From the enrapturing tales of H. G. Wells to the punishing dystopian visions of 1984 and beyond, the evolution of science fiction from the 1890s to the 1960s is a fascinating journey to undertake. Setting out this span of years as what we can now recognize as the ‘classic’ period of the genre, Mike Ashley takes us on a tour of the stars, utopian and post-apocalyptic futures, worlds of AI run amok and techno-thriller masterpieces asking piercing questions of the present. This book does not claim to be definitive; what it does offer is an accessible view of the impressive spectrum of imaginative writing which the genre’s classic period has to offer. Towering science fiction greats such as Asimov and Aldiss run alongside the, perhaps unexpected, likes of C. S. Lewis and J. B. Priestley and celebrate a side of science fiction beyond the stereotypes of space opera and bug-eyed monsters; the side of science fiction which proves why it must continue to be written and read, so long as any of us remain in uncertain times.
About the Author
Mike Ashley is the author and editor of more than 100 books, and is one of the foremost historians of popular fiction. He has edited numerous British Library Science Fiction Classics anthologies, and is the author of a multi-volume comprehensive history of the genre published by Liverpool University Press.
“Never indulging in facile choices, always keen to portray his chosen icons in a fair and insightful and joyful manner, Mike Ashley, with this book, has built a temple to British science fiction which should stand as an enduring monument, museum, and cathedral for the field.” —Locus Online
“Compiled by one of our leading scholars of “fantastika,” this sturdy paperback provides introductions to dozens of tantalizing works of arresting, stylishly written speculation." —Washington Post Online