© 2006

The History of Science Fiction

  • Authors

Part of the Palgrave Histories of Literature book series (Palgrave Histories of Literature)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Adam Roberts
    Pages 1-20
  3. Adam Roberts
    Pages 21-35
  4. Adam Roberts
    Pages 36-63
  5. Adam Roberts
    Pages 64-87
  6. Adam Roberts
    Pages 88-105
  7. Adam Roberts
    Pages 106-128
  8. Adam Roberts
    Pages 129-155
  9. Adam Roberts
    Pages 195-229
  10. Adam Roberts
    Pages 295-325
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 346-368

About this book


The History of Science Fiction traces the origin and development of science fiction from Ancient Greece up to the present day. The author is both an academic literary critic and acclaimed creative writer of the genre. Written in lively, accessible prose it is specifically designed to bridge the worlds of academic criticism and SF fandom.


1900 chronology cinema design event fiction history of science Hollywood media novel present prose science Science Fiction twentieth century

About the authors

Adam Roberts is Professor of Nineteenth-century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. He is also the author of more than a dozen science fiction novels: his most recent, Jack Glass (2012) won the BSFA and Campbell awards for the year's best science fiction novel. He has published a number of critical and academic works on science fiction, 19th-century and other topics.

Bibliographic information


Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2006

'As a professor of 19th-century literature as well as a prolific science fiction writer, Roberts is eminently qualified to write a history of the genre. This impressive tome is ambitious in its scope, tracing SF's origins back to the fantastic voyages of the ancient Greek novel - the original Vernean voyages extraordinaires.' - The Guardian

'Adam Roberts' 'History' is the most significant history of the genre since The Trillion Year Spree by Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove, published nearly two decades ago, and demonstrates the most original thinking about science fiction since Kingsley Amis's New Maps of Hell more than forty years ago. This isn't merely an excellent historical survey but a narrative, showing compellingly how modern science fiction has roots in the fantastic-voyage tales of antiquity, and has been shaped by a dialectic between magic and materialism that dates back to the Reformation...Adam Roberts is already a proven author of high-quality science fiction. With 'History' he establishes himself as the most important critical voice in modern science fiction studies.' - Stephen Baxter, Current Vice President, The British Science Fiction Association and Author of Timelike Infinity and Voyage

'[A] refreshingly irreverent attempt to look at science fiction without blinkers.' - Strange Horizons

'The History of Science Fiction is a necessary and important book. It will get people talking, discussing and - dare I say it? - arguing about all manner of things relevant to science fiction, its history and its future.' - Green Man Review

'...the lasting impressions left by this History of Science Fiction are of the author's eye for detail, his understanding of the pervasiveness of the science fiction in contemporary culture, and his astonishing critical energy.' - Patrick Parrinder, The British Society for Literature and Science