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978-1-956102-07-9 PAPERBACK FIRST ,

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Science Fiction, as a new genre, existed at the beginning of the twentieth century when an American radio engineer and magazine editor, Hugo Gernsback labeled the new genre as ‘Scientifiction’ in 1926, to characterize the contents of the magazine Amazing Stories. Later, the term was rechristened as Astounding Science Fiction in 1938. It was only in the 1950’s or after the World War II that the label Science Fiction was applied to paperback novels, incorporating science.

To understand how Science Fiction evolved as a specialized form of writing or as a literary genre, it is essential to find prototypes in earlier works and to assess the basic parameters of Science Fiction. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1817) was the first book in the history of writing having all the characteristics of Science Fiction. But genealogies of Science Fiction can be found in Plato’s The Republic (Fourth Century B.C.), Lucian’s Satires (Second Century A.D.), Thomas More’s Utopia (1492) and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver Travels (1726).Similarly in India, Science Fiction writing began with Jagadananada Roy’s Shukra Bhraman (Travels to Moon) which appeared in Bengali in 1879.But some elements of Science Fiction could be seen in the Purans and the great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana as well.


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