Golden Age Science Fiction 1940–1960

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


To describe the science fiction published in the 1940s and 1950s as ‘Golden Age’ is — obviously — not to use a neutral or value-free description. Coined by a partisan Fandom, the phrase valorises a particular sort of writing: ‘Hard SF’, linear narratives, heroes solving problems or countering threats in a space-opera or a technological-adventure idiom. Another approach at definition would be to link the Golden Age to the personal taste of John W. Campbell (1910–1971), who played a larger role than anyone else in disseminating prescriptive ideas of what SF ought to be.


Short Story Science Fiction American Writer Sentient Creature Magic Word 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aldiss, Brian, with David Wingrove, Trillion Year Spree: the History of Science Fiction (London: Gollancz 1986)Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, Poul, Tau Zero (1970; London: Gollancz 2000)Google Scholar
  3. Asimov, Isaac, The Caves of Steel (1954; London: Grafton 1987)Google Scholar
  4. Asimov, Isaac, ‘The Bicentennial Man’ (1976), in The Complete Robot (London: Grafton 1982)Google Scholar
  5. Barjavel, Rene, Ravage (1943; Paris: Folio 2000)Google Scholar
  6. Bester, Alfred, Tiger! Tiger! (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1974)Google Scholar
  7. Blish, James, Cities in Flight (1956–62; London: Gollancz `SF Masterworks’ 1999)Google Scholar
  8. Blish, James, A Case of Conscience (1958; London: Gollancz ‘SF Masterworks’ 1999)Google Scholar
  9. Bukatman, Scott, Terminal Identity: the Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press 1993)Google Scholar
  10. Clarke, Arthur C., The Collected Stories (London: Gollancz 2000)Google Scholar
  11. Clute, John, Science Fiction: the Illustrated Encyclopedia (London: Dorling Kindersley 1995)Google Scholar
  12. Disch, Thomas, The Dreams our Stuff is Made of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World (New York: Simon and Schuster 1998)Google Scholar
  13. Eagleton, Terry, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (Oxford: Blackwell 1990)Google Scholar
  14. Fitting, Peter, in David Ketterer, op. cit.Google Scholar
  15. Gifford, James, ‘The Nature of “Federal Service” in Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers’, (accessed December 2004)Google Scholar
  16. Huntington, John, Rationalizing Genius: Ideological Structures in the Classic American Science Fiction Short Story (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press 1989)Google Scholar
  17. James, Edward, Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1994)Google Scholar
  18. Ketterer, David, ‘“A part of the … family(?)”: John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos as Estranged Autobiography’, in Patrick Parrinder (ed.), Learning from Other Worlds: Estrangement, Cognition and the Politics of Science Fiction and Utopia (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press 2000), pp. 146–77Google Scholar
  19. Nicholls, Peter, ‘Arthur C. Clarke’, in John Clute and Peter Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2nd edn., London: Orbit 1993), pp. 229–32Google Scholar
  20. Nicholls, Peter, ‘Monster Movies’, in John Clute and Peter Nicholls, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2nd edn., London: Orbit 1993), pp. 816–18Google Scholar
  21. Panshin, Alexi and Cory Panshin, The World Beyond the Hill (Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher 1989)Google Scholar
  22. Rabkin, Eric, Arthur C. Clarke (2nd edn., Mercer Island, WA: Starmont 1980)Google Scholar
  23. Rambali, Paul, French Blues: a Journey in Modern France (London: Minerva 1989)Google Scholar
  24. Ruddick, Nicholas, ‘Out of the Gernsbackian Slime: Christopher Priest’s Abandonment of Science Fiction’, Modern Fiction Studies 32 (1986) 1: 43–52Google Scholar
  25. Sabin, Roger, Comics, Comix and Graphic Novels: a History of Comic Art (London: Phaidon 1996)Google Scholar
  26. Suvin, Darko, Positions and Suppositions in Science Fiction (London: Macmillan 1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Vance, Jack, Emphyrio (1969; London: Gollancz ‘SF Masterworks’ 1999)Google Scholar
  28. Westfahl, Gary, The Mechanics of Wonder: the Creation of the Idea of Science Fiction (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press 1998)Google Scholar
  29. Wyndham, John, The Midwich Cuckoos (1957; Penguin 1975)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Adam Roberts 2006

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations