Here is my 10th podcast, recently recorded:
5/6/14 Science Fiction, Utopia, and the End of Imagination (1) (57:57)
I tell a story interweaving the developments in ideas of utopia, dystopia, and in science fiction from the 16th century to the future. I briefly discuss the utopias of the 16th and 17th centuries and the proto-science fiction of the 17th and 18th centuries. The bulk of my presentation focuses on the 19th century, in which science fiction takes shape, new utopian prospects arise, dystopian scenarios emerge, and the future is invented. I begin the story of true science fiction with "Frankenstein" (1818) and continue with developments in France and the USA, with an excursion into futuristic works from Hungary. I discuss key roles played by Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Edgar Page Mitchell. I review the history of time travel fiction prior to and including H. G. Wells. I then summarize developments in utopianism. Towards the end of the 19th century dystopian works appear. Wells' "The Time Machine" (1895) marks a historical turning point, as do his other science fiction and futuristic works. Finally, I review key dystopian works covering the years 1920-1970.The Hungarian literary contribution does not play a sizable role in my podcast, but others would neglect it completely. I mention the historical significance of Imre Madách's The Tragedy of Man (Az ember tragédiája, 1861), Mór Jókai's The Novel of the Next Century (a.k.a. A Novel of the Coming Century; A jövő század regénye, 1872), and Sándor Szathmári's Voyage to Kazohinia (in English, 1975, 2012; in Hungarian, first (censored) edition, Kazohinia (Gulliver utazása Kazohiniában), 1941; in Esperanto, Vojaĝo al Kazohinio, 1958) and Maŝinmondo (Machine-World, in Esperanto, 1964).