Cover image for The Gernsback days : a study of the evolution of modern science fiction from 1911 to 1936
The Gernsback days : a study of the evolution of modern science fiction from 1911 to 1936
Ashley, Michael.
Personal Author:
First Wildside Press edition.
Publication Information:
Holicong, PA : Wildside Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
499 pages : portrait ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3513.E8668 Z54 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in Hugo Gernsback, and the start of a serious study of the contribution he made to the development of science fiction. . . . It seemed to me that the time was due to reinvestigate the Gernsback era and dig into the facts surrounding the origins of Amazing Stories. I wanted to find out exactly why Hugo Gernsback had launched the magazine, what he was trying to achieve, and to consider what effects he had-good and bad. . . . Too many writers and editors from the Gernsback days have been unjustly neglected, or unfairly criticized. Now, I hope, Robert A. W. Lowndes and I have provided the grounds for a fair consideration of their efforts, and a true reconstruction of the development of science fiction. It's the closest to time travel you'll ever get. I hope you enjoy the trip."-Mike Ashley, Preface

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

SF fans have long had a love-hate relationship with Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967), the immigrant from Luxembourg who founded the first true science fiction magazine in 1926 as a means of popularizing interest in science and for whom the Hugo Award is named. Many critics dismiss Gernsback while extolling editor John W. Campbell as the founder of modern SF. British scholar Ashley (Algernon Blackwood: An Extraordinary Life) and the late "Doc" Lowndes, himself a veteran pulp editor, set the record straight in this meticulously researched history, which shows how Gernsback's magazines avoided formulas and encouraged new ideas. The authors trace how "scientifiction" developed from "gadget" stories to embrace a wider sense of wonder, all the while promoting a humanist evangelism of science. Gernsback receives proper credit for his innovations-and ample criticism of his lavish lifestyle, which had such a deleterious impact on his businesses. Students of SF and popular culture will find this comprehensive study a necessity in examining this much misunderstood pioneer. (July) Forecast: More than 20 years in the making, as Ashley explains in his introduction, this tome will be snapped up by the SF cognoscenti despite minimal trade distribution. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved