Some feel SF's roots are to be found in the novels of Verne and H. G. Wells. Others suggest we look back a bit further, to Mary Shelley and Frankenstein. Moving in a different direction, yet others declare SF as a genre began more recently, in the era of the pulp magazines, characterizing earlier works with elements of SF as pre-genre novels written for a mainstream audience.
|Verne: From the Earth to the Moon|
In a talk at last week's Cambridge Festival of Ideas, senior lecturer Dr Justin Meggitt claimed that the first ever work of science fiction was in fact written by a Greek-speaking Syrian author, in Ancient Rome.
True History by Lucian of Samosata is ostensibly a parody of Ancient Roman travel writing. But with characters venturing to distant realms including the moon, the sun, and strange planets and islands, it has a surprising amount in common with modern sci-fi novels and films.
The article goes on to suggest other (perhaps) early SF from centuries before the usual candidates.
|H W J N|