Monday, April 25, 2011

DISCOVER SCI-FI WRITER R. Scott Lemriel http://ParallelTime.Com


Explore the "The Seres Agenda," R. Scott Lemriel's just completed novel about what is actually coming to our planet Earth in the very near future that will completely transform our world, and The Parallel Time Trilogy (The Emerald Doorway, Guardians of The Ancient One and Journey To The Center of The Universe.) Very original SCI-FI writer Lemriel has created the website to showcase his original projects & music. Just go to:

After the release date is announced for "The Seres Agenda" and "The Emerald Doorway" (Episode #1 of the trilogy) you will be able to acquire and read these uplifting, eye-opening, and profoundly revealing adventures by ordering them from the main website at:

When asked what creatively motivates and drives Scott's passion for this work, he replied: "I've spent 30 years exploring and gaining personal experiences on the subjects I write about. 'The Seres Agenda' is a very unique adventure novel based on true personal experiences I've had and further explored over many, many years. The best way to say it is that 'The Seres Agenda' is a REVEALING PHENOMENAL EPIC ADVENTURE story. Although the story is fictional to a degree, it is entirely based on out-of-this-world true-life experiences that happened to me, both while I was growing up and later during my adult life. The universal truths, revealed for the first time within the story, have to do with the survival or destruction of this planet within the next few years. The conclusion of 'The Seres Agenda' and all three episodes of The Parallel Time Trilogy will absolutely astonish and very unexpectedly uplift every reader with a clear constructive view of the future."

May this article stimulate your own sense of 'Greater Destiny' as you step inside to discover, Contrary to all outward appearances, how truly fortunate we are to be alive on Earth today. This is precisely true because of what is coming in the very near future that will be entirely unexpected and unanticipated by almost everyone on Earth.  We now have the opportunity to awaken all of our own sleeping potentials, remember who we are and where we came from before this one life on planet Earth and the lofty heights we have the potential to yet achieve - given the right stimulation and motivation.

Special Note:

R. Scott Lemriel is the official Washington, D.C. copyright pseudonym pen name for R. Scott Rochek. You can check out the author's novel and screenplay writing talents, together with his abilities as a musical composer, instrumentalist, and performer at: You can also read his four published articles on very intriguing subjects through the link at the website or you can go directly to the article source at: " target=_blank >


The Seres Agenda pitch or slug-line and chapter titles, The Emerald Doorway pitch or slug line and chapter titles, all character illustrations with their names, the several revealed illustrated scenes and various chapter excerpts from Book #1 are protected under U.S. Library of Congress and International copyright laws. Also protected are the following items: the domain name and the entire contents of the website; Parallel Time - The Short Movie synopsis; the CD music album (1) of (7) titled, Stranger On A Lost Island; the gold outlined company (TM) trademark logo for Lemuria that is superimposed on the NASA shot of beautiful Earth; and The Parallel Time Trilogy episodes subtitled: The Emerald Doorway, Guardians Of The Ancient One, and Journey To The Center Of The Universe; the pitch, synopsis and outline for The Emerald Doorway; the synopsis for Guardians Of The Ancient One; and the synopsis for Journey To The Center Of The Universe.

© 1981 - 2011 by R. Scott Lemriel (AKA - R. Scott Rochek). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



This is a CHRONOLOGY of the History of Science and Science Fiction, and the Cosmic/Human
Universe it represents, a virtual encyclopedia oriented towards seeing who wrote what when,
and how the field evolved from year to year, decade to decade, and century to century.

Copyright 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000,2001,2002,2003,2004 by Magic Dragon Multimedia.

All rights reserved Worldwide. May not be reproduced without permission.

May be posted electronically provided that it is transmitted unaltered, in its
entirety, and without charge.
There are 0 hotlinks in this page, but over 308 in the other
Timeline pages (over 1,400 KiloBytes total) to authors, magazines, films, and
television items elsewhere in the Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide or beyond.

Most recently updated: 27 March 2004:
Minor Expansion: world demographics urbanized 2007-2030
8 Feb 2004: International Horror Guild, BSFA, and Arthur C. Clarke Short
Lists for Best Novel of 2003, in 2000-2010: PRESENT DECADE;
Major Expansion: 8 Nov-5 Dec 2003 obituaries, prizes, inventions (1977-1978; 1950-1960; 1940-1950;
1930-1940; 1920-1930; 1910-1920; 1890-1910; 1800-1900; 1700-1800);
Major Expansion: 6 September-9 December 2003 -- major update to decade 2000-2010;
books, films (2004-2005 complete), TV, who died (new 2003 obituaries), who won what prizes
(Sci-fi, Fantasy, Nobel Prizes) [some of this also retrofit onto end of 2000 decade page],
and space missions (NASA, ESA, Japan, China) through 2015...
Minor Expansion: 29 July 2003: updates to Cosmic History (Big Bang,
Dark Age of the Universe, formation of the Earth); 5th Millennium BC,
and 6th Millennium BC, first traces of wine, independent New Guinea
origin of agriculture;
Major Expansion: March-25 May 2003: New content and upgraded format
for 4th through 20th Century pages; added hotlinks to 5th Millennium BC,
and 6th Millennium BC; added roughly 30 paid links variously with keywords
"history" or "science fiction."
Major Expansion: 23 Sep 2000: New 4th Millennium BC, updates to
3rd Millennium BC, 2nd Millennium BC
Major Expansion: 23 July 2000 : New "Cosmic History" (from 13,000,000,000 BC);
Major Expansion of 3rd Millennium BC, 2nd Millennium BC, 1st Millennium BC;
Major expansion of 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th Centuries)

|Introduction: Overview and Summary
|Prehistory: Ancient Literary Precursors
|Cosmic History:14 Billion BC to 3000 BC
|6th Millennium BC: When the Goddess Ruled
|5th Millennium BC: Mesopotamia, Egypt
|4th Millennium BC: Iceman of the Alps, Old Kingdom Egypt
|3rd Millennium BC: Gilgamesh and Cheops
|2nd Millennium BC: Abraham to David
|1st Millennium BC: Homer, Buddha, Confucius, Euclid
|1st Century: Jesus, Cymbeline, Caligula, Pliny
|2nd Century: Hero, Ptolemy, Nichomachus
|3rd Century: 3 Kingdoms China, Legendary Japan
|4th Century: Constantine, Hypatia, Ausonius
|5th Century: Rome in Crisis, Dark Ages start
|6th Century: Boethius, Taliesin, Mohammed
|7th Century: Bede, Brahmagupta, Isidorus
|8th Century: Beowulf, Charlemagne, 1001 Arabian Nights
|9th Century: Gunpowder and the first printed book
|10th Century: Arabs, Byzantium, China
|11th Century: Khayyam, Gerbert, Alhazen
|12th Century: Age of Translations
|13th Century: Crusades, Kublai Khan, Universities
|14th Century: Dante, Marco Polo, and Clocks
|15th Century: Dawn of Scientific Revolution
|16th Century: Ariosto and Cyrano on the Moon
|17th Century: Literary Dawn
|18th Century: Literary Expansion
|19th Century: Victorian Explosion
|1890-1910: Into Our Century
|1910-1920: The Silver Age
|1920-1930: The Golden Age
|1930-1940: The Aluminum Age
|1940-1950: The Plutonium Age
|1950-1960: The Threshold of Space
|1960-1970: The New Wave
|1970-1980: The Seventies
|1980-1990: The Eighties
|1990-2000: End of Millennium
|2000-2010: PRESENT DECADE
|2010-2020: Next Decade
|Cosmic Future: Until Infinity

A Few Paid Links to decrease my losses on this Web Domain:

Where to Go for More

51 Useful Reference Books
Beyond the World Wide Web... there is the library of old-fashioned books
printed on paper. I strongly recommend that you start or follow-up your
explorations of this web site by consulting any or all of these outstanding
sources. Individual century pages list other reference sources:

ALDISS: "Billion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction", Brian W.
Aldiss (New York: Doubleday, 1973; Schocken Paperback, 1974)

ALLEN: "Science Fiction Reader's Guide", L. David Allen
(Centennial Press, 1974)

AMIS: "New Maps of Hell", Kingsley Amis (London: Gollancz, 1960;
New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960)

ASH1: "Who's Who in Science Fiction", by Brian Ash (Taplinger, 1976)

ASH2: "The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction", edited by Brian Ash
(Harmony Books, 1977)

ASHLEY: "The History of the Science Fiction Magazine" [3 volumes]
(London: New English Library, 1974)

ASIMOV "Asimov on Science Fiction" (New York: Avon, 1981)

ATHELING: "The Issue at Hand", "William Atheling, Jr." [James Blish]
(Chicago: Advent, 1964)

BARRON: "Anatomy of Wonder", edited by Neil Barron (Bowker, 1976)

BAXTER: "Science Fiction in the Cinema", John Baxter
(London: A. Zwemmer, 1970; New York: A. S. Barnes, 1970)

BERGONZI: "The Early H.G. Wells", Bernard Bergonzi
(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1961)

BLEILER: "The Checklist of Fantastic Literature" Everett F. Bleiler
(Chicago: Shasta, 1948)

BRETNOR1: "Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Future", edited by
Reginald Bretnor (New York: Coward-McCann, 1953)

BRETNOR2: "The Craft of Science Fiction", Reginald Bretnor
(New York: Harper & Row, 1977)

BRINEY: "SF Bibliographies", Robert E. Briney & Edward Wood
(Chicago: Advent, 1972)

CLARESON1: "SF: The Other Side of Realism", edited by Thomas D. Clareson
(Gregg Press, 1978)

CLARESON2: "Extrapolation, 1959-1969", edited by Thomas D. Clareson
(Bowling Green, Ohio: University Popular Press, 1971)

CLARKE: "The Tale of the Future", I. F. Clarke
(London: The Library Association, 1961, 1972)

CONTENTO: "Index to the Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections",
William Contento G.K. Hall, 1978)

DAY: "Index to the Science Fiction Magazine: 1926-50", Donald B. Day
(Portland, Oregon: Perri Press, 1952)

DeCAMP: "Science Fiction Handbook", L. Sprague DeCamp
(New York: Hermitage House, 1953)

ELLIK: "The Universes of E. E. Smith", Ron Ellik & Bill Evans
(Chicago: Advent, 1966)

EVANS: "The Index of Science Fiction Magazines", Bill Evans with Jack Speer
(Denver: Robert Peterson, 1946?)

FRANKLIN: "Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century",
H. Bruce Franklin (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966)

FREWIN: "One Hundred Years of Science Fiction Illustration", Anthony Frewin
(London: Jupiter Books, 1974)

GOODSTONE: "The Pulps", Tony Goodstone (New York: Chelsea House, 1970)

GUNN: "Alternate Worlds", James Gunn (Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975)

HARRISON: "John W. Campbell: Collected Editorials from Analog", Harry Harrison
(Garden City NY: Doubleday, 1966)

HOLMBERG: "Science Fiction History", John-Henri Holmberg
(Vanersborg, Sweden: Askild & Karnekull, 1974)

KNIGHT: "In Search of Wonder", Damon Knight (Chicago: Advent, 1956; enlarged 1967)

KYLE: "A Pictorial History of Science Fiction", David Kyle
(London: Hamlyn House, 1976)

LOCKE: "Worlds Apart", edited by George Locke (London: Cornmarket Reprints, 1972)

LUNDWALL: "Science Fiction: What It's All About", Sam J. Lundwall
(New York: Ace Books, 1971)

METCALF: "The Index of Science Fiction Magazines, 1951-1965", Norm Metcalf
(J. Ben Stark, 1968)

MILLIES: "Science Fiction Primer for Teachers", Suzanne Millies
(Dayton OH: Pflaum, 1975)

MOSKOWITZ#1: "The Immortal Storm", Sam Moskowitz
(AFSO Press, 1954; Hyperion Press, 19??)

MOSKOWITZ#2: "Explorers of the Infinite: Shapers of Science Fiction",
Sam Moskowitz (Cleveland & New York: World, 1963)

MOSKOWITZ#3: "Seekers of Tomorrow", Sam Moskowitz (Cleveland & New York: World, 1963)

NESFA: "Index to the Science Fiction Magazines", New England Science
Fiction Association (Cambridge MA: NESFA, 1971)

PERRY: "The Penguin Book of Comics", George Perry & Alan Aldridge
(London: Penguin, 1971)

ROGERS: "A Requiem for Astounding", Alva Rogers (Chicago: Advent, 1964)

ROTTSTEINER: "The Science Fiction Book", Franz Rottsteiner
(London: Thames & Hudson, 1975)

SADOUL: "Hier, L'An 2000 [Illustrations from the Golden Age of Science Fiction]",
Jaxques Sadoul (Paris: Editions Denoel, 1973)

STRAUSS: "The MIT Science Fiction Society's Index to the SF Magazines: 1951-64"
Erwin S. Strauss (Cambridge MA: MIT Science Fiction Society, 1966)

TUCK: "The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2nd Edition",
Donald H. Tuck (Hobart, Tasmania: Donald H. Tuck, 1959)

VERSINS: "Encyclopedie des l'utopie, des voyages extraordinaires et de la
science fiction", (Lausanne: L'Age d'Homme, 1972)

WAGGONER: "The Hills of Faraway", Diana Waggoner (Athenaeum, 1978)

WARNER: "All Our Yesterdays", Harry Warner, Jr. (Chicago: Advent, 1969)

WELLS: "Fictional Accounts of Trips to the Moon", Lester G. Wells
(Syracuse NY: Syracuse University Library, 1962)

WILLIAMSON: "H.G. Wells: Critic of Progress", Jack Williamson
(Baltimore: Mirage Press, 1973)

WOLLHEIM: "The Universe Makers", Donald A. Wollheim
(New York: Harper & Row, 1971)

Return to Ultimate SF Table of Contents

Compiled by Magic Dragon Multimedia

Go to Ultimate Mystery/Detective Web Guide

Copyright 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000,2001,2002,2003 by Magic Dragon Multimedia.

All rights reserved Worldwide. May not be reproduced without permission.

May be posted electronically provided that it is transmitted unaltered, in its
entirety, and without charge.

Anyone who wants to comprehend human affairs in the 19th and 20th centuries needs some knowledge and understanding of science fiction. But what is science fiction, anyhow?

Let's start by distinguishing it from other fiction. On one side lies fantasy, the realm of the impossible. On the other side lie all the forms of fiction that purport to represent the actual, whether past or present. Science fiction's domain is the possible. Its territory ranges from the present Earth we know out to the limits of the possible universes that the human imagination can project, whether in the past, present, future, or alternative time-space continuums. Therefore science fiction is the only literature capable of exploring the macrohistory of our species, and of placing our history, and even our daily lives, in a cosmic context.

Science fiction must be defined further, as an historical happening. Though science fiction has antecedents that stretch back at least two thousand years, science fiction as a body of literature--and movies, graphic art, comic books, radio shows, futuristic exhibits, TV serials, video game machines, computer games, virtual reality, and so forth--is a new phenomenon. It is an expression of only modern technological, scientific, industrial society, appearing when preindustrial societies are transformed by an industrial revolution. Indeed, industrial society creates not just the consciousness characteristic of science fiction but also the very means of physically propagating science fiction in its various cultural forms, even before it was beamed as images on movie and video screens. For science fiction, like other forms of literature typical of industrial society, is propagated in mass-produced magazines and books, which require advanced manufacturing and distribution as well as a large literate audience.

All this is very recent. The word "scientist" appeared for the first time in 1840, as a deliberate coinage (see Raymond Williams's discussion in Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society). The term "science fiction" was used first in 1851 (in Chapter 10 of William Wilson's A Little Earnest Book upon a Great Old Subject): "Science-Fiction, in which the revealed truths of Science may be given interwoven with a pleasing story which may itself be poetical and true."

We take for granted living in a world where technological change is so rapid that it is part of our lives--continually transforming the present and the future. But this epoch of rapid technological changes, dating from the Industrial Revolution in Europe, is a mere microinstant of cosmic time.

The Earth is approximately four and a half billion years old. The ice ages ended about 10,000 years ago. Thus the age of the Earth is 450,000 times the period since the last ice age. Let's make this more imaginable by picturing the age of the Earth equivalent to 45,000 feet, the altitude of a very high flying jet airliner. In comparison, the time since the last ice age would be represented by 1.2 inches. The period of modern science, technology, and science fiction, which began with the Industrial Revolution just over 200 years ago, would then be equivalent on our spatial scale to .024 inches, about the thickness of a line made by a medium ball point pen.

Within that pen scratch of time, the rate of technological change has been exponential. Modern consciousness therefore is radically different from that of the peoples who inhabited the planet before the emergence of science fiction.

So my key definition is this: Science fiction is the major non-realistic mode of imaginative creation of our epoch. It is the principal cultural way we locate ourselves imaginatively in time and space.

* * *

Science fiction, however, has a long prehistory. The epics of early Greek civilization, for example, feature superhuman beings such as the residents of Mount Olympus and include a marvelous voyage to far distant worlds (way out in the Mediterranean) inhabited by one-eyed giants, a six-headed monster, a creature that swallows passing ships, and a woman who chemically transforms people into animals.

The first fictions about travel beyond the Earth were satires of such epic voyages by the Syrian writer Lucian of Samosata in the 2nd century A.D. The hero of his Icaro-Menippus sprouts wings and flies to the Moon; in The True History, the author and a shipload of companions are wafted to the Moon, where men have artificial phalluses (ivory for the rich, wood for the poor), and the travelers observe an interplanetary battle fought to determine whether the empire of the Moon or of the Sun gets to colonize Venus.

But Lucian's works are not science fiction. They are intended to be read as fantasy--imaginings of the impossible--just like similar works for the following fourteen hundred years. As late as 1532, Ariosto's Orlando Furioso projected a trip to the Moon merely as a preposterous fantasy (to find and bottle his hero's lost wits).

Meanwhile, however, other events were taking place, events that would profoundly transform the world and the European concept of space.

The magnetic compass and advances in shipbuilding made possible the voyages of so-called "discovery" in the late 15th century, leading to a "New World"--that is, new to Europeans. Then in 1540 came the publication of an earthshaking book, On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, Copernicus' demonstration that the cosmos is vast and does not revolve around the Earth. With the development of the telescope in the early 17th century, the concept of "plurality of worlds" began to be taken seriously. Marvelous voyages to the Moon, planets, and stars became commonplace.

Johannus Kepler, who developed the basic laws of planetary motion, uses them in Somnium (1634) to imagine living on the Moon. Francis Godwin describes a utopia on the Moon in The Man in the Moone (1638). Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon (1659) and Sun (1687) include marvelous inventions such as solar energy converters and talking machines.

As the European concept of space was being reshaped, the European concept of change, and of historical time itself, was also being transformed.

Thomas More's Utopia, published in 1516, introduced a concept fundamental to modern consciousness and science fiction: change in the mode of production changes the conditions of human existence. As More argues, the cloth industry's growing demand for fine English wool had led to the enclosure of the common land, which caused massive unemployment and skyrocketing inflation, which forced many people into crime, which in turn led to wholesale capital punishment. These ominous conditions induce More to coin a pun and imagine a place with a mighty host of offspring in science fiction: Utopia, the good place (eutopia) which is noplace (outopia).

Francis Bacon, the so-called father of modern science, used fiction to show the wonders that could be achieved using his inductive method of scientific experimentation. In his New Atlantis (posthumous 1627) he describes the discovery of a utopian society based on experimental science, including the development of "New Artificiall Metals," vivisection, genetic manipulation, telescopes, microscopes, telephones, factories, aerial flight, and submarines.

During the 17th century, technological and social change were accelerating so rapidly that they could be experienced within a person's lifetime. It would soon become possible to imagine an historical future qualitatively different from the past or the present. Prior to this, there had never been a fiction set in a future period of human history. The closest had been millennial imaginings that had pictured the replacement of human history by God's kingdom. The first known fictions even vaguely set in future time are Francis Cheynell's six-page political tract Aulicus: His Dream of the King's Second Coming to London (1644) and Jacques Guttin's Epigone, Story of the Future Century (1659). Fully developed fictions set in the future would not appear until well into the 18th century.

During the 18th century, some authors took a bleak view of the ever-accelerating technological and social change. In Gulliver's Travels (1726), Jonathan Swift presents both an extended parody of experimental science and a vision of a terrifying superweapon, a flying island used by its rulers literally to crush any earthly opposition to their tyranny. Voltaire took a similar stance in Micromégas (1732), notable as the first known story of visitors from other planets: two giants, one from Saturn and one from a planet of the star Sirius, who mock the follies of the diminutive earthlings.

But science was not to be halted by warnings and ridicule. The following year Benjamin Franklin reported to the Royal Society his experimental control of electricity. Within a few decades, quantitative change would become qualitative; in other words, there would be a true Industrial Revolution. On the eve of the resulting political revolutions in America and France, Louis-Sébastian Mercier's remarkable The Year 2440 (1770) foresees a marvelous society that worships science, with the telescope and the microscope central to each youth's first communion.

By the end of the 18th century and the opening of the 19th, industrial capitalism was beginning its conquest of the world. Modern science was providing the technological means to develop large factories, rapid large-scale transportation, and new energy sources. The drive to find huge quantities of coal to power the steam engines of industrial capitalism led to a reconception of time as profound as the Copernican reconception of space. Coal is, after all, fossils from remote geological ages. To discover vast deposits, industrial society had to discard the dominant theory of cosmic time--Bishop Ussher's dating of the creation of the universe in 4004 B.C.--and recognize that the Earth's age must be measured in billions of years. Only on such a scale was it possible first to comprehend the time necessary for geological evolution and then to conceive of biological evolution.

Under industrial capitalism, vast numbers of people were soon spending their lives working for a handful of capitalists who owned everything the people produced, including the factories, coal mines, railroads, and ships. Not only were the workers thus alienated from the means of production and their own products, but they also found themselves increasingly alienated from nature, from each other, and from their own essence as creative beings. Human creativity now appeared in the form of monstrous alien forces exerting ever-growing power over the people who had created them.

From this matrix emerged what Brian Aldiss has so aptly labeled "the first great myth of the industrial age" in the form of a novel that many now accept as the progenitor of modern science fiction: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). Then, less than a decade after Frankenstein, Shelley created one of the first science fiction visions of the end of the world; the title character of her The Last Man (1826) wanders alone over a dead planet, sampling the useless achievements of all human society. Mary Shelley set this scene in the year 2100.

The 19th century was the first in which life was continually being metamorphosed by technological change. The century began with the first experimental locomotive in 1801, advanced through the airship in 1852, and ended with the first experimental airplane in the late 1890s. In that century came the first practical steamboat, the screw propeller, the bicycle, and the automobile. Agriculture was being revolutionized by the invention of the harvester, the disc cultivator, the reaper, and the mowing machine. The electric battery appeared in the opening year of the century; the electromagnet, the cathode ray tube, and the magnetic tape recorder mark the successive quarters. The history of capitalism can be traced in the inventions of the adding machine, the calculating machine, the punch time clock, the cash register, the stock ticker, and punch-card accounting. Basic commodities such as industrial steel, vulcanized rubber, and portland cement were all 19th-century innovations. There appeared those special hallmarks of modern times: dynamite, the rapid-fire pistol, the repeating rifle, barbed wire, and the machine gun. The means of communication and artistic creation changed with the introduction of photography, the phonograph, the fountain pen (and the ballpoint), the typewriter, the telegraph, the telephone, radio, and the movie machine. Before the end of the century appeared several brief science fiction movies.

America proved especially hospitable to science fiction, even before it acquired a name. Many of the leading figures of antebellum fiction--including Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Herman Melville--made important contributions to the form. How then did science fiction get its bad name as "subliterary"?

With the triumph of industrial capitalism in the Civil War, there emerged a newly literate mass audience of boys and young men intrigued by the opportunities of fame and fortune in science and technology. Aimed directly at this readership was the science-fiction "dime" novel, with its teenage boy genius as hero, first presented in Edward Ellis's seminal The Steam Man of the Prairie (1865). Between the Civil War and World War I, the most popular form of literature in America was the dime novel, and its science fiction versions were to have a formative influence on American culture (as can be glimpsed in this volume's entry on Luis Senarens). Only when it became an influential form of mass entertainment did science fiction come to be disdained as vulgar and puerile.

H. Bruce Franklin , author of Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the 19th Century , War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination, and Robert A. Heinlein: America as Science Fiction!

Science fiction includes such a wide range of themes and subgenres that it is notoriously difficult to define.[1] This is a list of definitions that have been offered by authors, editors, critics and fans over the years since science fiction became clearly separate from other genres. Definitions of related terms such as "science fantasy", "speculative fiction", and "fabulation" are included where they are intended as definitions of aspects of science fiction or because they illuminate related definitions — see e.g. Robert Scholes's definitions of "fabulation" and "structural fabulation" below. Some definitions of sub-types of science fiction are included, too; for example see David Ketterer's definition of "philosophically oriented science fiction". In addition, some definitions are included that define, for example, a science fiction story, rather than science fiction itself, since these also illuminate an underlying definition of science fiction.
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by John Clute and Peter Nicholls, contains an extensive discussion of the problem of definition, under the heading "Definitions of SF". The authors regard Darko Suvin's definition as having been most useful in catalysing academic debate, though they consider disagreements to be inevitable as science fiction is not homogeneous. Suvin's cited definition, dating from 1972, is: "a literary genre whose necessary and sufficient conditions are the presence and interaction of estrangement and cognition, and whose main formal device is an imaginative framework alternative to the author's empirical environment."[2] The authors of the Encyclopedia article - Brian Stableford, Clute, and Nicholls - explain that, by "cognition", Suvin refers to the seeking of rational understanding, while his concept of estrangement is similar to the idea of alienation developed by Bertolt Brecht, that is, a means of making the subject matter recognizable while also seeming unfamiliar.
The order of the quotations is chronological; quotations without definite dates are listed last.
Contents [hide]
1 Definitions
1.1 In chronological order
1.2 Undated (alphabetically by author)
2 References

[edit]In chronological order
Hugo Gernsback. 1926. "By 'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision ... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive. They supply knowledge . . . in a very palatable form ... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow ... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written ... Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well."[3][4]
J. O. Bailey. 1947. "A piece of scientific fiction is a narrative of an imaginary invention or discovery in the natural sciences and consequent adventures and experiences ... It must be a scientific discovery -- something that the author at least rationalizes as possible to science."[4][5][6]
Robert A. Heinlein. 1947. "Let's gather up the bits and pieces and define the Simon-pure science fiction story: 1. The conditions must be, in some respect, different from here-and-now, although the difference may lie only in an invention made in the course of the story. 2. The new conditions must be an essential part of the story. 3. The problem itself—the "plot"—must be a human problem. 4. The human problem must be one which is created by, or indispensably affected by, the new conditions. 5. And lastly, no established fact shall be violated, and, furthermore, when the story requires that a theory contrary to present accepted theory be used, the new theory should be rendered reasonably plausible and it must include and explain established facts as satisfactorily as the one the author saw fit to junk. It may be far-fetched, it may seem fantastic, but it must not be at variance with observed facts, i.e., if you are going to assume that the human race descended from Martians, then you've got to explain our apparent close relationship to terrestrial anthropoid apes as well."[7]
John W. Campbell. 1947. "To be science fiction, not fantasy, an honest effort at prophetic extrapolation from the known must be made."[7]
Damon Knight. 1952. At the start of a series of book review columns, Knight stated the following as one of his assumptions: "That the term 'science fiction' is a misnomer, that trying to get two enthusiasts to agree on a definition of it leads only to bloody knuckles; that better labels have been devised (Heinlein's suggestion, 'speculative fiction', is the best, I think), but that we're stuck with this one; and that it will do us no particular harm if we remember that, like 'The Saturday Evening Post', it means what we point to when we say it." This definition is now usually seen in abbreviated form as "Science fiction is [or means] what we point to when we say it."[8]
Theodore Sturgeon. 1952. "A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content."[9]
Basil Davenport. 1955. "Science fiction is fiction based upon some imagined development of science, or upon the extrapolation of a tendency in society."[10]
Edmund Crispin. 1955. A science fiction story "is one that presupposes a technology, or an effect of technology, or a disturbance in the natural order, such as humanity, up to the time of writing, has not in actual fact experienced."[11][12]
Robert A. Heinlein. 1959. "Realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method. To make this definition cover all science fiction (instead of 'almost all') it is necessary only to strike out the word 'future'.[13]
Kingsley Amis. 1960. "Science fiction is that class of prose narrative treating of a situation that could not arise in the world we know, but which is hypothesized on the basis of some innovation in science or technology, or pseudo-science or pseudo-technology, whether human or extra-terrestrial in origin."[14]
James Blish. 1960 or 1964. Science fantasy is "a kind of hybrid in which plausibility is specifically invoked for most of the story, but may be cast aside in patches at the author's whim and according to no visible system or principle."[15]
Darko Suvin. 1972. Science fiction is "a literary genre whose necessary and sufficient conditions are the presence and interaction of estrangement and cognition, and whose main formal device is an imaginative framework alternative to the author's empirical environment."[4][16]
Brian Aldiss. 1973. "[S]cience fiction is the search for a definition of man and his status in the universe which will stand in our advanced but confused state of knowledge (science) and is characteristically cast in the Gothic or post-Gothic mode".[4][6][17] Revised 1986. "... a definition of mankind ..."[18]
David Ketterer. 1974. "Philosophically oriented science fiction, extrapolating on what we know in the context of our vaster ignorance, comes up with a startling donnée, or rationale, that puts humanity in a radically new perspective."[4]
Norman Spinrad. 1974. "Science fiction is anything published as science fiction."[4][6][19]
Isaac Asimov. 1975. "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology."[20]
Robert Scholes. 1975. Fabulation is "fiction that offers us a world clearly and radically discontinuous from the one we know, yet returns to confront that known world in some cognitive way."[4][21]
―. 1975. In structural fabulation, "the tradition of speculative fiction is modified by an awareness of the universe as a system of systems, a structure of structures, and the insights of the past century of science are accepted as fictional points of departure. Yet structural fabulation is neither scientific in its methods nor a substitute for actual science. It is a fictional exploration of human situations made perceptible by the implications of recent science. Its favourite themes involve the impact of developments or revelations derived from the human or physical sciences upon the people who must live with those revelations or developments."[4][21]
Darko Suvin. 1979. "SF is distinguished by the narrative dominance or hegemony of a fictional "novum" (novelty, innovation) validated by cognitive logic."[22]
Patrick Parrinder. 1980. "'Hard' SF is related to 'hard facts' and also to the 'hard' or engineering sciences. It does not necessarily entail realistic speculation about a future world, though its bias is undoubtedly realistic. Rather, this is the sort of SF that most appeals to scientists themselves—and is often written by them. The typical 'hard' SF writer looks for new and unfamiliar scientific theories and discoveries which could provide the occasion for a story, and, at its more didactic extreme, the story is only a framework for introducing the scientific concept to the reader."[23]
―. 1980. "In 'space opera' (the analogy is with the Western 'horse opera' rather than the 'soap opera') the reverse [Parrinder is referring to his definition of "hard sf"] is true; a melodramatic adventure-fantasy involving stock themes and settings is evolved on the flimsiest scientific basis."[23]
David Pringle. 1985. "Science fiction is a form of fantastic fiction which exploits the imaginative perspectives of modern science".[24]
Kim Stanley Robinson. 1987. Sf is "an historical literature ... In every sf narrative, there is an explicit or implicit fictional history that connects the period depicted to our present moment, or to some moment in our past."[4][25]
Christopher Evans. 1988. "Perhaps the crispest definition is that science fiction is a literature of 'what if?' What if we could travel in time? What if we were living on other planets? What if we made contact with alien races? And so on. The starting point is that the writer supposes things are different from how we know them to be."[26]
Isaac Asimov. 1990. "'[H]ard science fiction' [is] stories that feature authentic scientific knowledge and depend upon it for plot development and plot resolution."[27]
Jeff Prucher. 2006. Science fiction is "a genre (of literature, film, etc.) in which the setting differs from our own world (e.g. by the invention of new technology, through contact with aliens, by having a different history, etc.), and in which the difference is based on extrapolations made from one or more changes or suppositions; hence, such a genre in which the difference is explained (explicitly or implicitly) in scientific or rational, as opposed to supernatural, terms."[28]
[edit]Undated (alphabetically by author)
John W. Campbell, Jr.. "Scientific methodology involves the proposition that a well-constructed theory will not only explain away known phenomena, but will also predict new and still undiscovered phenomena. Science fiction tries to do much the same -- and write up, in story form, what the results look like when applied not only to machines, but to human society as well."[4]
Barry N. Malzberg. Science fiction is "that branch of fiction that deals with the possible effects of an altered technology or social system on mankind in an imagined future, an altered present, or an alternative past."[6]
Judith Merril. "Speculative fiction: stories whose objective is to explore, to discover, to learn, by means of projection, extrapolation, analogue, hypothesis-and-paper-experimentation, something about the nature of the universe, of man, or 'reality' ... I use the term 'speculative fiction' here specifically to describe the mode which makes use of the traditional 'scientific method' (observation, hypothesis, experiment) to examine some postulated approximation of reality, by introducing a given set of changes—imaginary or inventive—into the common background of 'known facts', creating an environment in which the responses and perceptions of the characters will reveal something about the inventions, the characters, or both".[4][6]
Rod Serling. "Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible."
Tom Shippey. "Science fiction is hard to define because it is the literature of change and it changes while you are trying to define it."[6]

^ For example, Patrick Parrinder comments that "[d]efinitions of science fiction are not so much a series of logical approximations to an elusive ideal, as a small, parasitic sub-genre in themselves." Parrinder, Patrick (1980). Science Fiction: Its Criticism and Teaching. London: New Accents.
^ Stableford, Brian; Clute, John, and Nicholls, Peter (1993). "Definitions of SF". In Clute, John, and Nicholls, Peter. Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. London: Orbit/Little, Brown and Company. pp. 311–314. ISBN 1-85723-124-4.
^ Originally published in the April 1926 issue of Amazing Stories
^ a b c d e f g h i j k Quoted in [1993] in: Stableford, Brian; Clute, John, and Nicholls, Peter (1993). "Definitions of SF". In Clute, John, and Nicholls, Peter. Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. London: Orbit/Little, Brown and Company. pp. 311–314. ISBN 1-85723-124-4.
^ Originally published in Pilgrims of Space and Time (1947)
^ a b c d e f Quoted in Jakubowski, Maxim & Edwards, Malcolm, ed (1983) [1983]. The Complete Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy Lists. London: Granada. ISBN 0-586-05678-5.
^ a b Originally in Eshbach, Lloyd Arthur, ed (1947). Of Worlds Beyond. New York: Fantasy Press. p. 91.; cited from 1964 reprint.
^ Knight, Damon (1952). "Science Fiction Adventures". Science Fiction Adventures (1952 magazine) (1): 122. Punctuation was misprinted in the original magazine; the quote is punctuated as Knight had it in his collection of essays In Search of Wonder, Chicago: Advent, 1956.
^ James Blish, writing as William Atheling, Jr., cited this definition of Sturgeon's from a talk he had given. Blish's article was published in the Autumn 1952 issue of Red Boggs' fanzine Skyhook. Sturgeon subsequently complained to Blish that he had intended the definition to apply only to good science fiction.Atheling Jr., William (1967). The Issue At Hand. Chicago: Advent. p. 14.
^ Davenport, Basil (1955). Inquiry Into Science Fiction. New York: Longmans, Green and Co.. p. 15.
^ Wyndham, John (1963). The Seeds of Time. Harmondsworth: Penguin. p. 7., quoted from the Penguin reprint; the original publication was 1956 by Michael Joseph.
^ "Definitions of Science Fiction". Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2006.
^ From Heinlein's essay "Science Fiction: Its Nature, Faults and Virtues", originally in Davenport, Basil, ed (1959). The Science Fiction Novel: Imagination and Social Criticism. Advent.; cited from Knight, Damon, ed (1977). Turning Points:Essays on the Art of Science Fiction. New York: Harper and Row. p. 9.
^ Amis, Kingsley (1960). New Maps of Hell. New York: Ballantine. p. 14.
^ In "Science-Fantasy and Translations:Two More Cans of Worms", by James Blish. Cited from a 1974 reprint of Blish, James (1970). More Issues At Hand. Chicago: Advent. p. 100.. According to the front matter, this essay was originally published in two parts, in 1960 and 1964. Blish lists a variety of sources, some fanzines and some professional magazines, from which the book was drawn, but does not specify which particular sources formed the basis of this essay.
^ Originally published in 1972
^ Aldiss, Brian (1973). Billion Year Spree.
^ Aldiss, Brian; Wingrove, David (1986). Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction. London: Gollancz. ISBN 0-575-03942-6.
^ The quote appears to be from the introduction to Spinrad, Norman, ed (1974). Modern Science Fiction. Anchor Press.
^ Asimov, "How Easy to See the Future!", Natural History, 1975
^ a b Scholes, Robert (1975). Structural Fabulation.
^ Metamorphoses of SF No 63.
^ a b Parrinder, Patrick (1980). Science Fiction: Its Criticism and Teaching. London: New Accents. p. 15.
^ Pringle, David (1985). Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels. London: Xanadu. p. 9.
^ Robinson, Kim Stanley (1987). "Profession". Foundation: the international review of science fiction (38). ISSN 03064964258.
^ Evans, Christopher (1988). Writing Science Fiction. London: A & C Black. p. 9.
^ Greenberg, Martin & Asimov, Isaac, ed (1990). Cosmic Critiques. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books. p. 6.
^ Prucher, Jeff (2007). Brave New Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 171.
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Science Fiction Films are usually scientific, visionary, comic-strip-like, and imaginative, and usually visualized through fanciful, imaginative settings, expert film production design, advanced technology gadgets (i.e., robots and spaceships), scientific developments, or by fantastic special effects. Sci-fi films are complete with heroes, distant planets, impossible quests, improbable settings, fantastic places, great dark and shadowy villains, futuristic technology and gizmos, and unknown and inexplicable forces. Many other SF films feature time travels or fantastic journeys, and are set either on Earth, into outer space, or (most often) into the future time. Quite a few examples of science-fiction cinema owe their origins to writers Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. See also AFI's 10 Top 10 - The Top 10 Science Fiction Films.

They often portray the dangerous and sinister nature of knowledge ('there are some things Man is not meant to know') (i.e., the classic Frankenstein (1931), The Island of Lost Souls (1933), and David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986) - an updating of the 1958 version directed by Kurt Neumann and starring Vincent Price), and vital issues about the nature of mankind and our place in the whole scheme of things, including the threatening, existential loss of personal individuality (i.e., Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)). Plots of space-related conspiracies (Capricorn One (1978)), supercomputers threatening impregnation (Demon Seed (1977)), the results of germ-warfare (The Omega Man (1971)) and laboratory-bred viruses or plagues (28 Days Later (2002)), black-hole exploration (Event Horizon (1997)), and futuristic genetic engineering and cloning (Gattaca (1997) and Michael Bay's The Island (2005)) show the tremendous range that science-fiction can delve into.

Strange and extraordinary microscopic organisms or giant, mutant monsters ('things or creatures from space') may be unleashed, either created by misguided mad scientists or by nuclear havoc (i.e., The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)). Sci-fi tales have a prophetic nature (they often attempt to figure out or depict the future) and are often set in a speculative future time. They may provide a grim outlook, portraying a dystopic view of the world that appears grim, decayed and un-nerving (i.e., Metropolis (1927) with its underground slave population and view of the effects of industrialization, the portrayal of 'Big Brother' society in 1984 (1956 and 1984), nuclear annihilation in a post-apocalyptic world in On the Beach (1959), Douglas Trumbull's vision of eco-disaster in Silent Running (1972), Michael Crichton's Westworld (1973) with androids malfunctioning, Soylent Green (1973) with its famous quote: "Soylent Green IS PEOPLE!", 'perfect' suburbanite wives in The Stepford Wives (1975), and the popular gladiatorial sport of the year 2018 in Rollerball (1975)). Commonly, sci-fi films express society's anxiety about technology and how to forecast and control the impact of technological and environmental change on contemporary society.

A special subsection has been created on the subject of robots in film.
See: Robots in Film (a comprehensive illustrated history here).
Science fiction often expresses the potential of technology to destroy humankind through Armaggedon-like events, wars between worlds, Earth-imperiling encounters or disasters (i.e., The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951), When Worlds Collide (1951), The War of the Worlds (1953), the two Hollywood blockbusters Deep Impact (1998) and Armageddon (1998), and The Day After Tomorrow (2004), etc.). In many science-fiction tales, aliens, creatures, or beings (sometimes from our deep subconscious, sometimes in space or in other dimensions) are unearthed and take the mythical fight to new metaphoric dimensions or planes, depicting an eternal struggle or battle (good vs. evil) that is played out by recognizable archetypes and warriors (i.e., Forbidden Planet (1956) with references to the 'id monster' from Shakespeare's The Tempest, the space opera Star Wars (1977) with knights and a princess with her galaxy's kingdom to save, The Fifth Element (1997), and the metaphysical Solaris (1972 and 2002)). Beginning in the 80s, science fiction began to be feverishly populated by noirish, cyberpunk films, with characters including cyber-warriors, hackers, virtual reality dreamers and druggies, and underworld low-lifers in nightmarish, un-real worlds (i.e., Blade Runner (1982), Strange Days (1995), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and The Matrix (1999)).

Borrowing and Hybrid Genre Blending in Sci-Fi Films:

The genre is predominantly a version of fantasy films ( Star Wars (1977)), but can easily overlap with horror films, particularly when technology or alien life forms become malevolent (Alien (1979)) in a confined spaceship (much like a haunted-house story). Quite a few science-fiction films took an Earth-bound tale and transported it to outer space: High Noon (1952) became Outland (1980), The Magnificent Seven (1960) was spoofed in Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), Enemy Mine (1985) was essentially a remake of Hell in the Pacific (1968) with Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune, and the chariot race of Ben-Hur (1959) was duplicated in the pod-race of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).

Further, there are many examples of blurred or hybrid science fiction films that shared characteristics with lots of other genres including:

westerns (Outland (1980))
romances (Somewhere in Time (1980))
adventure films (The Thing From Another World (1951))
action films (Terminator 2 - Judgment Day (1991))
comedies (Sleeper (1973))
serials ( Star Wars (1977))
cop-buddy films (Alien Nation (1988))
The Earliest Science Fiction Films:

Many early films in this genre featured similar fanciful special effects and thrilled early audiences. The pioneering science fiction film, a 14-minute ground-breaking masterpiece with 30 separate tableaus (scenes), Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902), was made by imaginative, turn-of-the-century French filmmaker/magician Georges Melies, approximating the contents of the novels by Jules Verne (From the Earth to the Moon) and H.G. Wells (First Men in the Moon). With innovative, illusionary cinematic techniques (trick photography with superimposed images, dissolves and cuts), he depicted many memorable, whimsical old-fashioned images:

a modern-looking, projectile-style rocket ship blasting off into space from a rocket-launching cannon (gunpowder powered?)
a crash landing into the eye of the winking 'man in the moon'
the appearance of fantastic moon inhabitants (Selenites, acrobats from the Folies Bergere) on the lunar surface
a scene in the court of the moon king
a last minute escape back to Earth
Otto Rippert's melodramatic and expressionistic Homunculus (1916, Ger.) - mostly a lost silent film - was a serial (or mini-series) composed of six one-hour episodic parts. It told about the life of an artificial man (Danish actor Olaf Fonss) that was created by an archetypal mad scientist (Friedrich Kuhne). The monstrous, vengeful creature, after realizing it was soul-less and lacked human emotion, became a tyrannical dictator but was eventually destroyed by a divine bolt of lightning. Its importance as an early science-fiction film was that it served as a precursor and inspiration to Universal's Frankenstein (1931) film and many other plots of sci-fi films (with mad scientists, superhuman androids, Gothic elements, and the evil effects of technology).

The first science fiction feature films appeared in the 1920s after the Great War, showing increasing doubts about the destructive effects of technology gone mad. The first feature-length dinosaur-oriented science-fiction film to be released was The Lost World (1925). It was also the first feature length film made in the US with the pioneering first major use (primitive) of stop-motion animation with models for its special effects. It helped to establish its genre - 'live' and life-like giant monsters-dinosaurs, later replicated in Gojira (1954, Jp.), Jurassic Park (1993) and Godzilla (1998).

One of the greatest and most innovative films ever made was a silent film set in the year 2000, German director Fritz Lang's classic, expressionistic, techno-fantasy masterpiece Metropolis (1927) - sometimes considered the Blade Runner of its time. It featured an evil scientist/magician named Rotwang, a socially-controlled futuristic city, a beautiful but sinister female robot named Maria (probably the first robot in a feature film, and later providing the inspiration for George Lucas' C3-PO in Star Wars), a stratified society, and an oppressed enslaved race of underground industrial workers. Even today, the film is acclaimed for its original, futuristic sets, mechanized society themes and a gigantic subterranean flood - it appeared to accurately project the nature of society in the year 2000. [It was re-released in 1984 with a stirring, hard-rock score featuring Giorgio Moroder's music and songs by Pat Benatar and Queen.]

Another Lang film, his last silent film, was one of the first space travel films, The Woman in the Moon (1929) (aka By Rocket to the Moon). It was about a blastoff to the moon where explorers discovered a mountainous landscape littered with raw diamonds and chunks of gold. [The film introduced NASA's backward count to a launch - 5-4-3-2-1 to future real-life space shots, and the effects of centrifugal force to future space travel films.]

Alexander Korda's epic view of the future Things to Come (1936) was directed by visual imagist William Cameron Menzies and starred Raymond Massey (as pacifist pilot John Cabal). The imaginative English film was based on an adaptation of H. G. Wells' 1933 The Shape of Things to Come and set during the years from 1940 to 2036 in 'Everytown.' It included a lengthy global world war (WW II!), a prophetic Brave New World-view, a despotic tyrant named Rudolph (Ralph Richardson), the dawn of the space age, and the attempt of social-engineering scientists to save the world with technology. An attempt to prevent scientific progress - and the launch of the first Moon rocket - was vainly led by sculptor Theotocopulos (Cedric Hardwicke). David Butler's Just Imagine (1930), a futuristic sci-fi musical about a man who awakened in a strange new world - New York City in the 1980s, provided prophetic inventions including automatic doors, test tube babies, and videophones.

Early Science-Fiction - Horror Film Blends: The 30s

The most memorable blending of science fiction and horror was in Universal Studios' mad scientist-doctor/monster masterpiece from director James Whale, Frankenstein (1931), an adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel. Her original 1818 book was subtitled Frankenstein - The Modern Prometheus, and she used this allusion to signify that her main character Dr. Victor Frankenstein demonstrated 'hubris' against god/nature in his experimental desire to create life from dead body parts, and afterwards abandoned his monstrous ugly creature. Like the Titan god, who stole fire from the gods to benefit mankind, he did not realize the ramifications of his actions. (Although there were civilizing results of having fire, it also brought the ability to work with metals, which could be shaped into weapons, that could then be used in warfare.) Many other derivative works, including numerous sci-fi films, have featured mad scientists, and artificially-created monsters that run amok killing people.

This was soon followed by Whale's superior sequel Bride of Frankenstein (1935), one of the best examples of the horror-SF crossover, and one of the first films with a mad scientist's creation of miniaturized human beings. The famed director also made the film version of an H. G. Wells novel The Invisible Man (1933) with Claude Rains (in his film debut in the starring title role) - it was the classic tale of a scientist with a formula for invisibility accompanied by spectacular special effects and photographic tricks.

Mad Scientists in Early Horror/Sci-Fi Films:

In the 1930s and early 40s, American sound films with hybrid science fiction/horror themes included an oddball collection of mad scientist films, with memorable characters who created mutated or shrunken creatures:

The Vampire Bat (1932) - a low-budget Majestic Pictures film in which Lionel Atwill starred as mad doctor Otto Von Niemann, responsible for creating bloodsucking nocturnal bats in a small German town; with a cast including dark-haired, 'scream-queen' Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, and Dwight Frye (the crazy Renfield character in Dracula)
Doctor X (1932), a First National (later Warner Bros.) film, in pioneering two-strip Technicolor by director Michael Curtiz, about another mysterious mad scientist named Doctor X-avier (Lionel Atwill) and his daughter (Fay Wray)
The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), another First National film in two-strip Technicolor, about an insane, wax-dummy maker-sculptor, again pairing Atwill and Wray, and featuring Glenda Farrell as a fast-talking, wisecracking reporter; famous for the shocking 'face-mask crumbling' scene; [re-made in 1953 as House of Wax with Vincent Price]
The Black Cat (1934) - the first and best of all the Karloff-Lugosi pairings at Universal, featuring Boris Karloff (as a crazed devil worshipper) and Bela Lugosi (as a vengeful architect)
The Invisible Ray (1936) - although he usually played a grotesque monster, Karloff starred as experimental physicist Dr. Janos Rukh in this film; after traveling to Africa with his colleague Dr. Benet (Bela Lugosi) and becoming infected by radiation (Radium X) in a meteor of the nebula Andromeda, Karloff was transformed into a murdering, radiation-poisoned megalomaniac as he hunted down his enemies and projected death rays at them from his eyes (glaring from under a soft felt hat)
Tod Browning's off-beat The Devil Doll (1936) - with Devil's Island escapee and scientist Paul Lavond (Lionel Barrymore), disguised as a macabre elderly woman ("Madame Mandelip"), vengefully terrorizing his enemies by creating shrunken "devil dolls" to seek out his revenge; with landmark special effects, and Maureen O'Sullivan in a supporting role as Lavond's daughter
Ernest Schoedsack's and Paramount's Dr. Cyclops (1940) - the first Technicolor horror/sci-fi film since The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), with Albert Dekker as sadistic, bald, bespectacled mad scientist Dr. Thorkel shrinking his victims in a remote Peruvian jungle setting; the film received an Academy Award nomination for its Visual Effects
The Monster and the Girl (1941) - another Paramount "B" horror/sci-fi film from director Stuart Heisler, about eccentric mad scientist Dr. Parry (George Zucco) who transplanted the brain of a wrongly-accused and executed murderer into a murderous gorilla, who then went on a rampage to seek revenge
director George Sherman's The Lady and the Monster (1944) - the first film version of the classic tale Donovan's Brain by Curt Siodmak [remade in 1954], in which the throbbing, telepathic brain of a dead and unscrupulous industrialist/maniac named James Donovan was kept alive by enthusiastic mad scientist/Prof. Franz Mueller (Erich von Stroheim)
Escapist Serials of the 30s: Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers

In the 1930s, the most popular films were the low-budget, less-serious, space exploration tales portrayed in the popular, cliff-hanger Saturday matinee serials with the first two science-fiction heroes - Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

Space-explorer hero Flash Gordon was a fanciful adventure character derived from the Alex Raymond comic strip first published in 1934 (from King Features). The serials 'invented' many familiar technological marvels: anti-gravity belts, laser/ray guns, and spaceships. Universal's serialized sci-fi adventures included:

Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (1936), the original and the best of its type, with 13 chapters; later condensed into a 97-minute feature film titled Flash Gordon: Rocketship
Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938) - 15 episodes
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940), 12 episodes, with Carol Hughes as Dale Arden
Popular elements in the swashbuckling films were the perfectly-cast, epic hero athlete/actor Larry "Buster" Crabbe, the lovely heroine and Flash's blonde sweetheart Dale Arden (Jean Rogers), Dr. Hans Zarkov (Frank Shannon), and the malevolent, tyrant Emperor Ming the Merciless (Charles Middleton) on far-off planet Mongo. The Flash Gordon films were remade in 1980 (with Sam J. Jones as the title character and Max von Sydow as Ming, with music by Queen), and in 1997 as the animated Flash Gordon: Marooned on Mongo. [There was also a pornographic knock-off film titled Flesh Gordon (1972) that featured a dildo-shaped spaceship.]

Wavy-haired, muscular Buster Crabbe also starred in the 12-part serial Buck Rogers Conquers the Universe (1939) shot between Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938) and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). It was derived from the novelette story "Armageddon-2419 A.D." written by Phil Nolan (published in the August 1928 issue of the pulp magazine Amazing Stories), and from the comic strip Buck Rogers in the 25th Century by Dick Calkins. In this sci-fi serial, Buck Rogers pursued the vile Killer Kane (Anthony Warde), but the series proved to be not as popular as the Flash Gordon serials.

Another serial was Republic's 15-part serial The Purple Monster Strikes (1945), aka D-Day on Mars, with one of the first instances of alien invasion. And in Columbia's 15-episode serial Bruce Gentry - Daredevil of the Skies (1949), the hero (Tom Neal) fought off the genre's first flying saucers.

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