Poe and Science Fiction
(This page is under construction.)
Poe's dabblings in the realm of science fiction are hardly recognizable
as such today. There are no flying saucers, laser guns or time machines
in Poe's writings. His works are limited more or less to the scientific
understandings of his own day. The closest of Poe's tales to modern science
fiction is perhaps "The Unparalled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall," at the
end of which the hero claims to have taken a balloon to the moon. There,
he describes "a fantastical-looking city" occupied by "a vast crowd of
ugly little people" who have no ears and use "a singular method of inter-communication
[telepathy]." (The tone of the piece, is somewhat humorous, in the vein
of Swift's Gulliver's Travels, although Poe is less obviously indulging
"Colloquy of Monos and Una" (1841)
"The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion" (1839)
"The Power of Words" (1845)
"The Balloon Hoax" (1844)
"The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" (1845)
"Von Kemplen and His Discovery" (1849)
"The Unparalled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" (1835)
"Mellona Tauta" (1849)
Beaver, Harold, "Introduction," The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe,
New York: Penguin Books, 1976, pp. vii - xxi. (Primarily a collection of
Poe's own writings.)
Franklin, H. Bruce, "Edgar Allan Poe and Science Fiction," Future Perfect:
American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century, New York: Oxford
University Press, 1966.
Moskowitz, Sam, Explorers of the Infinite: Shapers of Science Fiction,
Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1963.
Olney, Clarke, "Edgar Allan Poe: Science Fiction Pioneer," Georgia Review,
XII, 1958, pp. 416-421.
Pollin, Burton R., "Poe: The 'Virtual' Inventor, Practitioner, and Inspirer
of Modern Science Fiction," Poe Messenger, XXVI, No. 1, Winter 1996,
pp. 18-29, 42-45.
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Rainwater, Catherine, "Encounters with the 'White Sphinx': Poe's Influence
on Some Early Works of H. G. Wells," English Literature in Transition
1880-1920, XXVI, 1983, pp. 35-51.