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

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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ChuckW
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Post by ChuckW » March 18th, 2015, 6:18 am

Set up by Tortilla , taken over by ChuckW

Below is a list of PD science fiction, proto-science fiction, and fantasy with strong science fiction elements of all types that I think is worth your time/ should get recorded. :D If you have any more suggestions or would like to pick up one, PM or reply to the thread so I can add/remove it.

Summaries come from Wikipedia and The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, unless otherwise noted.

Unrecorded Stories, Novels, and Plays (Source Text Available)

- A.D. 2000 by Alvarado M. Fuller
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/44307
A.D. 2000 (1890; vt Back to Life (A.D. 2000): A Thrilling Novel 1911), wakes its protagonist (see Sleeper Awakes) in the Utopian culture of the year 2000, significantly the same year that the protagonist of Edward Bellamy's already hugely influential Looking Backward (1888) awakens. A single party rules North America, and electrical inventions (after a great disaster with "aluminum bronze", electricity has become the chief source of power) dominate the exiguous storyline, which does come to a climax with the discovery of the North Pole.
- Adventures of Peter Wilkins by Robert Paltock
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51967
Robert Paltock's Adventures of Peter Wilkins, first published in 1750, is often regarded as proto-science fiction and is a great read! The original full title is a good plot summary:

The Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins, a Cornish Man: Relating Particularly, His Shipwreck Near the South Pole; His Wonderful Passage Thro' a Subterranean Cavern into a Kind of New World; His There Meeting with a Gawry or Flying Woman, whose life he Preserv'd, and Afterwards Married her; His Extraordinary Conveyance to the Country of Glums and Gawrys, or Men and Women That Fly. Likewise a Description of this Strange Country, with the Laws, Customs, and Manners of its Inhabitants, and the Author's Remarkable Transactions Among Them. Taken from his own Mouth, in his Passage to England, from off Cape Horn in America, in the Ship Hector. With an INTRODUCTION, Giving an Account of the Surprizing Manner of his Coming on Board that Vessel, and his Death on his Landing at Plymouth in the Year 1739. Illustrated with Several CUTS, Clearly and Distinctly Representing the Structure and Mechanism of the Wings of the Glums and Gawrys, and the Manner in Which They Use Them Either to Swim or Fly. By R S, a Passenger in the Hector (London: Jacob Robinson and Robert Dodsley, 1750) .
- Angel Island by Inez Haynes Gillmore
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4637
US author born in Brazil but raised from infancy in the US, whose sf novel, Angel Island (1914), conveys an almost surreal Feminist message with considerable competence – she had been an active feminist from before the end of the century. Five beautiful winged women, who have enjoyed total freedom, discover five men who have been shipwrecked on the eponymous Island (in the Robinsonade tradition); they are soon captured by the men, who clip their wings and breed with them; the tale gradually makes explicit an outrage at the caging of women, as well as an acute ambivalence about the seemingly willing submission of at least four of them to bondage.
- At the Queen's Mercy by Mabel Fuller Blodgett
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100484604
At the Queen's Mercy (1897) is a tale set in Africa and visibly reflecting the influence of H Rider Haggard in its depiction of a mysterious walled city – Phoenician in origin – ruled by a white queen named La who reigns over black subjects.
- Back to Methuselah by George Bernard Shaw [a five part series of plays]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back_to_Methuselah
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13084
Shaw's first genuine sf play, an important example of the Scientific Romance, is Back to Methuselah: A Metabiological Pentateuch (1921; rev 1921 UK; performed 1922: further rev several times; much rev 1945), a five-part depiction of mankind's Evolution – it was his culminating presentation of Creative Evolution – from the time of Genesis (see Adam and Eve) into the Far Future, during the course of which people have become long-lived (see Immortality) and, by the year 31,920 CE, are on the verge of suffering corporeal Transcendence into disembodied thought-entities; incidental sf devices include cellphone equivalents, a kind of Force Field and the revelation that by 3000 CE nothing whatever remains of London.
- Beyond the Vanishing Point by Ray Cummings
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22527/22527-h/22527-h.htm

- The Brick Moon by Edward Everett Hale
http://gutenberg.org/ebooks/1633
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Brick_Moon
A short work of speculative fiction containing the first known depiction of an artificial satellite. - 1869
- Cæsar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century by Ignatius Donnelly
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5155
Summary and historical significance: http://www.sacred-texts.com/utopia/cc/index.htm
His most important sf novel was Caesar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century (1890; early editions under the pseudonym Edmund Boisgilbert), which countered the Utopian optimism of Edward Bellamy with the argument that the world of 1988 was evolving towards greater inequality and catastrophic War rather than towards peace and plenty, all being dramatized through a proletarian revolt which burns New York to the ground, except for a "Caesar's Column" of corpses in Union Square; the protagonist escapes to Africa in a Balloon.
- The Centaurians by L.D. Biagi
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100594679
The protagonist of her sf novel The Centaurians (1911) travels with his Scientist friend in a torpedo-like ship of the latter's Invention to the North Pole and beyond, arriving in a clement Lost World where they sight what seems to be a Counter-Earth. They are taken by members of a primitive tribe to the City of the dark-complected Centaurians (see Race in SF), who display their much advanced Technology and science, and who inform the visitors that the world in the sky is in fact the tenuous aftermath of a destroyed planet. After failing to win the heart of a Princess, the narrator returns to the normal world.
- Clearing the Seas: Or, The Last of the Warships by Donal Hamilton Haines
https://archive.org/details/clearingseasorl01haingoog
His two connected sf novels for Young Adult readers, The Last Invasion (1914) and Clearing the Seas; Or, the Last of the Warships (1915), describe various aspects of a moderately futile Future War in which the United States is invaded by the "Blues" (whom E F Bleiler thinks must be Germans), who are eventually driven off, and war itself discounted for good.
- The Clockwork Man (EV Odle)
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009246452
E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man (1923). Years from now, advanced beings known as the Makers will implant clockwork devices into our heads. At the cost of a certain amount of agency, these marvelous devices will permit us to move unhindered through time and space, and to live perfectly regulated lives. However, if one of these devices should ever go awry, a “clockwork man” from the future might turn up in the 1920s, perhaps at a cricket match in a small English village. Considered the original cyborg novel, and perhaps the original singularity novel too. “Odle’s ominous, droll, and unforgettable The Clockwork Man is a missing link between Lewis Carroll and John Sladek or Philip K. Dick,” says Jonathan Lethem. “Considered with them, it suggests an alternate lineage for SF, springing as much from G.K. Chesterton’s sensibility as from H.G. Wells’s.” Fun fact: Rumors that “E.V. Odle” was a pen name for Virginia Woolf are amusing, but unfounded. Edwin Vincent Odle (1890–1942) was a writer who lived in Bloomsbury, London during the 1910s. From 1925–35, he was editor of the British short-story magazine The Argosy.
- The Conquest of the Moon: A Story of the Bayouda (by the British Empire!)
http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008611866) by Paschal Grousset 1889
From Wikipedia: One of Grousset's most interesting science fiction novels was Les Exilés de la Terre — Selene-Company Limited* (1887), probably one of the most fanciful cosmic tales of all times. In it, a consortium which intends to exploit the Moon’s mineral resources decides that, since our satellite is too far to be reached, it must be brought closer to the Earth. A Sudanese mountain composed of pure iron ore becomes the headquarters of the newly established Selene Company. Solar reflectors are used to provide the energy required to convert the mountain into a huge electro-magnet, with miles of cables wrapped around it. A spaceship-cum-observatory is then built on top of the mountain. When the experiment begins, the mountain is ripped away from the Earth and catapulted to the Moon. There, the protagonists have various adventures and eventually return to Earth by re-energizing the mountain.
More on the author: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paschal_Grousset
- The Crack of Doom by Robert Cromie
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/26563
Cromie is best known for his third sf novel, The Crack of Doom (1895), which is set in the year 2000; the protagonist runs across a politically radical villain (the secret society he controls is vitiated by Feminism and other unacceptable beliefs) who dominates his attractive sister through Telepathy and has also developed a device to unlock the Nuclear Energy contained in matter. He plans to use his formula to destroy the world through a Manichaean conviction that matter is an occlusive evil whose effect on primal reality is to torture it. There is no doubt of Cromie's intention: as he explains, the first use of atomic energy had, thousands of years earlier, destroyed the fifth planet and created the Asteroids; though hazily described; his use here of a nuclear device to end civilization marks the first occurrence of a theme which would dominate the next century (see End of the World). In a heavily plotted denouement, the protagonist alters the formula, so that only a South Pacific Island is evaporated, and all is saved.
- Dalleszona and the Seventh Treasure by Allen Kendrick Wright
https://archive.org/details/dalleszonandseve00wrigiala
Dalleszona and the Seventh Treasure (1922) is a Lost Race tale, featuring descendants of the Toltec Nation whose example inspires world peace after World War One.
- A Demigod: A Novel by Jackson, Edward Payson, 1840-1905
https://archive.org/details/demigodnovel00jackiala
A Demigod: A Novel (1886), published anonymously, in which a Eugenics programme, begun in Greece in the seventeenth century, generates in the late nineteenth century a Superman who boasts extraordinary strength and agility, plus a massive intellect, out of which pours Inventions galore, including a process by which artificial diamonds are created, and a superior hand-gun.
- The Diothas; or, A Far Look Ahead by John Macnie
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diothas
https://archive.org/details/afarlookaheador00macngoog

- The Discovery of a World in the Moon by John Wilkins
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19103

- Doctor by Murray Leinster
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51782

- Dormant by E. Nesbit
- https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011985865
Dormant (1911; vt Rose Royal 1912) is a fantasy-tinged sf novel involving Suspended Animation; the form of Immortality bestowed by the protagonist, who has been awakened after half a century, proves a mixed blessing.
- Drowsy (John Ames Mitchell)
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/007667274
J.A. Mitchell’s Drowsy (1917). Cyrus Alton, a telepath nicknamed Drowsy because of his drooping eyelids, grows up to attend MIT and become a brilliant scientist. (Call it: psi-fi.) He invents a spaceship equipped with an antigravity mechanism, and flies to the moon, returning with a fantastic diamond… and then, impelled by a psychic bond with a childhood sweetheart, rescues her before she joins a convent. Of greater interest than these rather silly adventures, though, is Mitchell’s account of Drowsy’s childhood. Is he the first of a new species: homo superior? Like the title character of J.D. Beresford’s Hampdenshire Wonder, young Drowsy’s evolved worldview offends his narrow-minded elders. Especially when, for example, he cuts his favorite illustrations out of a Bible; or insists on the morality of untruths; or demands to know why “teacher doesn’t tell us things worth knowing.” Like Daniel Clowes’s Enid Coleslaw, that is to say, Drowsy is a cranky middle-aged freethinker in a child’s body. Fun fact: The author, a Harvard dropout and idler, founded the original LIFE Magazine, later purchased by Henry Luce, in 1883.
- Equality by Edward Bellamy
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7303
Equality continues the arguments of Looking Backward, though almost totally without narrative content, and it is not now read as fiction.
- Eve and the Evangelist by Harry E. Rice
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009950732
Eve and the Evangelist: A Romance of A D 2108 (1908), a Utopia set in distant Near Future America, according to strict financial criteria (see Economics) that limit personal wealth to $50,000; great advances in Transportation are described at some length, as well as intercontinental travel by either by Rocket using a new Power Source or Underground, and Communication with Mars has been achieved. Much is learned from the gigantic, intellectual Martians. During the protagonist's travels across the world, Atlantis rises from the depths, and divulges its secrets, including Telepathy, and perhaps Immortality to boot.
- Farmer by Mack Reynolds
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51799
"Farmer" (June 1961 Galaxy) is the first of three notable stories which Reynolds set in North Africa, each similarly dealing with the problem of fostering economic and technological development in the teeth of cultural inertia.
- Fifteen Hundred Miles An Hour by Charles Dixon, published in 1895. (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/49713)
The identity of the author seems unclear. Both the British Library and University of Oxford seem to think it is Charles Dixon (1858 - 1926) the British ornithologist. This seems a bit unlikely, as his whole life seems to be about birds, but who knows? This novel purports to be from the manuscripts of a Dr. Hermann, a member of the Royal, the Astronomical, and the Geographical Societies, who disappeared mysteriously and was never seen again.
- The Gay Rebellion by Robert W. Chambers
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/28244
The Gay Rebellion (stories May-September 1911 Hampton's Magazine; coll of linked stories 1913) consists of comical Satires in which women revolt in order to create a new society based on Eugenics, but reform and marry properly.
- Gosling (J.D. Beresford)
https://archive.org/details/goslings00bere/page/n10
When a plague kills off most of England’s male population, the proper bourgeois Mr. Gosling (one of the few survivors) abandons his family for a life of lechery. His daughters — who have never been permitted to learn self-reliance — in turn escape London for the countryside, where after some adventures they find meaningful roles in a female-dominated agricultural commune. The women of the commune shed their vanity and socially imposed role restrictions; along with one male, the intellectual Thrale, they must learn to come together as a community for survival. But the Goslings’ idyll is threatened by their elders’ prejudices about free love!
- The Hampdenshire Wonder (J.D. Beresford)
https://archive.org/details/hampdenshirewond00bereuoft/page/n8
Victor Stott is a giant-headed “supernormal” child mutated — in the womb — by his parents’ desire to have a son born without habits. After surveying science, philosophy, history, literature, religion, the best that has been thought and said, the Wonder is dismissive: “So elementary… inchoate… a disjunctive… patchwork.” Young Victor’s adult interlocutors are shattered by his statements about the nature of the universe and human progress; his philosophy begins with rejecting “the interposing and utterly false concepts of space and time,” and ends with the notion that life and all matter are merely “a disease of the ether.” Alas, his interlocutors are unable to live without illusions; they reject the Wonder’s disenchanting insights. Worse, the superboy also makes an enemy of the local clergyman, who (the reader is left to suspect) murders him. The narrator’s eulogy: “He was entirely alone among aliens who were unable to comprehend him, aliens who could not flatter him, whose opinions were valueless to him.”
- His Wisdom, the Defender by Simon Newcomb
https://archive.org/details/hiswisdomdefende00newcrich
In his Edisonade, His Wisdom, the Defender: A Story (1900), future historians tell how a professor discovers a limitless Power Source in 1941, is responsible for the Invention of an Antigravity device, and after creating a private army – equipping it with futuristic armour – takes over the world from the air, establishes a Pax Aeronautica and prohibits war.
- Idealia, a Utopian Dream; or, Resthaven by Mrs. Harriet Alfarata Thompson
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/002985058
Idealia: A Utopia Dream; Or, Resthaven (1922 chap), whose protagonist visits a Utopian community for the elderly and the indigent whose features are so exceptionally humane that this domestic Pastoral could readily be understood as occupying an Alternate World.
- The Last Invasion by Donal Hamilton Haines , Harper & Brothers
https://archive.org/details/lastinvasion00brotgoog
His two connected sf novels for Young Adult readers, The Last Invasion (1914) and Clearing the Seas; Or, the Last of the Warships (1915), describe various aspects of a moderately futile Future War in which the United States is invaded by the "Blues" (whom E F Bleiler thinks must be Germans), who are eventually driven off, and war itself discounted for good.
- LA LÉGENDE DES SIÈCLES, Or The Legend of the Ages by Victor Hugo
- The Lunarian Professor and his Remarkable Revelations Concerning the Earth, the Moon and Mars by James Bradun Alexander
https://archive.org/details/lunarianprofess01alexgoog
US author whose sf phantasmagoria, The Lunarian Professor and his Remarkable Revelations Concerning the Earth, the Moon and Mars; Together with an Account of the Cruise of the Sally Ann (1909), might have been excluded from this encyclopedia on the grounds that the insectoid Lunarian pedagogue and all that he surveys turn out to be a dream – were it not that Alexander's imagination, though patently influenced by H G Wells, is too vivid to be ignored. The narrator is told at length, by a visiting six-winged Lunarian, who uses an Antigravity device for travel, about the altruistic three-sexed life on Luna, the future History of Earth (derived from mathematical models, which the professor passes on to the narrator), the Terraforming of Mars (the canals having been constructed to distribute water planet-wide, opening it up for further development), and more.
- The Machine That Floats by Joe Gibson
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/49693

- The Man Who Rocked the Earth by Arthur Cheney Train and Robert Williams Wood
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19174
Science fiction written by a physicist.

- The Man With The Broken Ear by Edmond About
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20724
He is best-known for L'Homme à l'Oreille Cassée (1862 2vols; trans anon as The Man with the Broken Ear 1864; new trans Henry Holt 1867; new trans J E Maitland, vt Colonel Fougas' Mistake 1878 2vols); under a further vt, "A New Lease of Life", the tale was included in A New Lease of Life; and, Saving a Daughter's Dowry (coll trans 1880). The novel – which features a Napoleonic colonel in Suspended Animation from 1813 until his resuscitation in 1859 – is a mild Satire on French life and politics, though its main focus is upon the highly energetic Colonel Fougas and his confusion of a young contemporary woman with his beloved of 1813.
- The Manatitlans by R. Elton Smile
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/54733
In The Manatitlans; Or, a Record of Recent Scientific Explorations in the Andea Lat Plata, S A (1877), a white expedition travels up the Paraguay River where it discovers a Lost Race descended from the Romans; they in turn introduce the expedition to a race of tiny humanoids (see Great and Small), the Manatitlans, now located here though at times intermittently resident in Europe; their educational system is of interest.
- Meccania: The Super-State (Owen Gregory)
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/007687991
Owen Gregory’s Meccania: The Super-State (1918). In the year 1970, Ming, a young Chinese traveler, visits the Central European state of Meccania. (This dystopian, proto-totalitarian state is obviously based on Germany; its neighbors are “Franconia” [France], “Luniland” [Britain], and “Lugrabia” [Russia].) Constantly monitored by official guides, Ming gets into more trouble when his personal diary — in which he notes that Meccania’s militaristic government dominates social life, that the country is a place of “perpetual propaganda” where dissenters are sent to mental hospitals and concentration camps, and that everyday life there is “an odd mixture of arrogance, xenophobia, over-punctiliousness, over-organization, chauvinism, and rigidity” does not match the records of his guides with perfect exactness. The state maintains a eugenic breeding program; all telephone conversations are monitored; and workers’ actions are monitored and regulated in precise detail.
- Memoirs of the Twentieth Century
http://books.google.com/books/about/Memoirs_of_the_twentieth_century_by_S_Ma.html?id=T6QOAAAAQAAJ
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memoirs_of_the_Twentieth_Century
An early work of speculative fiction written by Irish writer Samuel Madden. Written in 1733, it takes the form of a series of diplomatic letters written in 1997 and 1998 - 1733
- Memories of the Future, Being Memoirs of the Years 1915-1972, Written in the Year of Grace 1988 (Lady Porstock Opal)
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000592136

- The Monster by S. M. Tenneshaw
More SF by a scientist.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24913

- The Onslaught from Rigel by Fletcher Pratt
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/41049

- The People of the Ruins by Edward Shanks
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008667895
Edward Shanks’s The People of the Ruins (1920). A proto-Idiocracy satire on H.G. Wells’s utopian novels. Trapped in a London laboratory during a worker uprising in 1924, ex-artillery officer and physics instructor Jeremy Tuft awakens 150 years later — on the eve of a new Dark Age! England has become a neo-medieval society whose inhabitants have forgotten how to build or operate machinery. Though he is at first disconcerted by the failure of his own era’s smug doctrine of Progress (“He had held the comfortable belief that mankind was advancing in conveniences and the amenities of life by regular and inevitable degrees”), Tuft eventually decides that post-civilized life is simpler, more peaceful (“We used to feel that we were living on the edge of a precipice — every man by himself, and all men together, lived in anxiety”). That is, until northern English and Welsh tribes threaten London — at which point Tuft sets about reinventing weapons of mass destruction.
- Phrenology, A Detector of Murder: A Tale of the Fortieth Century by Anti-Humbug
https://tinyurl.com/yc85t6j8
https://io9.gizmodo.com/5780422/the-birth-of-steampunk-in-the-19th-century

- A Prophetic Romance: From Mars to Earth by John F. McCoy
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/010824286

- The Queen of Appalachia by Joe H. Borders
https://archive.org/details/queenofappalachi00bord
A Lost Race novel set unusually in the eastern USA, where a civilization made up of descendants of early American pioneers has established an arcadian, monarchical Utopia supported by advanced Technology.
- The Radio Planet by Ralph Milne Farley
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/52326
The sequence, at first absurdly boosted by The Argosy as scientifically accurate, is devoted to the adventures of Cabot, mostly on Venus, the Radio Planet. After being accidentally shifted to that planet via Matter Transmitter, Cabot quickly frees its humanoid inhabitants from domination by an ant-like race; after marrying a human princess, he continues his activities ad libitum, though sometimes his son takes over. The Radio Man is currently in progress.
- A Republic Without a President and Other Stories by Herbert D. Ward
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33662

- Revolution: A Story of the Near Future in England (J.D. Beresford)
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006547888

- Rondah, or, Thirty-Three Years in a Star by Florence Carpenter Dieudonné
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100594761
In her Rondah, or Thirty-Three Years in a Star (1887) the tale's several protagonists travel through the solar system in a mountain which, propelled by explosions, serves as a Spaceship that takes them to a large inhabited Asteroid, where the central figure of the tale becomes king of the native bird-people, who are in fact of vegetable origin, and who are replaced by ferocious elves when the worldlet cools down. Much happens.
- The Scarlet Empire by David MacLean Parry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scarlet_Empire
https://archive.org/details/scarletempire00parrgoog
A young socialist American thinks to commit suicide by jumping into the sea, but awakens in a nightmarish Atlantis, a Lost World Keep protected from the ocean above by a great dome, where – despite a healthy plethora of convenient Inventions – the obsession with regimented equality leads to grotesqueries prophetic of those later dreamt of by Yevgeny Zamiatin in My (ms trans Gregory Zilboorg as We 1924). The use of "letheweed" to Drug the citizens nightly also prefigures Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932).
- The Secret Martians by Jack Sharkey
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/50668

- The Sentimentalists by Murray Leinster
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51102

- Sentry Of The Sky by Evelyn E. Smith
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51867

- The Silver Menace by Murray Leinster
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/50622

- The Smoky God, or, A Voyage to the Inner World by Willis George Emerson
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/010942976
Set in 1829 in a Hollow-Earth Eden on the John Cleves Symmes model, where a scientifically advanced race of long-lived giants is discovered worshipping its "smoky god", which is the interior sun. Eventually the protagonist, who has arrived via the Arctic Symmes Hole, leaves via the Antarctic, and is thought mad for many years.
- The Social War of 1900 by Simon Landis (PLAY)
https://archive.org/details/socialwarof190000land
Play adaptation of one of the most notoriously awful science fiction novels ever written (which we've already recorded).
- Space Station 1 by Frank Belknap Long
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/50290

- The Struggle for Empire by Robert William Cole
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100218279?
His first and best novel, The Struggle for Empire: A Story of the Year 2236 (1900), takes the Future War story to its logical, grim conclusion. The Anglo-Saxon Federation – ostensibly a Utopia with London as its "superb capital" but in truth a class-ridden Dystopia where the rich in their insatiate greed have plundered the planet (see Ecology) – expands ominously into other solar systems in search of raw material to exploit. At this point interstellar warfare breaks out between Earth and a superior race from the Sirius system. The descriptions of space battles, and of an Earth surrounded by a barrage of space torpedoes and mines while scientists struggle to perfect the ultimate Weapon, make it – as Everett F Bleiler argues in Science-Fiction: The Early Years (1990) – the precursor to and equal of many of the Space-Opera stories of the 1930s.
- Sub-Coelum: A Sky-Built Human World by Addison Peale Russell
https://archive.org/details/subcoelumskybuil00russiala
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-Coelum
Sub-Coelum: A Sky-Built Human World (1893) is a Utopia written, like so many others from this decade, to counter the influence of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888). The setting is an unspecified Near Future, in a land with no name, whose inhabitants – who constantly observe and report upon one another – are forcibly conditioned into behaviour patterns the author designates as "pure" (see B F Skinner): Sex is strictly controlled through a rigorous purging of women's freedom of action (see Feminism; Women in SF), with the result that eventually both sexes, now equally chastened, are treated equally; miscegenation and role-reversals such as men freely becoming house-husbands (see Race in SF) are approved of, but within strict principles derived from Eugenics; a tribe of intelligent monkeys (see Apes as Human) is provided with hospital care; because of the translucence of the atmosphere, folk see more clearly here than elsewhere; and honour the earth with plantings.
- Theodore Savage: A Story of the Past or the Future (Cicely Hamilton)
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/010943531
Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage (1922). When war breaks out in Europe, British civilization collapses overnight. The ironically named protagonist must learn to survive by his wits in a new Britain. When we first meet Savage, he is a complacent civil servant, primarily concerned with romancing his girlfriend. During the brief war, in which both sides use population displacement as a terrible strategic weapon, Savage must battle his fellow countrymen. He shacks up with an ignorant young woman in a forest hut — a kind of inverse Garden of Eden, where no one is happy. Eventually, he sets off in search of other survivors… only to discover a primitive society where science and technology have come to be regarded with superstitious awe and terror. Fun fact: Cicely Hamilton was an Anglo-Irish novelist, dramatist, and campaigner for women’s rights who served during WWI with an ambulance unit and at a military hospital in France. Her 1909 treatise Marriage as a Trade is a witty criticism of that institution.
- Thoth: A Romance by J. Shield Nicholson
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Shield_Nicholson
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/56975
A Lost-World novel set around 400 BCE, where a City in the North African desert, settled 2,000 years earlier, has benefited from the scientific advances of its ruler, Thoth the First, who remains in Suspended Animation.
- Through the Eye of The Needle, by William Dean Howells (sequel to A Traveler from Altruria)
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/8295/8295-h/8295-h.htm

- A Traveler from Altruria by William Dean Howells
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8449
Altruria, a utopian world that combined the foundations of Christianity and the U.S. Constitution to produce an “ethical socialism” by which society was guided - followed by its sequel, Through the Eye of the Needle [see above] - 1894
- A Trip to Plutonia by Emanuel Haldeman Julius
https://archive.org/details/triptoplutopia00hald

- The Troublemakers by George O. Smith
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51868

- True History by Lucian
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/45858/45858-h/45858-h.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_History
The earliest known fiction about travelling to outer space, alien life-forms and interplanetary warfare. Written in the 2nd century, the novel has been referred to as "the first known text that could be called science fiction". The work was intended by Lucian as a satire against contemporary and ancient sources, which quote fantastic and mythical events as truth. - 2nd century
- Ultra: A Story of Pre-Natal Influence by Laura Shellabarger Hunt
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006534098

- Unveiling a Parallel: A Romance by Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unveiling_a_Parallel
https://archive.org/details/unveilingparalle00jone

- Utopia Achieved by Herman Hine Brinsmade
https://archive.org/details/utopiaachievedno00brin
Utopia Achieved: A Novel of the Future (1912), depicts a vastly enlarged Near Future New York full of mechanical and cultural marvels, a self-regulating obedient workforce, and free health care. Brinsmade's romantic vew of twentieth-century Transportation – monorails, vast aerial structures that resemble Albert Robida's more exuberant fancies – is perhaps typical of his period, but is unusually inventive.
- What Not: A Prophetic Comedy (Rose Macaulay)
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/35198
Rose Macaulay’s What Not: A Prophetic Comedy (1919). At some point after the Great War [that is to say, after the First World War, which ended a few months after Macaulay wrote this book], in a Britain where people travel by underground train and “street aero,” a government ministry — the Ministry of Brains — decides to increase national brain-power, and stave off the coming idiocracy, through a program of compulsory selective breeding. The propaganda efforts in support of this endeavor are amazing, and wide-reaching… not just official posters, but newspaper editorials, business advertisements, contests, and more. However, when it’s discovered that the head of the Ministry has secretly married, even though — because there is “deficiency” in his family — he is not allowed to do so, the Ministry is burned down. The book ends on an ambiguous note: Is the victory of “human perverseness, human stupidity, human self-will” over autocratic bureaucracy a triumph? Or not?
- The White Invaders by Ray Cummings
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20551/20551-h/20551-h.htm

- Willmoth the Wanderer; or, The Man from Saturn by C.C. Dail
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/101852036
Willmoth the Wanderer, Or The Man from Saturn (1890; rev vt Willmoth the Wanderer 1891) is a genuine oddity. Though told with no great skill, its narrative, purporting to be that of Willmoth the Saturnian as told towards the end of his several-million-year lifespan, is an eventful affair. Willmoth proceeds from Saturn to Venus (via Antigravity) and, late in the book, to a prehistoric Earth, where he becomes the Secret Master ruler of the primitive inhabitants, Uplifting them through selective breeding (see Eugenics) into Homo sapiens. The next volume, The Stone Giant: A Story of the Mammoth Cave (1898), moves into a Hollow Earth venue. It is presented as a translation by Willmoth of the memoirs of the prehistoric ruler Wymorian, an 8ft (2.4m) giant and founder of Atlantis, who had been given (by ancient descendants of Willmoth) an elixir of life. Sex is approved of throughout. There is much talk about the ethics of the Immortality experiment, which on the whole is a failure – as, notoriously, was Atlantis. There are some tonal echoes of the titular model for the sequence, Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer (1820 4vols), but beyond the issue of immortality they are not significant.
- Wolfbane by C. M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/51845
The last novel Kornbluth wrote with Pohl was Wolfbane (October-November Galaxy; 1959; rev by Pohl 1986), in which the Earth is moved out of its orbit by Aliens who capture humans in order to use their bodies in a vast Computer complex; it is a precursor to some of the most ambitious work of authors like Stephen Baxter and Greg Bear.
- The World Masters by George Chetwynd Griffith - 1903
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/38028

The World Peril of 1910 by George Chetwynd Griffith - 1907
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24764

Yezad: A Romance of the Unknown by George Babcock
https://archive.org/details/yezadaromanceun00cogoog
A not entirely competent but decidedly complicated tale in which occult and sf modes intermingle. A pilot named Bacon flies too high, and is dashed to Earth by Azrael, only to find that, in something like his astral body, and accompanied by his dark Doppelganger, he has begun a Fantastic Voyage to nearby Stars, where Reincarnation is routine. A Martian mentor demonstrates to Bacon the Utopia that Mars has become. He also describes an earlier drama, in which a group of Martians, fearing that their planet was becoming unlivable, migrate (with digressions) to Earth, losing their records en route, and their culture once landed. Their role as Forerunners to (specifically white) Homo sapiens can now be now revealed. But being a forerunner does not entail Evolution, which Babcock specifically contemned. In a side story, two enfants sauvages disprove Darwin's theory through their instinctive love of God.
- Young Readers Science Fiction Stories by Richard M. Elam
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/53456

- Zalma by T. Mullett Ellis
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/10227802
Mullet's sf novel proper, Zalma (1895), exorbitantly traces the protracted Near-Future attempts of the eponymous wrong-side-of-the-bed Russian-Spanish princess to revenge herself on the heir to the throne of England, who has for unclear reasons swiftly annulled their morganatic marriage. Anthrax-bearing Balloons (see also Biology) and evil scientists are brought into play; the tale closes on a possible Europe-wide socialist upheaval.
_________

Short Fiction

- Gone Fishing by James H. Schmitz
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30140

- Ham Sandwich by James H. Schmitz
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30764

- Novice by James H. Schmitz
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30458

- Oneness by James H. Schmitz
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30728

- The Star Hyacinths by James H. Schmitz
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/26292

- Watch the Sky by James H. Schmitz
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24558

- The Winds of Time by James H. Schmitz
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24395

_________

Missing Source Text -- feel free to track down a copy at your local library!
- [PLAY] The Blue Flame by George V. Hobart and John Willard (The main character is a religious young woman who dies and is revived as a soulless femme fatale) - 1920
Cannot find a public domain text.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Flame_(play)

- Theologus Autodidactus by Ibn al-Nafis (This work is one of the first Arabic novels, may be considered an early example of a science fiction novel, and an early example of a coming of age tale and a desert island story.)
Cannot find a public domain text.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theologus_Autodidactus

- New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future by Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Amazonia

- 2894, or The Fossil Man (A Midwinter Night's Dream) by Walter Browne
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2894_(novel)

- The Milltillionaire, or Age of Bardization by M. Auberré Hovorré
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Milltillionaire
_________

This list: http://thethunderchild.com/Books/OutofCopyright.html is a great list of PD sci-fi on US Gutenberg.
Last edited by ChuckW on August 8th, 2019, 7:29 pm, edited 72 times in total.
Current Projects:
SOLO: The Intermediate Sex (Edward Carpenter)
GROUP: Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (Alexander Berkman)

Availle
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Post by Availle » March 27th, 2015, 7:47 am

I have taken a look at Urashima Taro and I'm not sure it should be classified as sci-fi. Sounds to me more like a version of Rip van Winkle... :wink:

It is nice to read though, the whole book is, if somebody wants to set it up! :thumbs:
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Post by Tortilla » March 27th, 2015, 10:19 am

Availle wrote:I have taken a look at Urashima Taro and I'm not sure it should be classified as sci-fi. Sounds to me more like a version of Rip van Winkle... :wink:

It is nice to read though, the whole book is, if somebody wants to set it up! :thumbs:
It's a "proto-scifi," mostly because literature scholars consider it one of the earliest stories with sci-fi-like elements (think on The Story of Princess Kaguya, which is considered in the same elements, where some scholars think the moon kingdom refers to aliens instead of a religious or folk tale connotation. :)
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Post by annise » March 27th, 2015, 2:11 pm

I thought that it wasn't at first but then I thought - city under the sea , time slowed down.
Non human species. I suppose there is not attempt to explain it "scientifically" but the line between SciFi and Fantasy is often smudged in modern works. I've seen the "Pern" series described as Fantasy but to me it has a strong scientific basis - more than we can do now but a possible/probable extension of current knowledge.

Anne

added I knew I had read it before. We had this book highly battered and much read by my older siblings and me in my youth https://librivox.org/japanese-fairy-tales-by-yei-theodora-ozaki/ so we do have a version here :D

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Post by sjmarky » March 30th, 2015, 2:40 pm

Once I complete Columbus of Space, I plan to do The Angel of the Revolution: A Tale of the Coming Terror, also as a solo. It's long-ish, but so far it's been a good read.
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Post by Tortilla » March 30th, 2015, 8:30 pm

Alright, thank you guys! :)
Hello everyone,
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fredreads
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Post by fredreads » May 6th, 2015, 2:14 am

I may be interested in these . . .

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Post by Tortilla » May 6th, 2015, 5:18 am

fredreads wrote:I may be interested in these . . .
Claim as many as you want. :) I personally would love The Steam Man of the Prairies to be read. :)
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Post by sjmarky » May 6th, 2015, 9:08 am

Tortilla wrote:
fredreads wrote:I may be interested in these . . .
Claim as many as you want. :) I personally would love The Steam Man of the Prairies to be read. :)
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Post by edhumpal » June 14th, 2015, 6:02 pm

This just popped up on Gutenberg:
Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman's Destiny http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/49207
and wikipedia calls it New Zealand's first science fiction novel:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anno_Domini_2000,_or,_Woman's_Destiny

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Post by Elizabby » June 14th, 2015, 7:59 pm

Wow! NZ and women? I think I better do this one! I'll take it as a solo, I think. Unless anyone is keen to join me - I can set it up as a group.

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Post by Tortilla » June 14th, 2015, 10:40 pm

edhumpal wrote:This just popped up on Gutenberg:
Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman's Destiny http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/49207
and wikipedia calls it New Zealand's first science fiction novel:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anno_Domini_2000,_or,_Woman's_Destiny

Awesome! I'd love to see you do it! :)
Hello everyone,
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Post by Boomcoach » July 13th, 2015, 7:27 pm

The Man Who Rocked the Earth by Arthur Cheney Train and Robert Williams Wood
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19174

Science fiction written by a physicist.

His Wisdom, the Defender by Simon Newcomb
https://archive.org/details/hiswisdomdefende00newcrich

More SF by a scientist.

I had bookmarked these a while ago thinking I might record them, but as my "to read" list is already much longer than by "have already recorded" list, it seems silly to not put these out there so I enjoy listening to them.
Boomcoach (my Catalog Page)

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Post by Tortilla » July 15th, 2015, 5:51 pm

Thank you! :) I updated the list.
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Post by RuthieG » July 17th, 2015, 12:23 am

New on Project Gutenberg:

Lord Tedric by E. E. Smith
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/49462

Ruth
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