The Man with the Strange Head and Other Early Science Fiction Stories

By Miles J. Breuer; Michael R. Page | Go to book overview

Miles J. Breuer


Science Fiction Pioneer of the Nebraska Plains

MICHAEL R. PAGE

In March 1926 a new magazine appeared on newsstands with a wondrous cover that showed skaters gliding on a sheet of ice with a Saturn-like planet looming in the background, and it featured classic stories by H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe, and others. This was the April 1926 issue of Amazing Stories, and with its appearance a new literary genre, science fiction, was born. Well… not quite. Science fiction had been around since the early nineteenth century when Mary Shelley published her classic novel Frankenstein in 1818 and had been a recognizable, but still largely undefined, genre when Verne penned his Voyages extraordinaries from 1864 to the end of the nineteenth century and Wells produced his scientific romances and stories in the 1890s. The selection of reprinted stories that Hugo Gernsback included in Amazing’s first issue, and those he published over the course of the rest of 1926, bear this out. Still, Gernsback’s Amazing Stories was the first magazine devoted exclusively to science fiction (called “scientifiction” in the early years), and in its pages the genre, particularly in its American idiom, was formed and defined.

Gernsback was an innovative publisher, with a special interest in radio and electronics, who had published several technological magazines since the first decade of the new century, starting with Modern Electrics in 1908. When Modern Electrics ended its run in 1913, Gernsback started a new magazine called Electrical Experimenter, which eventually morphed into Science and Invention in 1920. In these magazines Gernsback often included fiction and even published his

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The Man with the Strange Head and Other Early Science Fiction Stories
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Science Fiction Pioneer of the Nebraska Plains ix
  • The Man with the Strange Head 1
  • The Appendix and the Spectacles 12
  • The Gostak and the Doshes 25
  • Paradise and Iron 44
  • A Problem in Communication 257
  • On Board the Martian Liner 285
  • Mechanocracy 312
  • The Finger of the Past 339
  • Millions for Defense 350
  • Mars Colonizes 366
  • The Oversight 394
  • Appendix 1- The Future of Scientifiction 415
  • Appendix 2- Selected Letters 419
  • Source Acknowledgments 427
  • Breuer's Science Fiction 429
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