[Ads-l] science-fiction, 1898 antedating (?)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Wed Feb 3 09:14:51 EST 2021


Maybe Harry B. Mason (1874-1930).
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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, February 3, 2021 9:07 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: science-fiction, 1898 antedating (?)

As some of use recently read in Wired:

“One thing nerds like to argue about is what nerds are allowed to argue about. If you agree to stipulate that science fiction is often one of those things—and, hey, we could argue about that—then a problem to solve is the boundaries of that genre, the what-it-is and what-it-isn’t.”


Minor notes:

The OED science fiction A.2.b 1897 quote by H. B. Mason [maybe Harry B. Mason?] with science-fiction is said to be from Pharmaceut. World. I don’t find that title; did they intend to credit Pharmaceutical Era ISSN: 0096-9125?

Also maybe not relevant, but the Bulletin of Pharmacy book review just above the 1898 review of War of the Worlds with science-fiction (OED sense A.3 is signed “H. B. M.”


SG

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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, February 3, 2021 8:22 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: science-fiction, 1898 antedating (?)

Not circular if they've already defined a different sense.

JL

On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 7:28 AM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:

> Stephen's discovery of this 1898 citation is a major one.  The OED has the
> following citation, under the sense of "A work of science fiction" (isn't
> that a circular definition?):
>
> 1897   H. B. Mason in Pharmaceut. World 20 May 592/1   My last remembrance
> had been of reading Mr. [J. U.] Lloyd's Etidorhpa... The complete arrest of
> bodily function and tissue waste which the central figure of that
> remarkable science-fiction achieved at the point where gravitation ceases,
> somewhere between here and China, impressed me deeply.
>
> However, Stephen's 1898 citation is clearly referring to the genre, and to
> the modern usage of the term.
>
> Fred Shapiro
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 3, 2021 7:14 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: science-fiction, 1898 antedating (?)
>
> Bulletin of Pharmacy [Detroit], October, 1898, v. 12 n. 10 p. 466/1.
>
> Mr. H. G. Wells, the imaginative writer of science-fiction, has recently
> brought out a thrilling romance whose basis is the intended conquest of the
> earth by the inhabitants of Mars. In "The War of the Worlds," Mr. Wells
> tells us [....]
>
> Stephen Goranson
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