Science-Fiction Classics: Ten of the Best

By Ridpath, John | New Statesman (1996), September 21, 2009 | Go to article overview

Science-Fiction Classics: Ten of the Best


Ridpath, John, New Statesman (1996)


Frankenstein Mary Shelley (1818) Written when the author was still in her late teens, the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster is not only a classic work of Gothic horror, but one of the earliest examples of science fiction. The subtitle--Or, the Modern Prometheus--points to Shelley's concern with the dangers of overweening human ambition during the Industrial Revolution.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Jules Verne (1870) Verne had an uncanny knack for anticipating real-life inventions before their time. His fictional predictions include aeroplanes, spaceships and--in the adventures of Captain Nemo-submarines. But early translators of Verne into English were not kind to the Frenchman's genius: overly technical passages were cut and anything deemed offensive to the British empire was bowdlerised.

The War of the Worlds

HC Wells (1898) With his tale of Martians landing in 19th-century Woking, Wells provoked an onslaught of fictional alien invasions. Orson Welles's 1938 radio adaptation, with its simulated news-bulletin format, caused genuine public panic. Steven Spielberg's 2005 film of the novel made much less of an impact.

I, Robot Isaac Asimov (1950) I, Robot is another science-fiction classic to receive a pallid and disappointing 21st-century cinematic adaptation, directed for the big screen by Alex Proyas and starring Will Smith. In his original stories of robot/human interaction, Asimov unwittingly coined the word "robotics", introduced the highly influential Three Laws and invented the (fictional) positronic brain.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Solaris

Stanislaw Lem (1961)

This deeply philosophical work explores humanity's futile attempts to communicate with an alien being of huge intelligence on a distant planet, Solaris. Lem thought that western SF authors, with the notable exception of Philip K Dick, were about as foolish and misguided as the researchers of Solaris. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Science-Fiction Classics: Ten of the Best
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.