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Old January 17 2011, 09:15 PM   #15
Location: Fifth Circle of Hell
Re: Some science fiction "firsts"

Much as I love Doctor Who, the concept of an eccentric scientist taking companions on adventures was hardly invented in 1963 either. You can look back at least to Verne for that, I believe.

You missed three important ones:

Mary Shelley is considered the founder of steampunk, through her novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, in 1818. And considering it was about a man of science using science to create life, I think it qualifies as SF!

Shelley also wrote a second novel called The Last Man, released in 1826, which is about a post-apocalyptic, plague-ravaged Earth of the 21st century, and was possibly the very first novel of that genre ever written. There's even mention of a "black sun". In addition, Shelley's introduction to the novel suggests that it was based upon some prophecies she discovered in a cave - predating by many years the "Blair Witch"-style genre of "this is based upon so-and-so's journal that we discovered".

Karel Capek's 1921 play R.U.R. coined the term "robot", and featured robots rebelling against their masters and destroying humanity - a theme that anyone who has seen The Matrix trilogy and The Animatrix will immediately recognize. According to the Wikipedia article about the play, a BBC adaptation of the play was broadcast on TV in 1938, and is considered the first SF ever shown on TV.

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