martes, 8 de abril de 2014

EDWARD PAGE MITCHELL (1852 — 1927)

I should like to inaugurate our "journey" to the Fourth Dimension of Literature with a not so well known author who will undoubtedly take us to the fascinating, breathtaking world of imagination. He is definitely one of the fathers of what we could call "socio-fantastic Science-fiction" literature, Edward Page Mitchell. He wrote the first story about faster than light travel in 1874, in another short story he also imagined a "Time Machine" just seven years before H. G. Wells presented a better known version of that same scenario in 1888 with his Time Machine. Mitchell also originated the first fictional concept of a neo electronic thinking computer functioning in a human head in 1879, "The Tachypomp". And his 1883 literary masterpiece about a highly involved, tree-sized floating plant is probably the earliest story yet found that utilizes the idea of a non-human but friendly alien. His work includes a tale that involves photographing smell and bottling sound ("The Soul Spectroscope"), an adventure built around an invisible presence ("The Crystal Man"), and a wryly amusing account of a materialized spirit that refuse to dematerialize ("Back from the Bourne"). 
No matter what the subject matter, however, it is Mitchell's ideas that proliferate, sparkle, and charm —theories and notions revolutionary for their time but perhaps even more provocative and fascinating in today's advanced era of realized Moon and Mars explorations and acknowledged ESP, Hadron Collider experiments and Quantum Physics era. 
Originally published in newspapers, most of these stories anonymously, there is a title (The Crystal Man: Stories by Edward Page Mitchell, edited by Sam Moskovitch in Garden City (New York), in 1973) that collects thirty of his most fascinating stories of "Socio-Fantasy" and "Science-Fiction" literature. 
Although all the stories in the tittle are worth reading, I would like to mention those that specially struck my attention and interest in order of appearance in the book:
A. Science-Fiction:
1. The Crystal Man.
2. The Ablest Man in the World.
3. The Tachypomp.
4. The Man Without a Body.
5. The Clock That Went Backward.
6. The Inside of Earth.

B: Fantastic Fiction:

1. Exchanging Their Souls.

C: Horror Stories:
1. The Cave of the Splurgles.

Major Web-Sources:
Collections
Shortfiction
Reviews

Webliography: 
In English:
Some of these stories can be read here
Project Gutenberg
Science-Fiction Studies


In Spanish:
You can also read them translated into Spanish here
Un Universo de Ficción


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