a lot of SF does not. This one is definitely going on my list - I speak Greek too, and I see there are lots of Greek names in this one!
Ooooo, that would be fabulous! Let me know if or when you decide to do this. I'd love to be your DPL. :-)

(And now I feel like I should try to compile a list of female-oriented SFF in the public domain. I suspect it would be a short list.)
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Post by annise » February 11th, 2017, 5:50 pm

Please don't . We have never restricted our readers on a sex basis - except in a few Dramatic things and publishing a list implies that we are. All we need for our readers is that they can read and talk understandably.

So please - no sexual, racial, gender, accent, hair colour, age ...... and any other restrictions to be stated or implied.
If you want to read Tinkebell sometime go ahead :D :D

Anne
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Post by ChuckW » February 11th, 2017, 5:55 pm

annise wrote:Please don't . We have never restricted our readers on a sex basis - except in a few Dramatic things and publishing a list implies that we are. All we need for our readers is that they can read and talk understandably.

So please - no sexual, racial, gender, accent, hair colour, age ...... and any other restrictions to be stated or implied.
If you want to read Tinkebell sometime go ahead :D :D

Anne
Um... I think you might have misunderstood me. I meant SFF stories with strong female protagonists, not books to be narrated only by certain types of volunteers.
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Post by annise » February 11th, 2017, 6:20 pm

that's good
I don't think you'll find many from that era - girls weren't meant to be interested in Science and space and those things and boys were just as type cast. You only have to look at the covers to see that the girls who did appear in SciFi couldn't even find enough clothes to wear :D

Anne
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Post by Availle » February 11th, 2017, 6:49 pm

annise wrote: You only have to look at the covers to see that the girls who did appear in SciFi couldn't even find enough clothes to wear :D
:lol: :lol:

So true! :thumbs:
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