Nominate Your 19th-Century F & SF Favorites

Discussion in 'Classic SF&F' started by Extollager, Jan 19, 2012.

  1.  
    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    I could add more to this myself, but let me throw it out for others too. Can anyone inform me about Jonas Lie?

    The intended audience would be college students who like fantasy and/or sf and who might be receptive to reading earlier writing than what they are used to acquiring from bookstores, etc.

    A Reading List for 19th-Century World Fantasy and Science Fiction

    In the United States, “science fiction” became a publisher’s marketing category around 1940, and “fantasy” was established thus by around 1970. Much great writing was published long before the adoption of these industry categories. The following lists are not intended to be exhaustive; they are selections of outstanding works that are readily available.

    Note: Today, distinctions between fantasy and science fiction may usually seem obvious. This wasn’t the case in the 19th century, and so a few works are listed twice, under each category.


    FANTASY​

    France


    Germany
    Brentano: “Rosepetal”?
    Goethe: Fairy Tale (The Green Snake)?
    Hoffmann: “The Sandman,” “The Mines at Falun”….

    Great Britain

    Coleridge: Christabel, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “Kubla Khan”
    MacDonald: “The Day Boy and the Night Girl” (“Photogen and Nycteris”), “The Golden Key,” “The Light Princess,” The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, Phantastes, Lilith
    Morris: The Well at the World’s End

    Norway
    Ibsen: Peer Gynt
    Jonas Lie?

    United States

    Hawthorne: “Rappaccini’s Daughter”
    Poe: “The Fall of the House of Usher”

    SCIENCE FICTION​
    France
    Verne: Journey to the Centre of the Earth

    Germany:
    Hoffmann: “The Sandman”

    Great Britain

    Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    Wells: Short stories including “The Crystal Egg,” “The Sea-Raiders,” “The Country of the Blind,” etc.; The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds

    Norway

    United States

    Hawthorne: “The Birthmark”
    Poe: Arthur Gordon Pym, “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,”
  2.  
    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    re: Nominate Your 19th-Century F & SF Favorites

    I would include so-called "Lost Race" adventures such as Haggard's She as fantasy or perhaps as sf depending. Dracula would be fantasy.

    By 19th century, I mean 1801-1900.
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    hitmouse

    hitmouse Member

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    re: Nominate Your 19th-Century F & SF Favorites

    GB Fantasy
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (1871) Lewis Carrol. 2 obscure works of 19th century fantasy.

    King Solomon's Mines (1885), Alan Quartermain (1887), She (1887) John Buchan.

    The Book of a Thousand and One Nights and a Night
    (1885) Richard Burton (Ok its a translation, but incredibly influential as a fantasy work.)

    Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger stories (SF) and JM Barrie's Peter Pan (Fantasy) just miss the cut, as does Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Graham.)

    Winnie the Pooh (GB) and The Magic Pudding (Aus) , 2 other seminal early fantasies are inter-war.
  4.  
    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    re: Nominate Your 19th-Century F & SF Favorites

    "Just missing the cut" -- yes; I was struck some years ago by how many of the great fantasy and sf works appeared in a quarter century, 1887-1912.

    I think Barrie's Mary Rose is early 1900s and so misses the 19th-century limitation, but it's an impressive work, and one that clearly moved Tolkien powerfully (see the critical edition, Tolkien on Fairy-Stories).[​IMG]

    For the 19th-century list, Keats's "Lamia," recently mentioned here by JD in connection with Elsie Venner.
  5.  
    hitmouse

    hitmouse Member

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    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens contains ghosts, time travel, alternate realities etc.
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    hitmouse

    hitmouse Member

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    Frankenstein Mary Shelley (1818) GB SF
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    J-Sun

    J-Sun Active Member

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    Kind of OT and nitpicky and some of my details may be wrong but I'd say it became a genre in 1926 with Amazing and became a small press category in about 1946-7 with Gnome and Prime and so on, and became mainstream with Doubleday in 1950 and especially with Ballantine paperbacks in 1953, I think. So I'd say 1926 for mags and "around 1950" for books. Prior to the war, the stray book or two had been published but there were no dedicated houses or lines.

    Um, as far as 19th C. SF/F/H, Wilde's Dorian Gray seems like a kind of fantasy to me. There's stuff in the TBR that I hope is good (at least in some way) and relevant to SF like Bellamy's Looking Backward and Abbott's Flatland (though that's a sort of non-fiction/fantasy/SF hybrid, I gather - concretizing dimensional principles). Most of the Gothics rationalized their stuff but some are probably fantastic. Gogol's "The Nose", "The Overcoat", etc., seem fantastic.

    -- Oh, and if we're counting poets the list grows a lot. Much of Shelley and Keats (and even Byron) and Romantics in general on through the Decadents like Swinburne in the UK and Baudelaire/Rimbaud/Mallarme in France.
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    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    Not only that, it's really good! For years I guess I kind of thought, "Aaaah, kinda sentimental, don't think I'll read it." Then I read it. It's great!

    I like the Lisbeth Zwerger edition.[​IMG]
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    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    Ach! How could I forget!
    [​IMG]
    Though it is a tearier book than I expected it to be.
  10.  
    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    You have a point about science fiction (orig. scientifiction) as a category, but I think it was later than the Twenties that science fiction became firmly distinguished from fantasy. Fantasy Press published... science fiction. At least mostly. Right? [​IMG]

    I'm thinking of popular publishing categories, the kind of thing reflected in where bookstores shelve books. Science fiction and fantasy are distinct now, but they weren't when I was a youngster.

    Absolutely we should consider poetry as well as prose. Thanks.
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    Ray Pullar

    Ray Pullar Licensed operator

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    The Turn of the Screw Henry James [1898]
    The Battle of Dorking George Tomkyns Chesney [1871]
    The Great God Pan [1890 revised 1894]
    The Inmost Light [1894]
    The Shining Pyramid [1895]
    The Three Impostors [1896]
    -- Arthur Machen


    Chesney more or less started the Future War branch of SF with his novel. Many writers followed in his footsteps during the last three decades of the century.
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    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    I don't know that Chesney at all. Is it one of those books that is historically significant but not a truly good read, or is it, like Wells, something that reads pleasingly today?
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    Ray Pullar

    Ray Pullar Licensed operator

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    Michael Moorcock presented it as the first story of a mid-1970s anthology he edited (Before Armageddon [1975]) and he has good taste for fiction of the period.

    A few others I've recalled since last night:

    Erehwon [1872]
    -- Samuel Butler
    After London [1885]
    -- Richard Jefferies
    News from Nowhere [1890]
    -- William Morris
    The Angel of the Revolution [1893]
    Olga Romanoff [1894]
    -- George Griffith
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
    [1889]
    -- Mark Twain
  14.  
    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    I haven't read any of these... can you speak for their quality?

    It's interesting to be reminded of these things. On the other hand, my main intention in starting this thread was to solicit recommendations of fantasy and sf published 1801-1900 that people have read and find still to be "alive" so that the list could be given to (e.g.) undergrads who are interested in fantasy and sf and could use a high-quality list to get them started. This is an actual situation, by the way!

    I probably would leave out the ghost story per se, although the period affords many examples, some of which (e.g. Dickens's "Signal-Man" and Elizabeth Gaskell's "The Old Nurse's Tale") are really good. I'd leave them out if for no other reason than this, that "inquirers" about science fiction and fantasy are usually not ghost story fans.

    Again, I'm looking for a selective bibliography, so I have resisted the attraction of adding a bunch of Rider Haggard's books to go with She -- much as I have enjoyed some of them. King Solomon's Mines and Allan Quatermain are fun, but perhaps a bit debatable as fantasy or sf -- in contrast to the robust fantasticality of She.

    (Do we have any Haggard nuts here? I've read 25 or so of his books.)
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    Extollager

    Extollager Active Member

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    Tolkien scholar John Rateliff on Tolkien: "without him, there'd be no recognized genre of fantasy literature, and the people who wrote what we'd call modern fantasy wd be talented eccentrics following their individual muses, like James Branch Cabell, E. R. Eddison, and Hope Mirrlees."

    http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/

    Entry: "Tolkien Among the E-Books"
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    Count Zero

    Count Zero New Member

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    I think you meant H. Rider Haggard there.;)
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    hitmouse

    hitmouse Member

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    I think you are right. I think I had Prester John on my mind at the time. Parallels with Rider Haggard.
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    AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    I would have to say HG Wells' War of the Worlds is one of the finest sf reads of that era, just superb!

    I would also include the delightfully silly From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne. The blatant racism grates at first till you realise that its just Verne poking fun at colonialism!

    For fantasy I would recommend Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu, which predates Dracula! Very chilling!
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    hitmouse

    hitmouse Member

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    Rudyard Kipling:
    The Phantom Rickshaw & Other Eerie Tales (incl The ManWho Would Be King) 1888
    The Jungle Book (1894)
    With The Night Mail (1905) Definitely SF.
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    Grizzgreen711

    Grizzgreen711 The Bloody Scribbler

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    H.G. Well's War of the Worlds.

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