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Old Jun 6 2015, 11:20 AM   #1
P'ter
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Default Early Science Fiction

I've just found this poem:

“Soon shall thy arm, Unconquer’d Steam! Afar
Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car;
Or on wide waving wings expanded bear
The flying-chariot through the fields of air.
-- Fair crew triumphant, leaning from above,
Shall wave their fluttering ‘kerchiefs as they move;
Or warrior bands alarm the gaping crowd,
And armies shrink beneath the shadowy cloud.”

Dr Erasmus Darwin (Charles' Grandfather) "The Botanic Garden", 1791.
Any one got any other examples?
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Old Jun 18 2015, 10:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Early Science Fiction

That's cool...
The oldest sci-fi I've read include
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)
Jules Verne: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (1870) (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - although I read it in French)
H.G. Wells: The Time Machine (1895)
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Old Jun 19 2015, 03:02 AM   #3
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How about this one then?

Let human science prate of protoplasm
And chant the potency of molecules!
Wise men will not be led by learned fools
Who say that thought is but corporeal spasm.
Nor will they dare attempt to bridge the chasm
Which parts the finite from the Infinite.
For where ‘by searching cans't thou find out God?’
Or who can say how He who made the light
Subsists? or mark the bounds of His abode?
Yet hath the Maker to his creature show'd
Enough for faith and duty. God is one,
And in the Godhead there are Persons three,
Equal and co-existent, Father, Son,
And Holy Ghost: Eternal Trinity!

Sonnets for the Sundays of the Year. Rev. I. Fish, M.A., 1879.
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"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

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Old Jun 23 2015, 08:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Early Science Fiction

I suppose for me it'll also be H.G. Wells; The Time machine (1895), The Island of Docter Moreau (1896) and of course the favourite The War of the Worlds (1898).

I've read several Jules Verne novels (in Dutch because my father (born 19190 owned translations) but I would have to look up the publication years. I remember The Journeys of Captain Hatteras, Trip to the Moon, Journey to the middle of the earth, 20,000 leagues under the sea and several others.

I don't think I ever read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein which is funny because I do own a copy but it is part of a trilogy of early fantasy [sic].
That brings me to the fact that the line between fantasy and sf is sometimes thin or there's a large grey area. Thus Beowulf and the Ring des Nibelungen is counted in that grey area and those are real old. And then ther's Gilgamesh of course, the first sf according to Lester del Rey but I reckon it to belong to fantasy. All of which I read.

That's nothing compared to people who claim that 1001 nights had science fiction elements (quoted is the story of Bulukiya's quest for the herb of immortality), which dates 8-10th century...
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Old Jun 23 2015, 05:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Early Science Fiction

A number of Kipling's stories are science fiction: 'With the Night Mails', 'The Army of the Future', '007' & 'The Ship who Found Herself'. To name a few. Anne and I had quite a discussion about Kipling while waiting for our respective aircraft at Copenhagen.
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"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
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"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

The Pedants are revolting! (against bad grammar)
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