The Way to Ground Zero: The Atomic Bomb in American Science Fiction

The Way to Ground Zero: The Atomic Bomb in American Science Fiction

The Way to Ground Zero: The Atomic Bomb in American Science Fiction

The Way to Ground Zero: The Atomic Bomb in American Science Fiction

Synopsis

Bartter surveys 250 American science-fiction stories, and American SF novels--with occasional overlaps of stories made into episodic novels--that have some relationship, often direct, sometimes marginal, to atomic weapons and their effects. . . . Highly recommended for popular literature collections." Choice

Excerpt

By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Americans were accustomed to profound changes stemming from important inventions: the steamboat in 1804; the steel plow in 1833 and the McCormick reaper in 1834; the telegraph in 1844 and the transatlantic cable in 1866; the telephone in 1876, the same year as the internal combustion engine; and electric power in 1882, to mention just a few. These new technologies transformed not only the quality of American life, but also the very pattern it followed. And Americans were well aware that inventions do not create themselves.

THE "LONE INVENTOR"

The "marvelous invention" story became popular in dime novels as early as 1868, with Edward S. Ellis The Steam Man of the Prairies. That story was copied by Harry Enton to begin the Frank Reade series in 1876, after newspapers ran accounts of a real steam automation created . . .

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