In 1993, I edited Science Fiction for Young Readers (SFYR) for the Greenwood Publishing Group. My call for papers for that volume drew more good submissions than it was possible, thematically and financially, to put into one book; that is, the book would have been, at best, a loose amalgam of essays and would have been too costly for Greenwood’s Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy series. SFYR then became an author-centered book, each of the essays examining the contributions of a single author to the field of young adult science fiction. When that project was completed, I embarked on what has now become this book, Young Adult Science Fiction, a more topically centered book.
Part I is a collection of essays organized by nation, each surveying the development of young adult science fiction (YASF) within a specific country. Young adult science fiction in the United States is such a large field that I assigned it two essays. Francis J. Molson’s “American Technological Fiction for Youth: 1900–1940” examines what might almost be called pre-YASF and looks at fiction that celebrated the emerging technology of the twentieth century, examining everything from the still well known Tom Swift books to others, like the Radio Boys series, which are known now only to collectors and specialists. The second essay of the pair, C. W. Sullivan Ill’s “American Young Adult Science Fiction Since 1947,” begins with Robert A. Heinlein’s Rocket Ship Galileo (1947), arguably the first science fiction (SF) book for the YA market and, using Heinlein’s juveniles as a paradigm, makes some observations about the development of the field since then.
Greer Watson’s “Young Adult Science Fiction in Canada” not only surveys the development of YASF in Canada and discusses the connections between the United States and Canada and England, but also discusses the separate development of French-language science fiction and English-language science fiction in