Long before 1984, Star Wars, or The Hunger Games, Victorian authors imagined a future where new science and technologies reshaped the world and universe they knew. The great themes of modern science fiction showed up surprisingly early: space and time travel, dystopian societies, even dangerously independent machines, all inspiring the speculative fiction of the Victorian era.
In Frankenstein Dreams, Michael Sims has gathered many of the very finest stories, some by classic writers such as Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, and H. G. Wells, but many that will surprise general listeners. Dark visions of the human psyche emerge in Thomas Wentworth Higginson's "The Monarch of Dreams" while Mary E. Wilkins Freeman provides a glimpse of "the fifth dimension" in her provocative tale "The Hall Bedroom".
With contributions by Edgar Allan Poe, Alice Fuller, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, Arthur Conan Doyle, and many others, each introduced by Michael Sims, whose elegant introduction provides valuable literary and historical context, Frankenstein Dreams is a treasure trove of stories known and rediscovered.
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2018 was the 200th anniversary of the publication, in 1818, of the original "frankenstein" novel. appearing anonymously at first, and then under the name of shelley -- because no-one could believe that an 18-year-old heavily pregnant, home-tutored girl, could have written such a great book. mary shelley, the wife of poet percy byshe shelley, had written the book however, and eventually her husband actually graciously acknowledged that it was not him, but her who had written the book. it is a book that has been continuously in print for the last 200 years. it is also the most successful novel written in switzerland, apart maybe from the "swiss family robinson", a very dull swiss book for children, which the same mary shelley, as a mere girl, long before her marriage to the british poet, had had quite a hand in the translation of. "swiss family robinson" being the most successful robinsonad next to daniel defoe's own original robinson story. this book now traces the history and further continuation of the frankenstein theme over the first 100 years after mary shelley's original release of the monster upon the world. sims's book will help contemporary readers to get their heads around mary shelley's creation and its ramifications. so it's like a pretty long, and perhaps overlong, essay or introduction to a classic, that provides much of the intellectual background radiation to the world we inhabit today. the whole things is literally completely -- electrifying.