sábado, 12 de abril de 2014


Another great story by Edward Page Mitchell is "The Man Without a Body", this is a fascinating story that foresees the concept of teleportation, that is, the idea of matter transmission which is nowadays, in the twenty-first century being investigated and explored. Who could have imagined such scientific inventions in the second half of the nineteenth century? It seems to me that not even the most world acclaimed figures of Science-fiction of the times like Jules Vernes or later H. G. Wells would use such theme in their writings. The first one, or one of the very few to the best of my knowledge, is Edward Page Mitchell with "The Man Without a Body", a story of only ten pages  written in 1877, where the narrator meets, by accident, "on a shelf in the old Arsenal Museum" a human Head with "the skull of a philosopher". It is the head of the "celebrated professor Dummkopf" who invented the first teleportation machine, the Telepomp.  His first experiment had been with a cat, which he could transmit five miles by wire in an instant by electricity. Absolutely convinced about the transmission of atoms, Professor Dummkopf decided to try the experiment on himself, but while he began to disintegrate the process suddenly stopped about his third cervical vertebra. The rest of his body had been transmitted but not his head, which was still in his "Phillips Street apartment". The experiment had failed because he had forgotten "to replenish the cups of his electric battery with fresh sulphuric acid". But I should not go on telling the whole story, please, read it, enjoy it and get your own conclusions. 

In Spanish:

martes, 8 de abril de 2014

This story by Edward Page Mitchell is probably the first  record we have about time travel in literature. The plot is about two cousins who inherit an old clock that takes them back to the Siege of Leyden right at the start of October 1574. There is no traveling machine here, the only traveling tool is their aunt Gertrude's old mansion, which is the setting of the story. 
Read it at "Forgottenfutures".
También puedes leerla traducida al español.

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:

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