TIMELINE 18th CENTURY




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TIMELINE 18th CENTURY

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Why was the 18th Century the time of Literary Expansion of Science Fiction? Because of the explosion of Science, and of writers who paid attention... There are 5 hotlinks here to authors, magazines, films, or television items elsewhere in the Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide or beyond.
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One paradigmatic author of the 18th century was Baron Munchausen (1720-1797) whose tall tales had numerous science fictional elements. But this century had many examples that were further from Fantasy and closer to true Science Fiction. "Gulliver's Travels" (1726) by Jonathan Swift is superficially also tall tales, but goes deeper into Science Fiction. Some people straddled the Science/Fiction border, such as the great Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a philospher/scientist (optics, minerology) even better known for his poetry, and his sentimental fiction. Mary Shelley (born 1797) later wrote "Frankenstein" -- believed by many critics to be the first modern Science Fiction novel.
Click here or scroll down... Executive Summary of the Century Major Books of the Decade 1700-1710 Major Books of the Decade 1710-1720 Major Books of the Decade 1720-1730 Major Books of the Decade 1730-1740 Major Books of the Decade 1740-1750 Major Books of the Decade 1750-1760 Major Books of the Decade 1760-1770 Major Books of the Decade 1770-1780 Major Books of the Decade 1780-1790 Major Books of the Decade 1790-1800 Science Fiction About this Century Major Writers Born this Century {to be done} Major Writers Died this Century Decade by Decade Science Background Decade by Decade Mundane Background Hotlinks to other Timeline pages of SF Chronology Where to Go for More: 51 Useful Reference Books

Executive Summary of the Century

The 18th Century included much of The Enlightenment, marked by Rationalism, Realism, Materialism, Optimism, and an emphasis on Science. Paradoxically, this produced a backlash of feverish irrationalism in such movements as "Romanticism", "The Graveyard Poets" and the bestselling genre called the Gothic Novel, which is a direct ancestor of today's genres of Science Fiction and of Horror. I contend that the educated person read alike works of science, pseudoscience, and science-influenced literature. That is, the line between fiction and nonfiction was hard to draw. There were works that, in retrospect, were clearly Science Fiction. See, below: * Jonathan Swift [1704], [1726] * Daniel Defoe [1705], [1720], [1726-1727] * Alain Rene Le Sage [1707] * Ludvig Holberg [1731] * Eberhard Christian Kindermann [1744] * Ralph Morris [1751] * Robert Paltrock [1751] * Voltaire [1752] * Louis-Sebastian Mercier [1771] * De la Bretonne [1781] Indeed, this century was marked by enormous volumes of scientific discovery, and the start of the Industrial Revolution with inventions such as: * Machine Drill for planting seeds (1701), invented by Jethro Tull * Cast Iron Plow (1785) invented by Ransome (England) * Spinning Jenny (circa 1764), invented by Hargreaves (England) * Spinning Mule (1779) invented by Crompton (England) * Cotton Gin (1793), invented by Eli Whitney (1765-1825) * Marine Chronometer (1761), invented by John Harrison * Piston Steam Engine (1705), invented by Thomas Newcomen (England) * improved Piston Steam Engine (1769), invented by James Watt (Scotland) * Circular Saw (1777) invented by Miller (England) * Three-color Printing, invented by Jacob Cristoph Le Blon (1710) * Flying Shuttle Loom, invented by John Kay (1733) * Self-acting Loom (1745) * Power Loom (1785), invented by Cartwright (England) * Balloon (1783), invented by Montgolfier (France) * Parachute (1785), invented by Blanchard (France), precursor by da Vinci * Achromatic Lens (1758), invented by Dolland (England) * Lightning Rod (1752), invented by Ben Franklin (USA) * Bifocal Lens (1780), invented by Ben Franklin (USA) * Carding Machine (1797), invented by Whittemore (USA) * Gas Lighting (1792), invented by Murdoch (Scotland) * Mercury Thermometer (1714), invented by Farenheit (Germany) * Thermometer (1730), invented by Reaumer (France) precursor by Galileo * Hydrometer (1768) invented by Baume (France) * Leyden Jar (electrical condenser), invented by von Kleist (Germany) * Steel Pen (1780), invented by Harrison (England) * Piano (1709), invented by Christofori (Italy) * Steam Car (1770) invented by Cugnot (France) * Experimental Steamboat (1778), invented by Jouffroy (France) * Experimental Steamboat (1785), invented by Fitch (USA) * Experimental Steamboat (1787), invented by Rumsey (USA) * Experimental Steamboat (1788), invented by Miller (Scotland) * Torpedo Submarine (1776), invented by Bushnell (USA) Despite the Little Ice Age (1500-1850) reaching its chilly peak in roughly 1750, this was a century that exploited earlier centuries of world exploration with, for example, the European settlement of Australia (1788) and the discovery by Napoleon's troops in Egypt of the Rosetta Stone. In Entertainment, it was a paradise of literature, painting, philosophy, and music. The daily newspaper was introduced (The Daily Courant, London, 1702) the first evening newspaper (The Evening Post, London, 1706) and the magazine (1731). For the first time, novels were serialized in newspapers (1720). The emphasis on the print media was supported by law with the first Copyright Act in Britain (1709) and the Newspaper Stamp Act in England (1712). The Scriblerus Club was established in London, 1713, by Swift, Pope, Congreve, and others. In 1716, for the first time, a company of English actors trod an American Stage, in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 1724, Longman's was founded, the oldest English publisher still extant. The world's first circulating library was established by Allan Ramsay in Edinburgh, Scotland (1726). Benjamin Franklin established a subscription library (1731, Philadelphia). The Literay Club founded in London by Dr.Johnson, Burke, Gibbon, Goldsmith, Reynolds, and others (1764). People also had new nonintellectual ways to have fun, for instance Billiards (introduced in Berlin coffeehouses 1707), Cricket (first mentioned in print 1707 in Chamberlyne's "State of England"; first Cricket Match 1718: "Londoners" vs. "Kentish Men"), the Ascot Races (established by Queen Anne, 1711), the first informal English Gardens (William Kent's 1715 movement), the first Yacht Club (1720, Cork Harbor, Ireland). Gin drinking becomes a fad in Great Britain (1724). Ninepins was first played in New York (1732). Tourism boomed as French painter Hyacinthe Rigaud published his travel handbook "Grand Tour." The Quadrille became a dance craze in France (1745). New York's first playhouse opens (1750). The St. Andrews Royal and Ancient Gold Club is founded in Scotland (1754). Germany's first chocolate factory starts production (1756). The first silk hats from Florence. Edmund Hoyle sets forth the rules of Whist. Potato becomes favored food in Europe (1765). Paris opens its first public restaurant. First velocipedes seen in Paris (1779). First German cigar factory (1788). Composers unmatched in history were as brilliant and prolific as Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Not far behind: Haydn and Handel. Readers devoured the works of philospher/writers, whose imaginative works often were at least proto-science fiction, such as * in France: Voltaire, Condorcet, Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau * in Great Britain: Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Gray, Erasmus Darwin * in America: Benjamin Franklin (a scientist/philospher/writer/diplomat) and Thomas Jefferson was as close to a Scientist ever to be President of the United States, also qualifying as a Philospher, Architect, and Inventor. There were outstanding painters such as: * William Hogarth (also engraver), Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds Less literary but still well-published philosphers included: * David Hume, Immanuel Kant, John Locke (died 28 Oct 1704) Mathematics flourished with geniuses such as: * Jacques (Jakob) Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, Leibnitz, Isaac Newton It was a turbulent century for politics, both national and imperial. The Parliament of Scotland merged with the Parliament of England to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain. There were wars between the empires of Austria, France, Great Britain, and Spain. Some of these were known as: * the War of Spanish Succession, also known as Queen Anne's War * the War of Austrian Succession, also known as King George's War * the Seven Years' War, also known as the French and Indian War * the War of Jenkin's Ear It was also a time of revolution, including most notably: * the French Revolution (1789) * the American Revolution (1775) resulting in: * the Declaration of Independence (1776) * the Constitution (1789) Note that the French Revolution put scientists in positions of political authority, including: * Joseph-Louis Lagrange * Pierre-Simon Laplace ("the "French Newton") although it allowed the beheading of scientist Lavoisier on trumped-up charges. In England, Isaac Newton attained high government post (Master of the Mint); and in America, scientist Benjamin Franklin was a keystone in the the Revolution and in nation-building; while Thomas Jefferson (who personally investigated fossils, plant breeding, and Native American archaeology) became President. There was also a vast amount of what, today, we would call "pseudoscience", such as: * Johannes Fluckinger [1731] on Vampires * various authors, on Alchemy * Emanuel Swedenborg's [1756 and later] nonscience works of Mysticism

Major Books of the Decade 1700-1710

1700: Joseph de Tournefort's "Institutiones rei herbariae" is a magnificently illustrated three-volume work on Mediterranean plant life 1700: Bernardino Rammazzini's "De morbis artificum" is the world's first systematic treatise of what we today call occupational disorders, with analysis of such observations as that nuns have more breast cancer than married women perhaps due to matters of pregnancy and lactation 1701: Joseph Sauveur writes about the relationship of tones in the musical scale, and introduces the word "acoustics" 1702: David Gregory's "Astronomiae physicae et geometriae elementa" becomes the first astronomy textbook based on the principles of gravity 1702: Thomas Savery's "The Miner's Friend" neatly describes his steam engine 1702: Francis Hauksbee's "Physico-mechanical experiments" describes how low-pressure air with an electrical discharge passing through it glows with a lovely light 1704: Jonathan Swift's "The Battle of the Books" (written 1697 but not published until 1704). Allegorical battle between Ancient and Modern books. 1704: Isaac Newton's "Optics" studies light mathematically and experimentally. He explains that light is made of tiny particles (which today we call photons) which create vibrations in the ether. This book is reprinted again and again, becoming the #1 textbook of the century for experimental physics. It ends with famous set of unasnwered questions, which he science-fictonally predicts will be answered in the future. 1704: John Harris' "Lexicon technicum" defines roughly 8,000 scientific terms 1704: Antonio Maria Valsalva (born in Imola, Italy, 17 Jun 1666) publishes "De aure humana tractatus", the first book on the anatomy, physiology, and diseases of the human ear 1705: Daniel Defoe, later to become famous for "Robinson Crusoe" in 1719, is especially interesting to us for having published, in 1705, "Memoirs of Sundry Translations from the World of the Moon Translated from the Lunar languages by the Author of the True-Born English Man." This was a satire on English culture and politics, and featured (from my point of view) a spaceship "powered by an ambient flame, which fed on a certain spirit." He also dealt with the mental hazards of the trip by taking a tranquilizer. 1705: Edmund Halley's "Synopsis astronomiae cometicae" correctly predicts the 1758 return of the comet last seen in 1682, which thereafter becomes known as Halley's Comet 1705: Richard Waller posthumously publishes Robert Hooke's lectures that had been delivered at the Royal Society. One chapter, "Lectures and discourses on earthquakes", describes how quakes might have significantly changed the surface of the earth over long periods of time. 1705: George Cheyne's "Philosophical principles of natural religion" argues that the observed phenomenon of attraction proves the existence of God 1706: Daniel Defoe "A True Relation of the Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal, the Next Day After Her Death, to One Mrs. Bargrave, at Canterbury, the 8th of September 1705" (early ghost story, based on actually reported incident) 1706: Tom d'Urfey ripped off Cyrano de Bergerac, but this led to the fascinating opera "Wonders in the Sun or the Kingdom of the Birds." 1706: Ole Romer's "Observationum astronomicarum" describes what he has seen through his telescope and measures in his observatory 1706: William Jones' "Synopsis palmeriarum methesos, or a new introduction to mathematics" is the first book to use the familiar Greek letter "pi" to represent the ratio of a circle's circumferance to its diameter. 1706: Giovanni Battista Morgagni's "Adversaria anatomica prima" makes him instantly a famous anatomist throughout Europe 1707: Alain Rene Le Sage's "Asmodeus" in which a young student of Alcola (Don Cleofas Leandro Perez Zambullo) is visited one night by the cheerful demon Asmodeus who claims "It is I that have introduced into the world luxury, debauchery, games of chance, and chemistry." Tobias Smollet translated this into the popular "The Devil on Two Sticks." Is Chemistry really devilish? Well, this Fantasy has many shrewd social insights into the real life of Madrid. 1707: readers horrified to learn that Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel led the British fleet to become lost in overcast weather. He thought that they were off the coast of Brittany. Instead, four ships ran aground on the Scilly Islands off the southwest coast of England, killing 2,000 men including himself. 1707: Isaac Newton's "Arithmetic universalis" includes an exact description of Descartes' Rule of Signs 1707: John Floyer's "The physician's pulse watch" brings pulse-rate counting to medical practice; in an early profitable use of merchandising, he sells a special watch to go with the book 1707: Giovanni Maria Lancisi's "De subitaneis mortibus" gives the first analysis of cardiac pathology 1707: Georg Stahl's "Theorea medica vera" expounds his theory that associates the soul with the body's physiological processes, an attempt to correct the "mind-body" duality of Descartes. 1709: George Berkeley's "New theory of vision" is the most important Psychology book of the 18th Century. 1709: Hermann Boerhaave's "Aphorismi de cognoscendis et curandis" becomes a medical text used for the rest of the 18th Century

Major Books of the Decade 1710-1720

1710: George Berkeley's "Principles of human knowledge" argues that the "being" of objects amounts to their being perceived, no more, no less 1710: John Arbuthnot's short paper "An argument for divine providence, taken from the constant regularity observ'd in the birth of both sexes" is one of the earliest significant examples of statistical reasoning 1712: Giovanni Ceva's "De re numeraria" (Concerning Money Matters) is the first significant and readable application of Mathematics to Economics. 1712: John Flamsteed's "Historia coelestis Brittanica", the first volume of his star catalog, is published in a pirated edition. It catalogs the position of almost 3,000 stars and thus replaces Kepler's catalog; the official complete edition is published in a posthumous three-volume edition in 1725. 1713: Isaac Newton's "Principia" appears in second revised edition, with the new and famous "General scholium", and an introduction by Roger Cotes. 1713: William Deham's "Physico-theology, or a demonstration of the being and attributes of God, from his works of creation" tries to prove that this is the best of all possible worlds, to use the phrase famous in the cynical 1759 satire "Candide" by Voltaire. 1713: Jacques (Jakob) Bernoulli's "Ars conjectandi" (the conjectural arts) is a posthumously published treatise on Probability. It includes what we call Bernoulli's Theorem, a version of the Law of large Numbers, which is the first published application of calculus to Probability Theory. 1714: William Deham's "Astro-theology" tries to use Astronomy to prove the existence of God. 1714: Thomas Parnell becomes the first of the "Graveyard Poets" with the publication of "A Night Piece on Death." This movement, obsessed with mortality, influenced Horror poetry and Horror literature in general, even up to the 1990's "Goth" scene. See Robert Blair (1743), Thomas Wharton (1747), Thomas Gray (1752). 1715: Brook Taylor's "Methodus incrementorum directa et inversa" introduces what we call the Calculus of Finite Differences. It also contains the infinite series we call the "Taylor Series." 1715: Brook Taylor's "Linear perspective" 1718: Jacques (Jakob) Bernoulli's "Memoirs de L'Academie des Sciences" posthumously published. It is the first book to describe what we call the Calculus of Variations, as a way to find which functions reach a maximum or minimum under various conditions. 1718: Abraham de Moivre's "Doctrine of chances" published as the first of his books on Probability 1718: Etienne Geoffroy's "Table des differents rapports en chimie" presented to the French Academy. This is the first table of what we call Chemical Affinities, the attraction of one element or compound to another. 1718: Friedrich Hoffman's "Medicine rationalis systematica" begins its run of nine volumes, and presents his theory that muscle tone is an indicator of health. 1718: Jacques Cassini (born Paris 8 Feb 1677) publishes the measurements of himself and his father (Giovanni Domenico Cassini) that supports the prediction by Descartes that the Earth is Prolate (elongated at the poles). Later it turns out to be the opposite: Earth is Oblate (flattened at the poles). 1719: Brook Taylor's "New principles of linear perspective" gives the first full statement of the principle of the vanishing Point. Brook Taylor was born 19 Aug 1785 in Edmonton, Midlesex, England. 1720: Daniel Defoe "Life and Adventures of Mr. Duncan Campbell: Fantasy about a mute magician

Major Books of the Decade 1720-1730

1726: This decade was a highpoint of social satire with science fictional elements, of which the greatest work is Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" (1726). Swift started working on this book apparently around 1720, when the idea was advanced in the Scriblerus Club, of which he was a member. It was to have been incorporated in the "Memoirs of Scriblerus." It has the advantage of being a book of interest to adults because of its satire on man and his institutions, and to children because of its Fantasy. It is divided into 4 parts, told in the first person. Part I: On 4 May 1699, Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon, sails from Bristol. After a shipwreck, he swims ashore to find himself on an island, Lilliput, whose inhabitants are no more than 6 inches high. Here Swift satirizes the meanness of human beings by showing how ridiculous are wars waged by these little people, who take part in them with all seriousness. Political parties are attacked, too. In Lilliput the parties are known by the height of their heels; their greatest controversy involves a vigorous argument about on which end an egg should be broken. Part II: Gulliver finds himself in Brobdingnag, the natives of which are as tall in proportion to him as the Lilliputians were short. Here, in discussions with the King, England in particular and humanity in general are again attacked. The huge King cannot understand the enormous pretensions and vanities of the little people about whom Gulliver tells him. He denounces them as "the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the Earth." Part III: In this, the most Science Fictional, Gulliver makes sport of the vain endeavors of scientists and philosphers by telling about Laputa, where men forget all common sense and concern themselves with speculative philosophy. In Lagado, the flying sialnd, he sees scientists engaged in all sorts of foolish pursuits, one being the extraction of sunbeams from cucumbers. Part IV: This contains the most vicious satire of all, and tells of Gulliver's visit to the land of the Houyhnhnms, a race of intelligent horses who are served by a despised, filty, and degenerate human race known as Yahoos. In the end, Gulliver returns to his wife and family, but finds them unbearable after associating with the Houyhnhnms. "Gulliver's Travels" is the pre-eminent novel to make humanity appear alien, and the alien appear more human, a technique that has been used as a basis for science fiction for the succeeding three centuries. 1720: Colin Maclaurin's "Geometrica organica" discusses second, third, fourth and Nth degree curves, and introduces what we call Maclaurin's Expansion. Colin Maclaurin was born Kilmodan, Scotland, in Feb 1698. 1721: Willem Jacob van Gravesande's "Mathematical Elements of of natural philosophy confirmed by experiments, or an Introeduction to Isaac Newton's philosophy" gives the first major support for Newtonian Physics in continental Europe. Willem Jacob van Gravesande was born in Hertsgenbosch, Holland, 26 Sep 1688. 1721: Christian Wolff's "Allerhand nutzliche versuche, dadurch zu genaur erkenntnis der natur und kunst der weg gebahned wird" (Generally useful researches for reaching a more exact knowledge of nature and the arts). 1722: Roger Cote's "Harmonium mensuraram" posthumously published is one of the first books to explain that trigonometric functions are periodic. 1722: Rene de Reaumur's "L'art de convertir le fer forge en acier" (the art of converting iron into steel) is the first technical treatise about iron and iron alloys. 1723: Georg Stahl's "Fundamenta chymiae dogmaticae experimentalis" adapts the work of Johann Becher to popular prose. 1723: M. A. Capeller's "Prodomus crystallographiae" is the first treatise on Crystallography. 1723: Jacob Leupold's "Theatrum machinarum generale" begins publication of what will eventually be nine volumes. This is the first systematic analysis of Mechanical Engineering. It includes, ahead of its time, a design for a high-pressure noncondensing steam engine, the likes of which were not built until the early 1800s. 1725: John Flamsteed's "Historia coelestis Brittanica", in official complete edition, is published in a posthumous three-volume edition. It catalogs the position of almost 2,884 stars and thus replaces Kepler's catalog. An incomplete pirated edition appeared in 1712. 1725: Luigi Marsigli's "Histoire physique de la mer" is the world's first treatise on what we now call Oceanography. 1725: Johann Scheuchzer's "Homo diluvi testis" -- an important book on fossils. 1725: Abraham Demoivre's "Annuities on lives" is the first major mathematical book on the subject. 1726: Daniel Defoe "The Friendly Daemon, or The Generous Apparition" 1726-1727: Daniel Defoe "The Political History of the Devil" in 2 volumes 1727: Daniel Defoe "A System of Magick, or A History of the Black Art" 1727: Daniel Defoe "An Essay on the History and Reality of Apparitions" 1727: Stephen Hale's "Vegetable staticks or Statistical essays on nutrition of plants and plant physiology" explains how water and other liquids can rise within plants, and calls the gasses released from heated objects as "airs." 1727: Bernard de Fontanelle's "Elements de la geometrie de l'inifini" presents his theory of the calculus of infinity. 1728: Ephraim Chamber's "Universal dictionary of arts and sciences" published in two volumes. 1728: Francesco Bianchini's "Hesperi et phosphori nova phaeonomena" estimates that the planet Venus rotates once in 24 1/3 days. We now know, thanks to the Magellan spacecraft (Your Humble Webmaster worked on that project at NASA's JPL) that Venus rotates retrograde (in the opposite direction of other planets) with a sideral rotation period of 5832.5 hours, which gives it a "day" of 2802.0 hours. 1728: Pierre Fauchard's "Le chirurgien dentiste, ou traite des dentes" is the first genuinely scientific treatise of dentistry, and describes tin, lead, and gold fillings. 1728: Giovanni Lancisi's "De motu cordis et aneurysmatibus" published posthumously and describes heart dilitation. 1729: Isaac Greenwood's "Arithmetic vulgar and decimal" is America's first math textbook. 1729: Louis Bourget's "Lettres philosophiques sur la formation des sels et de cristaux et sur la generation et la mechanique organique" describes the growth of crystals of various salts from solution, and distinguishes between organic growth and inorganic growth. 1729: Pierre Bouger's "Essai d'optique sur la gradation de la lumiere" describes some of the world's first photometric observations (wuantifying the brightness of light sources, later an essential tool of astronomy and photography). Pierre Bouger was born in Le Croasic, France, 16 Feb 1698 1729: Andrew Motte's's English translation of Sir Isaac Newton's Latin "Principia"

Major Books of the Decade 1730-1740

1730: Johann Juncker's "Conspectus chemiae theoretico-practicae" systematically describes the Phlogiston Theory of Becher and Stahl, a last vestige of Alchemy in the field that firmly became Chemistry in this Century. Johann Juncker was born in Londorf, Germany, 23 Dec 1679. 1731: Founding of "Gentleman's Magazine", probably the world's first magazine. Magazines, for over 200 years, became the main venue for science fiction stories. 1731: Ludvig Holberg, comic playwright in Denmark (26 plays total), publishes "Erasmus Montanus", science fictional in its attention to the conflict between the technically educated (prone to pedantry and the "vapid formalism of logic") and the ignorant common man. Rasmus Berg, educated at the University in Copenhagen, knows (for example) that the world is round, but is ridiculed when he returns to his home town, where even his wealthy father-in-law to be knows that the Earth is "flat as a pancake." In the end, Rasmus pretends to believe the Earth is flat, and so wins the daughter's hand in marriage. 1731: The government of Austria commissions a study on the customs and legends of the peasants, after an episode of mass hysteria in the village of Medvegia. Johannes Fluckinger writes extensively about the legends of the Vampire, and his report is a great topic of conversation for decades to come, and influences Horror literature forever after. 1731: Mark Catesby's "The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands" has its firrst volume published. 1731: Jethro Tull's "Horse-hoeing husbandry" promulgates the use of manure, soil pulverization, growing crops in rows, and weed-removal by hoeing. 1731: John Arbuthnot's "An essay concerning the nature of ailments" gives ideas for diets 1731: Pieter van Musschenbroek's "Saggi di naturale esperienze fatte nell' Accademia del Cimento" in Latin translation explains the invention of the pyrometer. 1732: Benjamin Franklin's first volume of "Poor Richard's Almanack" not quite science or fiction, but a notable best-seller by a scientist 1732: The most popular and translated treatise on Chemistry of its day, "Elementa Chemiae" is published by Hermann Boerhaave. Although neither Science Fiction nor Fantasy, it tips the balance towards the former by discrediting the lingering pretensions of the Alchemists in its proof that Mercury cannot be obtained from Lead by transmutation. He similarly studied the conservation of mass under chemical reactions, studied thermal capacity (following a suggestion by Farenheit) and generally led the way to a quantitative view of the natural world. 1732: Noel-Antoine Pluche's "Le spectacle de la nature" has its first of eight volumes published, popularizing "natural theology" throughout France. 1732: Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis' "Discours sur la figure astres" uses Newtonian Mechanics to predict the shape of the rotating Earth, quantifying the degree of oblateness (bulging at the equator). More than two centuries later, the great Chemistry teacher/Science Fiction author Harry Stubbs (writing as "Hal Clement") makes a mistake in applying the same Newtonian Mechanics to the very rapid rotation of a very heavy planet in the wonderful novel "Mission of Gravity." Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis was born in St.Malo, France, 28 Sep 1698. 1733: Stephen Hale's "Statistical Essays, containing haemastatics, etc." described his investigations about bllod pressure and blood flow in animals, and the hydrostatics of plant sap. 1733: Girolamo Saccheri's "Euclid ab omni naevo vindicatus" (Euclid cleared of every flaw) tries to prove Euclid's Parallel Postulate, but ironically becomes the foundation for research into non-Euclidean Geometry. Girolamo Saccheri was born in San Remo, Italy, 5 Sep 1667, and died 25 Oct 1733. 1734: Voltaire's "Lettres Anglaises ou philosophiques" is the first French language book introducing Isaac Newton's mechanics 1734: Rene de Reaumur's "Memoirs pour servir a l'histoire des insects" is one of the books that founds the science of Entomology. 1734: Emanuel Swedenborg's "Opera philosophica et mineralia" surveys, in three volumes, the nature of matter and the laws of motion. This good scientist is later famous for works of mysticism. 1734: Emanuel Swedenborg's "Regnum subterraneum" describes techniques of mining and smelting. 1734: George Berkeley's "The analyst: or a discourse addressed to an infidel mathematician" slams Edmund Halley and Isaac Newton's Calculus (which Newton called "Fluxions"). George Berkeley poetically attacks infinitesimals as: "neither finite quantities, nor quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the ghosts of departed quantities?" Nice attack on a theory of mathematics by branding it implicitly as supernatural. Yet he was correct, in the sense that it was not until the 1960s that the methodology of "non-standard analysis" gave a rigorous account of infinitesimals, which were an ad hoc notion for over two centuries beforehand. 1735: Carolus Linnaeus' "Systema naturae" presents the system of classification of organisms which is still used in the 21st century. Carolus Linnaeus was born Rashult, Sweden, 23 May 1707. 1735: Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon's French translation of Stephen Hale's 1727 "Vegetable staticks or Statistical essays on nutrition of plants and plant physiology." Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, was born in Montbard, France, 7 Sep 1707. 1735: Francesco Algarotti's "Newtonianismo per la dame" (Newtonianism for the Ladies) becomes one of the most popular books of science writing about Newton'd theories of Light and Optics. 1735: Louis Castel's "L'optique des couleurs" is a scheme than relates colors to musical notes. People who have "synaesthesia" naturally intermix their perceptions of color and tone, or sound and taste, or other combinations baffling to people with more commonly wired brains. In the 20th century, major authors with this condition include Vladimir Nabokov, and the technique is put to literary use in the Science Fiction of Alfred Bester. 1735: Leonard Euler's "Petersburg Commentaries" introduces the mathematical notation for functions: f(x) 1736: Carolus Linnaeus' "Fundamentica Botanica" organizes the vegetable world, and thus advances the structured modern view of nature. 1736: Leonhard Euler first used the letter "e" to represent the base of natural logarithms, in correspondence in 1727. He now publishes this in the book "Mechanica, sive motus scientia analytice exposita." 1736: Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau's "Sur la base du sel marin" is the first book that distinguishes between Sodium and Potassium salts, both of which occur in seawater and blood. 1737: Carolus Linnaeus' Genera plantorum" elaborates on his method of Systematic Botany, and classifies 18,000 plant species. 1737: Hermann Boerhaave prints Jan Swammerdam's "Biblia naturae", originally published in neglected 1658 edition. It explains how and why he dissected insects under a microscope. This work later influenced the literary and sometimes Science Fictional 20th Century author Vladimir Nabokov, who dissected the sexual organs of butterflies under a microscope to properly classify the species. 1737: Pierre-Simon Fournier introduces the Point System for measuring type sizes, still used in the 21st century (i.e. this web page uses 12-point text on my machine). 1737: Leonhard Euler's "Mechanica sive motus scientia analytice exposita" is the first textbook to systematically deal with mechanics by means of Differential Equations. 1737: John Colson's English translation of Isaac Newton's "De methodis serierum at fluxionem" ("the method of Fluxions and Infinite Series") is the first version published of Newton's mathematics (which we call "Calculus") although Newton did the work in originally in 1671. 1737: Pieter van Musschenbroek's "Essai du physique" is one of the earliest books to use the word "Physics" instead of "Natural Philosophy" or "Experimental Philosophy", even though the word "Physics" in this sense goes all the way back to Aristotle. 1737: Bernard Forest de Belidor's "Architecture hydraulique" appears with the first of four volumes. This manual is completed in 1739, and influences building design and practice for over a century. 1739: John Winthrop's "Notes on sunspots" publishes the first such observations made in the Massachusetts colony. John Winthrop was born in Boston, Massachusetts, 19 Dec 1714. 1739: David Hume's "Treatise of Human Nature" admirable tries to explain Psychology and Human Nature by the experimental method. David Hume was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 26 Apr 1711. 1739: Abraham De Moivre's "Doctrine of Chances: or, a method of calculating the probability of events in play", in its second edition, introduces Stirling's formula for estimating Factorials. De Moivre had invented an earlier version of the formula, and then James Stirling determined the missing value of a constant in the formula. Ten factorial, written 10! = 1x2x3x4x5x6x7x8x9x10 and it is hard to directly calculate very large factorials, hence the formula, which comes up all the time in probability theory. For example, there are 52! possible sequences of the 52 cards in a deck, and that is such a huge number that properly shuffled decks will never produce the same sequence of cards. 1739: Daniel Bernoulli's "Hydrodynamica" describes the relationship between the velocity and pressure of a fluid, and more deeply analyses this theorem (which we call Bernoulli's Theorem) in terms of the impact of atoms on the walls of the chamber containing the flowing fluid. 1739: Pierre de Maupertuis' "Sur la Figure de la Terre" contains the measurements that he made in lapland, which confirm that the earth is flattened at the poles (and thus relatively bulges out at the equator). 1739: Voltaire's "Elements de la philosophie de Newton", co-authored with Madame du Chatelet, brings English empirical philosophy to the Continental Europe.

Major Books of the Decade 1740-1750

1740: Antonio Moro's "Dei crostacei e degli altri corpi marini" is a landmark study of marine fossils. 1741: Norwegian/Danish Baron Ludvig Holberg publishes in Germany the Latin novel under the title "Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterreanaeum" about visiting stange nations at the center of the Earth. This is later used in the 20th Century "Pellucidar" novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. 1742: Henry Baker's "Microscope made easy": how a layman can build and use a microscope. Henry Baker was born in London, England, 8 May 1698. 1742: Colin Maclaurin's "Treastise on fluxions" uses Greek Geometry to develop Calculus. 1742: Benjamin Robin's "New principles of gunnery" includes a description of his invention of the ballistic pendulum. 1743: Robert Blair publishes "The Grave", and becomes a notable member of "The Graveyard Poets." See Thomas Parnell (1714), Thomas Wharton (1747), Thomas Gray (1752). 1743: Christopher Packe's "A new philosophical chart of East Kent" is the world's first Geological Map. he is so thoroughly ripped off as to be driven broke and insane, and his wife driven into prostitution. 1743: Jean d'Anville's "Map of Italy" 1743: Alexis-Claude Clairaut's "Theorie de la figure de la terre, tiree des principes de l'hydrostatique" goes beyond showing that the Earth is oblate, to providing how to calculate the gravitational force at each latitude. 1743: Jean le Rond d'Alembert's "Traite de dynamique" (Treatise on Dynamics) goes beyond Newton's laws of motion; d'Alembert's Principle is that actions and reactions in a closed system of moving bodies are in Equilibrium, and he uses that to solve various problems in Mechanics. 1744: Some have claimed that German astronomer Eberhard Christian Kindermann wrote the first credible space travel novel, "Die geshwinde Reise auf dem Luft-schiff nach der obern Welt, welche jungsthin funf Personen angestellet (1744). It deals with a trip to Mars. 1744: Abraham Trembly's "Memoirs" recounts his experiments with the tiny Hydra, and of regeneration in polyps. Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" later extrapolates this to transplantation of human tissues, organs, and limbs, in the first modern Science Fiction novel. 1744: Jean le Rond d'Alembert's "Traite de l'equilibre du mouvement des fluides" uses his [1743] principle to describe the motion of fluids. 1744: Leonhard Euler's "Theorium motuum planetarium et cometarium" calculates the orbits of planets and comets, later refined by Lagrange. 1744: Leonhard Euler's "Methodus inveniendi lineas curvas maximi minimive proprietate gaudentes" extends the basic ideas of what we call the Calculus of Variations, and includes Euler's Equation. 1745: Charles Bonnet's "Traite de insectologie" (Treatise on insectology) describes the metamorphosis of aphids, the parthenogenic reproduction (unisexual reproduction) of some insects, and other bizarre facts. 1746: Denis Diderot's "Pensees philosophique" (Philosophical thoughts) argues that the order of nature proves the existence of God. Denis Diderot was born in Langres, France, 5 Oct 1713. 1747: Thomas Wharton joins the ranks of "The Graveyard Poets" with "The Pleasures of Melancholy." See Thomas Parnell (1714), Robert Blair (1743), Thomas Gray (1752).

Major Books of the Decade 1750-1760

1751: Ralph Morris, a designer or inventor by trade, published the fiction-pretending-to-be-fact book "The Life and Astonishing Transactions of John Daniel" with the eponymous John Daniel having purportedly invented a flying machine. By a remarkable coincidence, this same year 1751 also saw into print the novel "Peter Wilkins" by Robert Paltrock, whose hero was shipwrecked in a land of people with wings. 1752: Thomas Gray publishes the best-known poem of "The Graveyard Poets" with the immortal "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." See Thomas Parnell (1714), Robert Blair (1743), Thomas Wharton (1747). 1752: Voltaire publishes "Micromegas", with Earth being visited by aliens from Saturn and Sirius. This is perhaps the first book about Aliens On Earth. 1756: Emanuel Swedenborg completes "Heavenly Arcana." Neither science fiction nor Fantasy, this is unique theological revelation by a formerly talented scientist, with images of Hell, Angels, and the spirits inhabiting other worlds which influenced later works of imagination. 1757-1765: Albrecht von Haller publisheds "Elementa Physiologiae Corporis Humani." This infant prodigy, who learned Greek and Latin by the age of 10, was attracted to Leyden by Hermann Boerhaave (who invented the term "Physiology") and published his seminal work of synthesis in 8 volumes to establish Physiology as a science on its own, beyond the practice of Medicine. His influence reached the literay world because he published in that regime as well, was said to have "discovered the beauty of the Alps" in his poetry, and his "Gedichte" (1732) went into over 12 editions. In 1759, Voltaire published "Candide" whose notion that "this is the best of all possible worlds" (a parody of 1713 William Deham's "Physico-theology, or a demonstration of the being and attributes of God, from his works of creation") was the inspiration for today's genre of "alternate history" or "parahistory" stories, also known as Alternate Worlds or "allohistory." See "Voltaire" in Authors UV In this same year of 1759, Samuel Johnson published the fantastic "Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia."

Major Books of the Decade 1760-1770

One line of ancestry for modern Science Fiction was the Gothic novel, starting with "The Castle of Otronto" (1764 or 1765) by Horace Walpole (see Walpole in the Authors' segment of this web site). In this melodramatic romantic novel, the villain/tyrant Manfred, prince of Otranto, is grandson of the usurper who poisoned the rightful ruler Alfonso. His son is crushed by a giant plumed helmet, so Manfred decides to wed his son's fiancee Isabella, daughter of the Marquis of Vicenza. Manfred speaks with his grandfather's portrait come to life, and the ghost of Alfonso fulfills a prophecy by growing too big for the castle, and tearing it to rubble. 1761: Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "La nouvelle Helouise", in which I couldn't really find anything Fantastic 1763: the story "Reign of King George VI 1900-1925" was published, but didn't make any really interesting science fictional predictions. 1764: Horace Walpole publishes in London the first Gothic novel: "The Castle of Otronto." Horace Walpole (24 Sep 1717-2 Mar 1797) was a British Earl as well as novelist, and son of a Prime Minister. As Member of Parliament, and publisher, he is still best remembered as author of (to be more precise) the first Gothic novel in England (pretending to be a translation from Italian), with original introduction by Sir Walter Scott. See William Beckford (1786), Mrs.Radcliffe (1794), Matthew Lewis (1795). 1764: Voltaire's "Dictionnaire philosophique" argues for The Great Chain of Being, an antique concept that all minerals, plants, and animals fit into a vast hierarchy 1767: "History and Present State of Electricity, with Original Experiments" by Joseph Priestley, popular work of science which got many amateurs tinkering with electrical items, leading to, for instance, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." 1768: "Encyclopedia Brittanica" begins publication as a series of weekly issues

Major Books of the Decade 1770-1780

An important futuristic utopian novel was "L'an 2440, reve s'il en fut jamais" by French author Louis-Sebastian Mercier (London & Amsterdam: chez Van Harrevelt, 1771). There were many more novels of UTOPIA thereafter. 1771: the first bound edition of "Encyclopedia Brittanica" is published in three volumes 1771: the first issue of "Transactions" published by the American Philosophical Society. 1772: "History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light and Colours" by Joseph Priestley, popular work of science. 1773: Gottfried August Burger writes the poem "Leonore", a popular treatment of the folk legend of the lover returning to life, greatly to influence Poe. It was translated by William Rossetti into English as "The Hunt" in 1844. 1774: Henry Home, Lord Kame's "Sketches on the history of man" 1776: The "Declaration of Independence" is a utopian tract associated with the formation of a new nation, later to dominate the Science Fiction kingdom and, not incidentally, to land men on the moon. 1776: In Japan, Uneda Akenari publishes "Tales of Moonlight and Rain." This influential collection of romantic and supernatural stories included "Ugetsu" [The House], adapted to film in 1953. 1779: Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, the Isaac Asimov of the 18th Century, publishes one of his most popular volumes of the 44-volume "Natural History" -- "Epoques de la Nature" -- in which he deduced that the Earth and other planets were created by the collision of a comet with the Sun, that the Earth began as a molten spheroid, and then relates the history of the earth in 7 epochs, with humans arrriving in the last. This sets the stage for the cosmic visions of Science Fiction, and the vast spans of history in (for instance) H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon.

Major Books of the Decade 1780-1790

1781: French author De la Bretonne's "Decouverte Australe, par un Homme-Volant" includes, amazingly enough, aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, ICBMs, atomic energy, germ warefare, and communal versus authoritarian cultures. Very futuristic, indeed! 1781: Henri Fuselli, British Royal Academy Professor of Painting, paints the horrific "The Nightmare", which influenced later Fantasy and Horror art. 1784: While ensconced in the Bastille, the Marquis de Sade pens "Les 120 Journees de Sodome" [120 Days of Sodom], although an authoritative edition was not in print until 1931. This was the first of his books, considered later to have been a handgrenade of modernism, so far ahead of its time as to gurantee him a lifetime of persecution. It was followed by "Justine" (1791) and "Juliette" (1797). 1786: William Beckford publishes the Gothic novel "Vathek." See Horace Walpole (1764), Mrs.Radcliffe (1794), Matthew Lewis (1795). 1787-1788: "The Federalist" by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. This is the classic document in American political theory, originally appearing as a series of letters to New York nespapers in support of the Federal Constitution agreed upon by the Federal Convention on 17 September 1787. Its background is the government set up in America after the Revolution, the government under the Articles of Confederation. This Confederation of sovereign states was too loose and weak a union to work effectively. After a few years, a constitutional convention was called in Philadelphia to write a new constitution. Hamilton, Jay, and Madison participated, and the resulting constitution is the one defended in this work. The need for a stronger union is eloquently argued on the grounds of common defense and prosperity. At the time of its presentation, there were many objections to the new constitution. These came mainly from people who were concerned lest the new federal government encroach on the rights of the states. The arrangement of the Constitution was defended in two ways: (1) the powers given the central government were essential to the performance of its function, and (2) these powers were clearly limited and all remaining powers were left to the states. Various other objections are considered, both general and specific. The various branches of the government are described in some detail, the method of selection of their officers, their powers and the limitations on their powers, and their relations to other branches is made clear. This persuasive document not only did much to spread an understanding of the Constitution, but has served as a basic American political text ever since. As such, its arguments form the basis for all informed political science fiction in the United States, often projected into speculative fiction on the political infrastructure of the Solar System or the galaxy as a whole. Isaac Asimov combined concepts from The Federalist with the overarching design of "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire," for example, in the "Foundation" novels.

Major Books of the Decade 1790-1800

1790: Reverend Samuel Deane's (1733-1814) "The New England Farmer; or Georgical Dictionary", published (Worcester, MA) with help from American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Reverend Samuel Deane performed agricultural experiments and compiled drew upon American and European background knowledge. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1791: William Bartram's (1739-1823) "Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida" (Philadelphia). Describes his botanical explorations, "written in a luxurious style that became a source for European Romantic authors such as Chateaubriand, Wordsworth, and Coleridge." [quote and data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1794: Perhaps the greatest Gothic novel was Mrs. [Ann] Radcliffe's "Mysteries of Udolpho" (1794). See Horace Walpole (1764), William Beckford (1786). 1794: Samuel L. Mitchill's (1764-1831) "Nomenclature of the New Chemistry" [New York]. Mitchill said that new ideas were prevalent to the degree that any chemically knowledgeable person should know them. He promoted ideas as a new truth in chemistry. (In 1801, Mitchill published "Explanation of the Synopsis of Chemical Nomenclature and Arrangement [New York]. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1795: Matthew Lewis anonymously publishes "The Monk." When his identity was revealed (playwright/Member of Parliament) this book caused him no end of problems. Yet today it is hailed as one of the highlights of the Gothic novel. 1795: Oliver Evans' (1755-1819) "The Young Mill-Wright & Miller's Guide" [Philadelphia]. With many editions, it became a favorite source for young mechanics. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1797: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley born (30 Aug 1797). Her later publication of "Frankenstein" marks the start of modern science fiction novels. 1797: John Maclean's (1771-1814) "Two Lectures on Combustion" [Philadelphia]. It promoted the antiphlogiston views which Maclean adopted before coming to the U.S. in 1795, and it directly challenged Joseph Priestley's (1733-1804) refutation of the new theory of oxygen. A discussion of the phlogiston question followed its publication, among Maclean, Joseph Priestley, James Woodhouse (1770-1809), and Samuel L. Mitchill (1764-1831), in the Medical Repository. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1797: British naturalist James Edward Smith's "The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia" [London] is the earliest book on American insects, and included the illustrations and notes of John Abbot (1751-1840/41), with descriptions of new species by Smith based on Abbot's drawings. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1797-1800: Samuel L. Mitchill's (1764-1831) "A Sketch of the Mineralogical and Geological History of the State of New York ...," [Medical Repository 1, (1797-1798): 293-314, 445-452 and 3 (1799-1800): 325-335. This work was based on a survey that Mitchill performed for the Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts, and Manufactures. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1798: "The Essay on the Principle of Population" by Thomas Robert Malthus is one of the most important early studies of Dystopia really, really bad futures (opposite of "Utopia"). Since population tends to multiply faster than subsistence, many people will starve unless society adopts rigid population controls, such as sexual abstinence and prohibition of marriage among the poor. He was specifically attacking the Utopian writings of such as Godwin, father of Mary Shelley ("Frankenstein"). 1798: Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" tells in 625 strange melodic lines (that's 5x5x5x5) of a mariner with hypnotic eyes who stops one of three wedding guests and forces him to listen to the story of lost and returned grace on board a ships, driven by storm toward the South Pole (of course an unexplored alien land in the 18th century). The mariner had killed an albatross -- bird of good omen -- and thus began his troubles, including the becalmed ship (spaceship isolated from planetfall), specter-woman and her death-mate (ghost/aliens), crew's dropping dead one at a time (the "last man" theme of SF), until he blesses the water-snakes and his luck turns. He's guided back to his own country by angelic spirits (super-powerful aliens) and is now compelled to travel from land to land, teaching by his example love and reverence to all God's creatures (all beings in the cosmos). 1798: Benjamin Smith Barton's (1766-1815) "New Views of the Origin of the Tribes and Nations in America" [Philadelphia]. Though a work of only limited success, it reflected the modern belief that such origins were to be found in linguistic studies. It included tables of comparative words from various New and Old World sources. This view was shared by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), who made the point in his "Notes on the State of Virginia", written in 1782. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1798: Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford) (1753-1814) "An Experimental Inquiry Concerning the Source of Heat Which Is Excited by Friction" [in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society] describes his experiments with boring cannons, and convincingly argued against the Caloric theory of heat in favor of one based on motion. An essential step in the birth of Thermodynamics. 1799: On 10 March 1797, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) presented a paper on the megalonyx to the American Philosophical Society. It was published 1799 as "A Memoir on the Discovery of Certain Bones of a Quadruped of the Clawed Kind in the Western Parts of Virginia," Transactions of American Philosophical Society 4:255-256. Caspar Wistar (1761-1818) also published an account of the megalonyx in the same volume. In 1822, it was named Megalonyx jeffersoni by a French naturalist. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996]

Science Fiction About this Century


Phillip Kerr's "Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton" [New York: Crown, 2002] 345 pages; $24.00 A thrilling work of fiction set in 1696, with Sir Isaac Newton, as he was historically, acting as the Warden of the Royal Mint. The viewpoint character is young Christopher Ellis, a hotheaded man caught fighting an illegal duel. Ellis becomes assistant to Newton, and his friend, the conceit being that Ellis is the Dr.Watson to Newton as Sherlock Holmes. Newton is doing his duty to the King by cracking down on counterfeiters, but is soon drawn into a web of murders within the walls of the Tower of London. Murder, conterfeit, alchemy, and evil plots in high places occupy this sometimes bawdy, sometimes squalid tale. The novel is ingeniously plotted, meticulously researched, and always surprising. It may be marketed as a Literary Mystery, yet since it's pricipal character is the greatest scientist in history, we may well read it as Science Fiction. Author Phillip Kerr was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1956. He now lives in London with his wife and children. This is his eleventh book.
R. Reginald's "Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: a Checklist, 1700-1974: with Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II" [Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1979] This reference work is sketchier about 1700-1800 than it is about the two more recent centuries, yet still a useful guide.
I. F. Clarke, Editor, "British Future Fiction: 1700-1914" [London: Pickering & Chatto, 2001, 8 volumes: xxxviii, 439; 696; 540; 701; 428; 498; 598; 506 pages; 550 Pounds. Covers Utopian, War, Anti-Utopian, Fantasy, and miscellanous works of fiction, some of which (whatever your definition) are surely Science Fiction.
Edited by Elmar Schenkel and Stefan Welz, "Lost Worlds and Mad Elephants: Literature, Science, and Technology 1700-1990" [Leipzig Explorations in Literature and Culture, 2] [Galda + Wilch: Gleinicke, Berlin, and Cambridge MA, 1999] 371 pages, ISBN 3-9311397-16-5, 118 Deutchmarks. This collection of 21 essay, plus an introduction, entirely in English, results from an international conference on Literature, Science, and Technology, held in Leipzig, 30 April-3 may 1998. It actually covers a period slightly longer than the title indicates, including Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World of 1666", which Richard Nate incredibly denies is a Utopian book, A. S. Byatt's "Angels and Insects: [1992], and Stephen Jay Gould's "Dinosaur in a Haystack" [1996]. The absolutely astonishing thing about this otherwise fascinating book is that it explicitly fails to mention or discuss Science Fiction as such!
Volume Editors David Blewett, Peter Elmer, John Mullan, Geoffrey Still, G. A. Starr, "Satire, Fantasy and Supernatural Writings by Daniel Defoe", 8 volumes of the definitive 44-volume "Works of Daniel Defoe." Pickering & Chatto; ISBN 1-85196-728-1, 4 volume set, $525 (350 Pounds), 1600 pages, Nov 2003; Pickering & Chatto; ISBN 1-85196-733-8, 4 volume set, $525 (350 Pounds), 1600 pages, Dec 2004 Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) is today best known as a novelist. Yet in his day, he was better known for his political satires, as that was a great age for poetical satires, even for long and weighty political arguments. Yet the web site you are reading now emphasizes his Fantasy and his fictional explorations of the Supernatural.
Jody Lynn Nye, "The Father of His Country" [in "Alternate Presidents, edited by Mike Resnick, Tor Books, Feb 1992]. What might have happened if Benjamin Franklin, and not George Washington, had become the first President of the United States in 1789?
Jayge Carr, "The War of '07" [in "Alternate Presidents, edited by Mike Resnick, Tor Books, Feb 1992]. What might have happened if Aaron Burr, and not Thomas Jefferson, had become the second President of the United States in 1800?
Others {to be done}

Other Key Dates and Stories of this Century

1701: Yale University founded as Collegiate School of America, later renamed Yale College (1718) and still later as Yale University 1702: The "Daily Courant" of London begins, the first daily newspaper 1724: Peter the Great founds the Academy of Sciences at St.Petersburg, Russia, which soon attracts the top mathematicians of Europe, including Nicholas Bernoulli, Daniel Bernoulli, and Leonhard Euler. 1731: The Royal Dublin Society founded in Ireland. 1731: The Royal Society, in London, establishes the Copley Medal, using a 1709 bequest from Sir Godfrey Copley. It is to be given for "the living author of such philosophical research ... that may appear the the council to be deserving of such honor." 1733: The Schemnitz Mining Academy, founded in Hungary, is the world's first technical college. 1737: Gottingen University founded in Germany 1739: The Royal Society of Edinburgh founded in Scotland 1742: the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters is founded by Christian VI at Copenhagen 1746: Princeton University founded in New Jersey, USA 1755: Moscow University founded in Russia 1792: Astronomer and natural philosopher David Rittenhouse (1732-1796) appointed as first Director of the U.S. Mint. 1792: The Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture was incorporated. It started 1785 in a special committee appointed by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Its early members generally were not directly engaged in farming. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1792: The Chemical Society of Philadelphia was established under the leadership of James Woodhouse (1770-1809), probably the first organized chemical society in the world, although John Penington, a student of Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), is said to have established a chemical society in 1789. Among the Philadelphia society's accomplishments was the promotion of the new chemistry of Lavoisier. In 1811, it was succeeded by the Columbian Chemical Society. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1793: Chemist Thomas Cooper (1759-1839) came to the United States from England, accompanied by two sons of Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), who came the next year. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1794: U.S. Congress makes Springfield Armory a national facility. 4 June 1794: Chemist/Natural Philosopher Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) moved from England to the United States, arriving in New York on this date. Soon he settled at Northumberland, Pennsylvania. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] General or Miscellaneous / Chemistry 1795: David Rittenhouse (1732-1796) elected a member of the Royal Society of London. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] General or Miscellaneous 1795: John Maclean (1771-1814) appointed Professor of Chemistry and Natural History at Princeton University (then College of New Jersey), the first such American professorship in chemistry not attached to a medical school. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1796: Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford) (1753-1814), gave $5,000 in stock to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to establish a biennial medal and premium for American work in heat and light. Simultaneously, he established a Rumford medal with the Royal Society of London. Probably the earliest U.S. research endowment. In 1832 the Academy got legal rights to make use of the fund more flexible in its support of research. The first prize was given in 1839. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1797: The Medical Repository began publication in New York as the first such commercial (i.e. independent) publication in the United States to be devoted to Science (as well as Medicine). The journal included developments in Europe as well as in the United States. Samuel Latham Mitchill (1764-1831) was a founder and served as editor until 1813. Issues continued until 1824. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1798: A short-lived American Mineralogical Society was founded in New York, the first American geological society. Samuel L. Mitchill (1764-1831) was a leading member of the Society. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 16 July 1798: U.S. Congress enacts Law which provides for deduction of a fee from the wages of merchant seaman for the support of their medical care was. The U.S. Public Health Service began with this act, via hospitals that were established. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] Government—Federal / Public 1799: Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences was established as the first state academy. Its Memoirs began publication in 1810 and included papers on science. Organizations—Societies and [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996]

Major Writers Born this Century

1701: Sir Charles Sedley 1702: Yokai Yagu [1702-1783] Japanese poet 1707: Goldoni (1707-1793) Venitian playwright 1709: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English man of letters 1712: Christian Reuter (1712-1765) German poet 1713: Alison Cockburn (1713-1794) Poet of Scotland 1713: Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) English novelist 1715: Christian Geller (1715-1769) German author 1715: Ewald Christian von Kleist (1715-1759) German poet 1716: Jean-Jacques Barthelmy (1716-1795) France 1716: Thomas Grey (1716-1771) English poet 1717: Horace Walpole (1717-1797) English statesman/man of letters master of the Gothic Novel 1719: Johann Wilhelm Gleim (1719-1803) German poet 1720: Samuel Foote (1720-1777) English actor/playwright 1721: William Collins (1721-1759) English poet 1721: Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) English novelist 1722: John Burgoyne (1722-1792) English general/playwright 1724: Friedrich Gottleib Klopstock (1724-1803) German poet 1725: Casanova (1725-1798) Italian adventurer/author 1726: Louis Florence d'Epinay (1726-1783) France 1727: Hester Chapone (1727-1791) 1728: Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Anglo-Irish man of letters 1728: Thomas Wharton (1728-1790) English Poet Laureate 1729: Edmund Burke (1729-1797) English statesman/author 1729: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) Germany 1729: Clara Reve (1729-1807) English novelist 1731: Charles Churchill (1731-1764) English poet 1731: William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet 1731: Ramon de la Cruz (1731-1794) Spanish playwright 1731: Girolamo Tiraboschi (1731-1794) Italy 1732: Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799) French playwright 1732: Julie de Lepinasse (1732-1776) French 1733: Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) 1733: Christoph Friedrich Nicolai (1733-1811) Germany 1733: Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813) Germany 1736: James Macpherson (1736-1796) Poet of Scotland 1737: Thomas Paine (1737-1809) Anglo-American author 1738: John Wolcot ("Peter Pindar") (1738-1819) English author 1739: Christian Schubart (1739-1791) German poet/musician 1740: Carl Michael Bellmann (1740-1795) Swedish poet 1740: James Boswell (1740-1795) author of Scotland 1741: Pierre A. F. Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803) French novelist 1742: George Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) German aphorist/critic 1743: Johannes Ewald (1743-1781) Poet of Denmark 1744: Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803) Germany 1747: Gottfried August Burger (1747-1794) Germany 1749: Vittorio Alfieri (1749-1803) Italian playwright 1749: Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) Greatest German author 1751: Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) Irish playwright 1751: Johann Heinrich Voss (1751-1826) German poet 1752: Fanny Burney (Mme. D'Arblay) (1752-1840) English novelist/diarist 1752: Thmas Chatterton (1752-1770) English poet 1752: Philip Freneau (1752-1832) "Poet of the American Revolution" 1754: Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) English editor/censor of Shakespeare 1754: George Crabbe (1754-1832) English poet 1754: Joel Barlow (1754-1812) American diplomat/poet 1755: Philibert Louis Debucourt (1755-1832) French poet 1755: Elizabeth Lebrun (1755-1842) French poet 1757: William Blake (1757-1827) English artist/poet 1759: Robert Burns (1759-1796) national Poet of Scotland 1759: Schiller (1759-1805) German playwright 1760: Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836) French poet 1760: Johann Peter Hebel (1760-1826) Germany 1761: August Friedrich Ferdinand von Kotzebue (1761-1819) German playwright 1762: Adre de Chenier (1762-1794) French poet 1763: Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (1763-1825) Germany, pseudonym "Jean Paul" 1767: August Wilhelm von Schlegel (1767-1845) Germany 1768: Francois Chateaubriand (1768-1848) France 1769: Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769-1860) German poet 1770: Friedrich Holderlin (1770-1843) German poet 1770: William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet 1771: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) English inventor of Historical Novel 1771: Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810) first professional American author 1772: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) English poet/philosopher 1772: Sandor Kisfaludi (1772-1801) Hungarian poet 1772: "Novalis" (Friedrich von Hardenberg) (1772-1801) German poet 1772: Manuel Jose Quintana (1772-1857) Poet of Spain 1773: Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853) German poet 1774: Robert Southey (1774-1843) English author 1775: Jane Austin (1775-1817) English novelist see: ROMANCE Authors Table of Contents 1775: Charles Lamb (1775-1834) English essayist 1776: E. T. A. Hoffman (1776-1822) German author/composer 1777: Friedrich de la Motte-Fouque (1777-1843) German Romantic poet 1777: Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) German poet 1778: Clemens Brentano (1778-1842) German poet 1778: Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827) Italy 1778: William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English author 1778: Thomas Moore (1778-1852) Irish lyric poet 1778: Adam Gottlieb Oehlenschleger (1778-1850) Danish poet 1781: Adelbert von Chanisso (1781-1838) German poet 1782: H. F. R. de Lamennais (1782-1854) France 1783: Washington Irving (1783-1859) American author 1783: "Stendahl" (Marie Henri Beyle) (1783-1842) French novelist 1784: Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) English author 1785: Thomas de Quincey (1786-1859) English author 1785: Jakob Grimm (1786-1863) German folklorist/author 1785: Alessandro Manzoni (1786-1873) Italian poet/novelist 1785: Thomas Love Peacock (1786-1866) English author 1786: Ludwig Borne (1786-1837) Germany 1786: Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859) German folklorist/author 1787: Mary Russell Mitford (1787-1855) English author 1788: Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet 1788: Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857) German Romantic poet 1789: James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) American author see: Ultimate Westerns Web Guide 1790: Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) France 1791: Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872) Austrian playwright 1791: Theodor Korner (1791-1813) German poet 1794: Ramon de la Cruz (1731-1794) Spanish playwright 1795: John Keats (1795-1821) English poet 1796: August von Platen (1796-1835) German poet 1796: Karl Immerman (1796-1840) German author 1797: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (born 30 Aug 1797) 1797: Jeremias Gotthelf (1797-1854) Swiss author 1797: Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) German poet 1798: Willibald Alexis (1798-1871) German novelist 1798: Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) Italy 1798: Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) Polish poet 1799: Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) French novelist 1799: Aleksandr Pushkin (1799-1837) Russian poet

Major Writers Died this Century

1703: Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) 1703: Charles Perrault (1628-1703) France 1706: John Evelyn (1620-1706) English diarist 1707: George Farquhar (1678-1707) English playwright 1708: Petter Dass (1648-1708) Poet of Norway 1708: Christian Weise (1642-1708) German playwright 1712: William King (1663-1712) 1715: Nahum Tate (1652-1715) Poet 1716: William Wycherley (1640-1716) English playwright 1718: P. A. Motteaux (1660-1718) French playwright 1718: Nicholas Rowe (1674-1718) English poet/playwright 1719: Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist 1721: Matthew Prior (1664-1721) English poet 1723: Johann Christian Gunther (1695-1723) German poet 1726: Jeremy Collier (1650-1726) English author 1729: William Congreve (1670-1729) English playwright 1729: Richard Steele (1672-1729) 1730: Elijah Fenton (1683-1730) English poet 1731: Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) English novelist 1732: John Gay (1685-1732) English playwright 1734: John Dennis (1657-1734) English playwright 1742: William Somerville (1675-1742) English poet 1743: Richard Savage (1697-1743) English author 1744: Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet 1745: Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 1747: Alain Rene Le Sage (1668-1747) France [see 1707] 1750: Aaron Hill (1685-1750) English playwright 1754: Henry Fielding (1707-1754) English novelist 1754: Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754) Playwright of Denmark, see [1731][1741] 1757: Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757) France 1759: William Collins (1721-1759) English poet 1761: Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) English novelist 1762: Crebillon, pere (1674-1762) French playwright 1768: Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) English novelist 1769: Christian Gellert (1715-1769) German poet 1770: Thmas Chatterton (1752-1770) English poet 1771: Thomas Grey (1716-1771) English poet 1771: Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) English novelist 1774: Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Anglo-Irish man of letters 1781: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) Germany 1783: Yokai Yagu [1702-1783] Japanese poet 1784: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English man of letters 1790: Benjamin Franklin (born 1706) died 17 Apr 1790 in Philadelphia 1791: Christian Schubart (1739-1791) German poet/musician 1791: Eugene Scribe (1791-1861) French playwright/librettist 1792: John Keble (1792-1866) English poet 1792: Frederick Marryat (1792-1848) English novelist 1792: Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet 1793: John Clare (1793-1864) English poet 1793: Goldoni (1707-1793) Venitian playwright 1795: Carl Michael Bellmann (1740-1795) Swedish poet 1795: James Boswell (1740-1795) author of Scotland 1796: Robert Burns (1759-1796) national Poet of Scotland 1799: Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799) French playwright 1799: George Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) German aphorist/critic

Decade by Decade Science Background

Major Science of the Decade 1700-1710

1700: Ole Romer invents the Meridian Telescope 1700: Astronomical observations determine the coordinates of the map by Guillaume Delisle 1700: Edmund Halley makes magnetic charts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, showing lines of equal magnetic variation 1701: arguably the first immunologist, Giacomo Pylarini, in Constantinople innoculates three children with smallpox in hopes of preventing their contracting more serious smallpox when they are older 1702: Guillaume Amontons invents a thermometer which uses air as the expanding fluid, but improves on Galileo's earlier design by by using air pressure rather than air volume 1702: Boric Acid discovered by Wilhelm Homberg 1702: Olof Rudbeck, Swedish Naturalist, dies 17 Sep 1702 1702: Clopton Havers, English Physician, dies in Willingale, Essex, in April 1703: Isaac Newton elected President of the Royal Society 1703: Although China had them centuries earlier, the first Seismograph of the West was invented by De la Hautefeuille 1703: Physicist Robert Hooke dies in London, England, 3 Mar 1703 1703: Mathematician Vincenzo Viviani dies in Florence, Italy, 22 Sep 1703 1703: Mathematician John Wallis dies in Oxford, England, 8 Nov 1703 1704: Isaac Newton revives the dormant Royal Society, which had for many years been neglecting Natural Science 1704: Ole Romer constructs a private observatory with a meridian circle and an instrument for measuring transit 1704: Giacomo Maraldi discovers that R Hydrae is a variable star 1704: Nicholas Fatio first uses gems as low-friction bearings in clocks 1704: Anatomist Lorenzo Bellini dies in Florence, Italy, 8 Jan 1704 1704: Mathematician Antoine del'Hospital dies in Paris, France, 2 Feb 1704 1705: founding of the Royal Observatory of Berlin 1705: Francis Hauksbee proves that sound needs air to travel, by experiments with a clock inside a vacuum 1705: Physicist Guillaume Amontons dies in Paris, France, 11 Oct 1705 1705: Physician Raymond Vieussens (born in Vigan, France, ca.1635) provides the first accurate description of the heart's left ventricle, the valve of the large coronary vein, and the course of coronary blood vessels 1705: Naturalist John Ray dies in Notely, England, 17 Jan 1705 1705: Mathematician Jacques (Jakob) Bernoulli dies in Basil Switzerland, 16 Aug 1705 1705: Physician Jean-Baptiste Denis dies in Paris, France, 3 Oct 1705 1706: Francis Hauksbee tells the Royal Society that a glass tube which, when rubbed, attracts little pieces of brass leaf, stops attracting them when they hit the glass, after which the glass tube repels the little pieces of brass leaf. That becomes a key observation in understanding static electricity. 1707 Denis Papin improves Thomas Savery's high-pressure steam pump 1708: Scottish Astronomer/mathematician David Gregory dies in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, 10 Oct 1708 1708: Botanist Joseph de Tournefort dies in Paris, France, 28 Dec 1708 1709: Gabriel Daniel Farenheit (born in Danzig, Germany 24 May 1686) builds an alcohol thermometer 1709: Abraham Darby, at Coalbrookdale, England, introduces the use in iron smelting of coke

Major Science of the Decade 1710-1720

1710: the Kungliga Vetenskaps Societeten, a private scientific society, is founded in Uppsala, Sweden, by Erik Berzelius, Eric Polhelm, and Emanuel Swedenborg. 1710: Astronomer Ole Romer dies in Copenhagen, Denmark, 19 Sep 1710 1711: Coral, formerly believed to be plants, are proven to be animals by Luigi Marsigli 1712: Thomas Newcomen (born in Dartmouth, England, 24 Feb 1663) operates the first practical steam engine to use a piston and cylinder. 1712: Botanist/Physician Nehemiah Grew dies in London, England, 25 Mar 1712 1712: French-Italian Astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini dies in Paris, France, 14 Sep 1712 1712: French Physicist Denis Papin dies in London, England 1713: Nicholas Bernoulli (born St.Petersburg, Russia, 1695) describes the "Petersburg" paradox in a letter to Pierre Remond de Montmort, where mathematics of a coin-tossing game gives an answer that that seems completely wrong experimentally. 1713: Emeanuel Timoni tells the (British) Royal Society that children in Turkey are innoculated with smallpox tp prevent worse disease later in life. 1713: Physicist Francis Hauksbee dies April in London, England 1714: Roger Cotes (born Burbage, England, 10 July 1662) presents the first version of a theorem usually ascribed to Euler, namely that e-to-the power-of-ix = cos x + i sin x (although he gives it in a logarithmic form). 1714: Dominique Ariel invents the fine-point syringe, still known by his name. 1714: Gabriel Farenheit builds a mercury thermometer, with the temperature scale on it that is still known as "the Farenheit Scale." 1714: British Parliament offers a 20,000 Pound prize for the accurate solution to the problem of finding a ship's Longitude at sea 1715: John Harrison (born Foulby, England, 24 Mar 1693) builds an accurate 8-day clock, as an early step towards winning the Longitude prize. 1715: Chemist Nicholas Lemery dies in Paris, France, 19 June 1715 1715: Anatomist Raymond Vieussens dies in Montpellier, France, 16 August 1715 1715: Engineer Thomas Savary dies May in London, England 1716: The government of France offers monetary prizes for the accurate solution to the problem of finding a ship's Longitude at sea 1716: Leibnitz mails a hard problem to his colleague/rival Newton, namely to find the orthogonal trajectories of a family of hyperbolas having the same vertex. He gets the mail about 5 p.m. after putting in a long day as Master of the Mint, and solves the problem before bedtime. 1716: Philosopher/Mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz dies in Hanover, Germany, 14 Nov 1716 1716: Edmund Halley develops and demonstrates a diving bell with an air refreshment system 1716: J. N. de la Hire invents the double-acting water pump, whose output is a continuous water flow 1716: Mathematician Roger Cotes dies in Cambridge, England, 5 June 1716 1717: Abraham Sharp calculates the value of "pi" to 72 decimal places 1717: Inventor Abraham Darby dies in Madley Court, Worchestershire, England, 8 Mar 1717 1718: Edmund Halley discovers what we call Proper Motion of stars. That is, he is the first to observe that stars apparently move compared to the positions of other stars, by comparing current observations with the star tables of Hipparchus and Ptolemy. He correctly concludes that Sirius and other very luminous stars have actually changed their positions in the sky. 1719: Encyclopedist John Harris dies in Norton Court, Kent, England, 9 Sep 1719 1719: Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed dies in Greenwich, England, 31 Dec 1719

Major Science of the Decade 1720-1730

1720: Halley succeeds Flamsteed as Astronomer Royal of England. He begins an 18-year study of the Moon, during which he discovers its secular acceleration. 1720 Daniel Bernoulli (born Groningen, Holland, 9 Feb 1700) solves a version of Riccati's Differential Equation: Derivative Y = p(x)Y-squared + q(x)Y + r(x). In 1760 Euler solves to find the general solution. 1720: George Graham (born Cumberland, England, ca.1674) invents the deadbeat escapement for clocks. 1720: Rene Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur (born La Rochelle, France, 28 Feb 1683) builds the first cupola furnace for melting iron. 1720: Anatomist/Pathologistist Giovanni Lancisi dies in Rome, 21 Jan 1720 1721: America's first smallpox innoculation, Zabdiel Boylston, during the Boston Epidemic. 1721: Jean Palfyn introcues the utilization in birth of forceps. 1721: George Graham invents and perfects the mercury compensating clock pendulum 1721: Botanist Rudolp Camerarius dies in Tubingen, Germany, 11 Sep 1721 1722: Jacob Rogeveen, a Dutch admiral, discovers Easter island. 1723: An unusually high quality reflecting telescope built by John Hadley (born Hertfordshire, England, 16 Apr 1682). 1723: Biologist/Microscopist Anton van Leeuwenhoek dies in Delft, Holland, 26 Aug 1723 1723: Anatomist Antonio Valsalva dies in Bologna, Italy, 2 Feb 1723 1723: Architect/Mathematician/Astronomer Sir Christopher Wren dies in London, 25 Feb 1723 1724: Gabriel Daniel Farenheit describes the supercooling of water. 1724: Physicist Nicholas Hartsoeker dies in Utrecht, Holland, 10 Dec 1724 1725: Antoine Thiout (born Vesoul, France, 1692) builds his Equation Clock, which displays the Solar time. 1726: John Harrison builds his gridiron compensating pendulum clock. 1726: Stephen Hales makes the first measurement of a horse's blood pressure. Stephen Hales was born in Bekesbourne, England, 17 Sep 1677. 1726: Swiss Mathematician Nicholas Bernoulli dies in St.Petersburg, Russia, 31 July 1726 1727: Leonhard Euler first uses the letter "e" to represent the base of natural logarithms, in correspondence. He does not publish this in a book until 1736's "Mechanica, sive motus scientia analytice exposita." Leonhard Euler was born in Basel, Switzerland 15 Apr 1707. 1727: Physicist/Mathematican/Alchemist/Theologian Sir Isaac Newton dies in London, 20 Mar 1727. He was, to my mind, the greatest scientist in all of history, and one of the most important people who ever lived. 1727: Mechanical Engineer Jacob Leupold dies in Leipzig, Germany, 12 Jan 1727 1728: Vitus Bering (born Horsens, Denmark, summer 1681) discovers the Bering Strait 1728: James Bradley correctly explains the observed periodic shifts in stars' positions during the year as caused by the abberation of light. 1729: Stephen Gray discovers that electricity can move from one object to another through conductors; and that static electricity accumulates on the surface of objects, not in their interiors.

Major Science of the Decade 1730-1740

1730: Georg Brandt (born Riddarhytten, Sweden, 21 July 1694) discovers the element Cobalt 1730: Rene de Reaumur builds an alcohol thermometer with a graduated scale from 0 (freezing) to 80 (boiling). 1730: George Martine performs the first tracheotomy as a treatment for diptheria 1730: Otto Muller born in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2 Mar 1730. He grows to one of the first people since Leeuwenhoek to see bacteria, then goes on the classify them. 1730: Anatomist Luigi Marsigli dies in Bologna, Italy, 1 Nov 1730 1730: French Surgeon Dominique Ariel dies (see his 1714 invention) 1730: Surgeon Jean Palfyn dies in Ghent, Belgium, 21 Apr 1730 1731: Thomas Godfrey and John Hadley independently and almost simultaneously invent the Reflecting Quadrant, a precursor to the Sextant. 1731: Stephen Grey demonstrates that any object can be charged with static electricity is it is isolated from other objects by insulators (as opposed to conductors). 1731: Chemist Etiene Geoffroy dies in Paris, France, 6 Jan 1731 1731: Mathematician Brook Taylor dies in London, England, 29 Dec 1731 1733: Abraham De Moivre publishes his discovery of the "normal curve of error" also known as the "distribution curve" or "the bell cueve." 1733: Yale beecomes the first American college to teach Geometry using Euclid's "Elements" as a textbook. 1733: Charles Francois de Cisternay du Fay (born Paris, France, 14 Sep 1698) discovers: there are two types of static electricity; that like charges repel each other; that opposite charges attract each other. This is later elaborated into du Fay's two-fluid theory, which was attacked by Benjamin Franklin's one-fluid theory of electricity. There is some truth to each: electric charge flows as electrons (one fluid) yet an object can have either positive or negative charge. It is even more true in the 20th Century field of electronics, where semiconductors have a kind of "two-fluid theory of electricity, with flows possible of both negative electrons and positive "holes." It is also true in in the 19th and 20th Century field of electrochemistry and molecular biology, where there can be a flow of protons and ions through biological membranes and in chemical reactions. 1733: The Great Russian Nordic Expedition starts a ten-year search (1733-1743) for a northeastern sea passage. 1733: Anders Celsius publishes a collection of his observations of the Aurora Borealis. Anders Celsius was born in Uppsale, Sewden, 27 Nov 1701. 1733: John Kay (born Bury, England, 16 July 1704) invents the Flying Shuttle Loom. 1733: Mathematician/Physician/Paleontologist Johann Jakob Scheuchzer dies in Zurich, Switzerland, 23 June 1733. 1733: Mathematician Girolamo Saccheri dies in Milan, Italy, 25 Oct 1731 1734: Chester Moor Hall invents the Achromatic Telecope. Previous refracting telecopes suffered from Chromatic Abberation, where different colored light focuses in different places. His secret is in using lenses made of two different kinds of glass, so that the Chromatic Abberation of one lens is almost perfectly compensated by the Chromatic Abberation of the other. 1734: the French Academy of Sciences, long dubious of Newton's theories, finally awards a prize for some research based on Newton. 1734: Physician John Floyer dies in Lichfield, England, 1 Feb 1734. 1734: Chemist Georg Ernst Stahl dies in Berlin, Germany, 14 May 1734. He is best known as a coinventor of the now-discredited theory of Phlogiston. 1735: Johann Gmelin, German explorer (born Tubingen, 10 Aug 1709) is on an expedition to Siberia when he discovers permafrost. 1735: Charles-Marie de Condamine heads an expedition to Peru for measuring the curvature of the earth. He sends back ome samples of both rubber and curare. Charles-Marie de Condamine was born in Paris, France, 27 Jan 1701. 1735: George Hadley explains the "Hadley cell" which is a model for the circulation pattern of the Earth's wind. 1735: John Harrison, seeking the prize from the British Board of Longitude, builds his first Marine Chronometer, which he calls Number One. He so names each successive model, with Number Four being the most famous. 1735: Physician John Arbuthnot dies in London, England, 27 Feb 1735. 1735: Physicist William Denham dies in Upminster, England, 5 Apr 1735. 1736: American Physician William Douglass describes Scarlet Fever. 1736: Claudius Aymand performs the first successful operation to treat appendicitis. 1737: Euler proves that both "e" and its square are irrational numbers. That is, neither the base of natural logarithms nor its square can be written as the ratio of two whole numbers. To put it yet another way, both numbers cannot be represented as either a finite number of decimal places, or an infinite number of decimal places which repeat, but can only be represented by an infinite non-repeating decimal. 1737: At Greenwich Observatory, John Bevis watches the passage of Venus in front of Mercury 1737: Electrical experimenter Stephen Gray dies in London, England, 25 Feb 1737. 1737: German-Dutch Physicist Gabriel Fahrenheit dies in the Hague, Holland, 16 Sep 1737 1738: Joseph-Nicholas Delisle track sunspot's locations by heliocentric coordinates. Joseph-Nicholas Delisle was born in Paris, France, 4 Apr 1688. 1738: Charles Dangeau de Labelye invents the Caisson, un underwater device necessary in the building of underwater bridge foundations and tunnels. he does so in his work on a bridge over the river Thames at Westminster. 1738: Dutch Physician Hermann Boerhaave dies in Leiden, Holland, 23 Sep 1738. 1739: George Martine shows that the amount of heat contained within an object is not proportional to the volume of the object. 1739: Physicist Charles Francois de Cisternay du Fay (born Paris, France, 14 Sep 1698) dies in Paris, France, 16 July 1739.

Major Science of the Decade 1740-1750

1740: English Encyclopedist Ephraim Chambers dies 15 May 1740 1740: Anders Celsius becomes the head of the new Observatory in Uppsala, Sweden. 1740: James Short constructs telescopes according to the design of N. Cassegrain. 1740: For the last time, the French Academy of Sciences presents an award for a memoir based on the theories of Physics of Descartes. Thereafter, the triumph of Newton is complete. 1741: James Bradley succeeds Edmund Halley as Astronomer Royal of Britain. 1741: Agriculturist Jethro Tull dies 21 Feb 1741. 1741: Steller's Sea Cow is discovered, off the coast of the Kamchatka Penninsula (much later part of the USSR). Within 27 short years, it has been hunted to extinction. 1741: Alexei Ilich Tschirikov and Vitus Jonassen Bering discover the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska, during the The Great Russian Nordic Expedition (see 1733). 1741: Danish-Russian Explorer Vitus Jonassen Bering dies on Bering island, off the coast of Kamchatka, 19 Dec 1741 1742: Christian Goldbach, in a letter to Euler, suggests a conjecture which today (2003) has still not been proved or disporived, despite massive effort. Goldbach's Conjecture is that every even number more than 2 can be written as the sum of two odd prime numbers. To begin: 4 = 1 + 3 6 = 3 + 3 8 = 3 + 5 10 = 3 + 7 = 5 + 5 (only one of multiple examples shown below) 12 = 5 + 7 14 = 7 + 7 16 = 3 + 13 18 = 5 + 13 20 = 3 + 17 and so on, to infinity... Christian Goldbach was born in Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) 18 Mar 1690. 1742: Astronomer Edmund Halley dies, Greenwich, England, 14 Jan 1742. 1742: the first permanent graft of animal tissue (the hydra) is performed by Abraham Trembly (born Geneva, Switzerland, 3 Sep 1710). 1742: Anders Celsius invents the Celsius Scale: originally with 0 as the boiling point of water, and 100 as the freezing point. In 1743 this is switched around by Jean Pierre Christian to give the temperature scale we use today (and also call Centigrade). 1742: Benjamin Huntsman develops the crucible process for molton steel. Benjamin Huntsman was born in Lincolnshire, England, 1704. 1743: Marie-Jean-Antoine, Marquis de Condorcet, later a major Philospher/Writer, is born in Ribemont, rance, 17 Sep 1743. 1743: Physicist Friedrich Hoffman dies in Halle, Germany, 12 Nov 1743. 1743: Benjamin Franklin instrumental in the founding of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, the first scientific society in America 1744: Heinrich Olbers in 1823 gets credit for the paradox first stated in 1744 by Jean Philippe Loys de Cheseaux: why is the night sky dark? If there an infinite number of stars, there should be one in every possible direction, and the whole sky should appear as bright as the sun. Cheseaux says that a slight loss of light in empty space would solve the problem. Today we know that the right answer is that there are NOT an infinite number of stars, and that the universe is expanding, and that there is a cosmological red shift. 1744: Benjamin Franklin invents the Franklin Stove. 1744: Cesar-Francois Cassini directs the Triangulation of France. This is the first national Survey, and provides the first map constructed by modern surveying methods. 1744: Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov publishes a paper on heat and cold, the first to correctly state that heat is a form of motion. Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov was born in Deniskova, Russia, 8 Nov 1711. 1744: Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis invents what we call the Principle of Least Action. Action is, looslely speaking, Force times Distance times Time, and nature moves things so that Action is always minimized. Modern Physicists still believe this. 1744: French-English Physicist John Theophile Desaguliers died in London, England, 10 Mar 1744. 1744: Astronomer Anders Celsius dies in Uppsala, Sweden, 25 Apr 1744. 1745: discovery of the lead-chamber process for making sulfuric acid. 1745: Jacques de Vaucanson invents the self-acting loom to weave silk. Jacques de Vaucanson was born in Grenoble, France, 24 Feb 1709. 1745: Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov publishes a catalog of 3,030 minerals. 1745: Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, suggests that the planet Earth was formed when a comet hit the Sun. 1746-1750: {to be done} Major Science of the Decade 1750-1760 {to be done} 1751: change in the calendar in Britain, with 1 January 1751 becoming the first day of the year 1752: Benajmin Franklin's famous Kite experiment Major Science of the Decade 1760-1770 {to be done} 1766: Matthew Boulton (born in Birmingham, England, 3 Sep 1728) founds The Lunar Society, whose members include Erasmus Darwin, Josph Priestley, and James Watt 1768: Johann Lambert proves that "pi" is an irrational number, that is, that it can not be written as the ratio of two whole numbers. Major Science of the Decade 1770-1780 {to be done} 1776: Pierre-Simon Laplace states that if all the forces on all the objects in the univserse were precisely known at any one time, that the entire future could be predicted. Two centuries later, Isaac Asimov applies this theory, in a broad statistical way, in his fictional science of "psychohistory." 1776: uric acid discovered independently by Bergman and Scheele Major Science of the Decade 1780-1790 {to be done} 1785: Coulomb precisely measures the attraction and repulsion between charged objects and magnetic poles, with a torsion balance, and conclusively demonstrates that both electrical and magnetic forces obey the inverse square law (as Newton proved of gravity).

Major Science of the Decade 1790-1800

1790: The first Patent Act was passed by U.S. Congress, per provisions of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. The Secretary of State (Thomas Jefferson), the Secretary of War, and the Attorney General become a board deciding on patents. Law revised 1793 put the Secretary of State in charge but essentually to register and fee collect, not involving decisions as to the acceptability of an invention. [data from Clark A. Elliott "History of Science in the United States: A Chronology and Research Guide [New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996] 1791: the Metric System is proposed in France on 30 Mar 1791 1791: The element Titanium discovered by William Gregor 1793: Eli Whitney (1765-1825) invented the cotton gin. 1795: the Metric System is adopted in France 1797-1807: Biggest collection of American plants of the time, accumulated by Philadelphia botanist Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815). 1799: Soldiers of the army of Napoleon, digging near the Rosetta branch of the Nile, unearth a stone engraved with three different scripts. Years later, this "Rosetta Stone" proves to be the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphics. 1800: Johann Schroter and his "Celestial Police" at Lilienthal search by telescope for the "missing planet" between Mars and Jupiter 1800: William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle use the new Voltaic Battery to electrolyze water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. 1800: William Cruikshank of England first purifies water with Chlorine. 1800: British engineer Richard Trevithick (born 13 Apr 1771) builds the earliest high-pressure steam engine, leading later to trains and automobiles (see him in 1801). 1800: Benjamin Waterhouse of Newport, Rhode Island (born 4 Mar 1754) uses the first smallpox vaccine in America, testing it on his son (and establishing a father-son tension in Mad Scientists of fiction) 1800: Astronomer/Music Teacher William Herschel publishes "An investigation of the powers of prismatic colours to to heat and illuminate objects." This writing of the invention and properties of Infrared radiation led to an infinity of Science Fiction stories about mysterious "rays" and "ray-guns", which only got worse when Ultraviot was discovered the following year, and X-rays were discovered later in the 19th Century. Paleontology / Zoolog

Decade by Decade Mundane Background

{to be done} 1716: France establishes the first national highway department 1720: Stock in the South Sea Company collapses, wiping out thousands of investors in Englad, and weakening England's entire financial system, as the company is a private venture to which the Government is a partner. 1737: 300,000 people killed by an earthquake in Calcutta, India. 1755: 60,000 people killed by an earthquake near Lisbon, Portugal 1778: James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands 14 July 1789: Paris prison the "Bastille" is stormed by a mob, usually considered the start of the French Revolution.

Hotlinks to other Timeline pages of SF Chronology

|Introduction: Overview and Summary |Prehistory: Ancient Precursors |Cosmic History: 13,000,000,000 - 3000 BC |6th Millennium BC: 6000-5000 BC |5th Millennium BC: 5000-4000 BC |4th Millennium BC: 4000-3000 BC |3rd Millennium BC: Cheops, Gilgamesh, Sargon |2nd Millennium BC: Abraham to David |1st Millennium BC: {name to be added here} |1st Century: {name to be added here} |2nd Century: {name to be added here} |3rd Century: {name to be added here} |4th Century: {name to be added here} |5th Century: {name to be added here} |6th Century: {name to be added here} |7th Century: name to be added here |8th Century: Beowulf, Charlemagne, 1001 Nights |9th Century: Gunpowder and the first printed book |10th Century: Arabs, Byzantium, China |11th Century: Kyahham, Gerbert, Alhazen |12th Century: Age of Translations |13th Century: Final Flowering of Chivalry |14th Century: Dante, Marco Polo, and Clocks |15th Century: Dawn of Scientific Revolution |16th Century: Ariosto and Cyrano on the Moon |17th Century: Literary Dawn |18th Century: Literary Expansion (you are here) |19th Century: Victorian Explosion |1890-1910: Into Our Century |1910-1920: The Silver Age |1920-1930: The Golden Age |1930-1940: The Aluminum Age |1940-1950: The Plutonium Age |1950-1960: The Threshold of Space |1960-1970: The New Wave |1970-1980: The Seventies |1980-1990: The Eighties |1990-2000: End of Millennium |2000-2010: This Decade |2010-2020: Next Decade |Cosmic Future: Billions, Trllions, Googols

Where to Go for More

: 51 Useful Reference Books Beyond the World Wide Web... there is the library of old-fashioned books printed on paper. I strongly recommend that you start or follow-up your explorations of this web site by consulting any or all of these outstanding sources: ALDISS: "Billion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction", Brian W. Aldiss (New York: Doubleday, 1973; Schocken Paperback, 1974) ALLEN: "Science Fiction Reader's Guide", L. David Allen (Centennial Press, 1974) AMIS: "New Maps of Hell", Kingsley Amis (London: Gollancz, 1960; New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960) ASH1: "Who's Who in Science Fiction", by Brian Ash (Taplinger, 1976) ASH2: "The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction", edited by Brian Ash (Harmony Books, 1977) ASHLEY: "The History of the Science Fiction Magazine" [3 volumes] (London: New English Library, 1974) ASIMOV "Asimov on Science Fiction" (New York: Avon, 1981) ATHELING: "The Issue at Hand", "William Atheling, Jr." [James Blish] (Chicago: Advent, 1964) BARRON: "Anatomy of Wonder", edited by Neil Barron (Bowker, 1976) BAXTER: "Science Fiction in the Cinema", John Baxter (London: A. Zwemmer, 1970; New York: A. S. Barnes, 1970) BERGONZI: "The Early H.G. Wells", Bernard Bergonzi (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1961) BLEILER: "The Checklist of Fantastic Literature" Everett F. Bleiler (Chicago: Shasta, 1948) BRETNOR1: "Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Future", edited by Reginald Bretnor (New York: Coward-McCann, 1953) BRETNOR2: "The Craft of Science Fiction", Reginald Bretnor (New York: Harper & Row, 1977) BRINEY: "SF Bibliographies", Robert E. Briney & Edward Wood (Chicago: Advent, 1972) CLARESON1: "SF: The Other Side of Realism", edited by Thomas D. Clareson (Gregg Press, 1978) CLARESON2: "Extrapolation, 1959-1969", edited by Thomas D. Clareson (Bowling Green, Ohio: University Popular Press, 1971) CLARKE: "The Tale of the Future", I. F. Clarke (London: The Library Association, 1961, 1972) CONTENTO: "Index to the Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections", William Contento G.K. Hall, 1978) DAY: "Index to the Science Fiction Magazine: 1926-50", Donald B. Day (Portland, Oregon: Perri Press, 1952) DeCAMP: "Science Fiction Handbook", L. Sprague DeCamp (New York: Hermitage House, 1953) ELLIK: "The Universes of E. E. Smith", Ron Ellik & Bill Evans (Chicago: Advent, 1966) EVANS: "The Index of Science Fiction Magazines", Bill Evans with Jack Speer (Denver: Robert Peterson, 1946?) FRANKLIN: "Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century", H. Bruce Franklin (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966) FREWIN: "One Hundred Years of Science Fiction Illustration", Anthony Frewin (London: Jupiter Books, 1974) GOODSTONE: "The Pulps", Tony Goodstone (New York: Chelsea House, 1970) GUNN: "Alternate Worlds", James Gunn (Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975) HARRISON: "John W. Campbell: Collected Editorials from Analog", Harry Harrison (Garden City NY: Doubleday, 1966) HOLMBERG: "Science Fiction History", John-Henri Holmberg (Vanersborg, Sweden: Askild & Karnekull, 1974) KNIGHT: "In Search of Wonder", Damon Knight (Chicago: Advent, 1956; enlarged 1967) KYLE: "A Pictorial History of Science Fiction", David Kyle (London: Hamlyn House, 1976) LOCKE: "Worlds Apart", edited by George Locke (London: Cornmarket Reprints, 1972) LUNDWALL: "Science Fiction: What It's All About", Sam J. Lundwall (New York: Ace Books, 1971) METCALF: "The Index of Science Fiction Magazines, 1951-1965", Norm Metcalf (J. Ben Stark, 1968) MILLIES: "Science Fiction Primer for Teachers", Suzanne Millies (Dayton OH: Pflaum, 1975) MOSKOWITZ#1: "The Immortal Storm", Sam Moskowitz (AFSO Press, 1954; Hyperion Press, 19??) MOSKOWITZ#2: "Explorers of the Infinite: Shapers of Science Fiction", Sam Moskowitz (Cleveland & New York: World, 1963) MOSKOWITZ#3: "Seekers of Tomorrow", Sam Moskowitz (Cleveland & New York: World, 1963) NESFA: "Index to the Science Fiction Magazines", New England Science Fiction Association (Cambridge MA: NESFA, 1971) PERRY: "The Penguin Book of Comics", George Perry & Alan Aldridge (London: Penguin, 1971) ROGERS: "A Requiem for Astounding", Alva Rogers (Chicago: Advent, 1964) ROTTSTEINER: "The Science Fiction Book", Franz Rottsteiner (London: Thames & Hudson, 1975) SADOUL: "Hier, L'An 2000 [Illustrations from the Golden Age of Science Fiction]", Jaxques Sadoul (Paris: Editions Denoel, 1973) STRAUSS: "The MIT Science Fiction Society's Index to the SF Magazines: 1951-64" Erwin S. Strauss (Cambridge MA: MIT Science Fiction Society, 1966) TUCK: "The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2nd Edition", Donald H. Tuck (Hobart, Tasmania: Donald H. Tuck, 1959) VERSINS: "Encyclopedie des l'utopie, des voyages extraordinaires et de la science fiction", (Lausanne: L'Age d'Homme, 1972) WAGGONER: "The Hills of Faraway", Diana Waggoner (Athenaeum, 1978) WARNER: "All Our Yesterdays", Harry Warner, Jr. (Chicago: Advent, 1969) WELLS: "Fictional Accounts of Trips to the Moon", Lester G. Wells (Syracuse NY: Syracuse University Library, 1962) WILLIAMSON: "H.G. Wells: Critic of Progress", Jack Williamson (Baltimore: Mirage Press, 1973) WOLLHEIM: "The Universe Makers", Donald A. Wollheim (New York: Harper & Row, 1971)
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