New Light Through Old Windows: Exploring Contemporary Science Through 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales

  • Stephen Webb

Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Stephen Webb
    Pages 1-23
  3. Stephen Webb
    Pages 25-43
  4. Stephen Webb
    Pages 45-93
  5. Stephen Webb
    Pages 95-124
  6. Stephen Webb
    Pages 125-141
  7. Stephen Webb
    Pages 143-179
  8. Stephen Webb
    Pages 181-199
  9. Stephen Webb
    Pages 201-220
  10. Stephen Webb
    Pages 221-244
  11. Stephen Webb
    Pages 245-259
  12. Stephen Webb
    Pages 261-287
  13. Stephen Webb
    Pages 289-305

About this book


This book presents the reader with some of the earliest classic SF short stories – all of them published between 1858 and 1934, featuring both well-known and long-forgotten writers – dealing for the first time with topics to which science had (some) answers only at much later stages. This includes aspects of alien life forms, transmogrification, pandemics, life on Mars, android robots, big data, matter transmission and impact events to name but a few.

The short stories are reprinted in full alongside extensive commentaries which also examine some of the latest scientific thinking surrounding the story’s main theme and provide the reader with suggestions for further reading.

Since gaining a BSc in physics from the University of Bristol and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Manchester, Stephen Webb has worked in a variety of universities in the UK. He has published an undergraduate textbook Measuring the Universe - The Cosmological Distance Ladder (1999) as well as several popular science books, among them Out of this World - Colliding Universes, Branes, Strings, and Other Wild Ideas of Modern Physics in 2004, New Eyes on the Universe - Twelve Cosmic Mysteries and the Tools We Need to Solve Them in 2012, the second edition of If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY? Seventy-Five Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life in 2015, All the Wonder that Would Be - Exploring Past Notions of the Future in 2017, also published as part of Springer’s Science and Fiction series, as well as recently, Clash of Symbols - A ride through the riches of glyphs. His 2018 TED talk on aliens has to date been watched more than 2.33 million times.


classic science fiction short stories Arthur Conan Doyle William Hope Hodgson Jack London Stanley G Weinbaum Ambrose Bierce ETA Hoffmann Kurd Lasswitz EP Mitchell Frank Stockton Robert Milne Fitz-James O’Brien Herbert Wells

Authors and affiliations

  • Stephen Webb
    • 1
  1. 1.DCQE University of PortsmouthLee-on-the-SolentUK

Bibliographic information