The beginning of science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of literature that explores the imaginative and possible consequences of scientific, social, and technological innovations. It is often set in the future, in alternative worlds, or in the past that differs from the historical record. Science fiction has been a source of inspiration, wonder, and speculation for readers and writers for centuries.
When did Science Fiction Begin
But when did science fiction begin? Who were the pioneers of this genre? And what were the influences and motivations behind their creative visions? These are some of the questions that this blog post will attempt to answer, by tracing the origins and evolution of science fiction from its earliest manifestations to its modern forms.
The term “science fiction” was coined by Hugo Gernsback in 1926, when he founded the first magazine dedicated to the genre, Amazing Stories. However, the roots of science fiction go back much further, to ancient myths, legends, and epics that featured fantastical creatures, gods, heroes, and voyages. Some of the earliest examples of science fiction include:
– The Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2100 BCE), a Mesopotamian poem that tells the story of a king who seeks immortality and encounters a flood, a garden of jewels, and a scorpion-man.
– The Odyssey (c. 8th century BCE), a Greek epic that recounts the adventures of Odysseus as he returns home from the Trojan War and faces monsters, witches, sirens, and a cyclops.
– The Ramayana (c. 5th century BCE), an Indian epic that narrates the journey of Rama to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana, with the help of an army of monkeys and a flying chariot.
– The Book of Enoch (c. 2nd century BCE), a Jewish apocryphal text that describes the visions of Enoch, who travels to heaven and hell and witnesses angels, fallen ones, giants, and the end of the world.
These ancient works can be seen as precursors of science fiction, as they use elements of fantasy, imagination, and wonder to explore themes such as human nature, morality, destiny, and the unknown. They also reflect the cultural and historical contexts of their authors, who used myth and allegory to express their beliefs, values, and aspirations.
The Beginning of Science Fiction
The Beginning of Science Fiction predates most of the books we would generally think of as sci fi. Modern science fiction includes books, movies, podcast. and TV. So there you have it. A thru line from ancient Mesopotamia to Star Trek.