Sunday, January 25, 2009

Terra Incognito on proto-SF stories of Edgar Allan Poe

Terra Incognito lists some of these. Without online links, but most Poe fiction should be available at Project Gutenberg.

  1. "Poe´s ballooning stories are The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall, The Balloon-Hoax and Mellonta Tauta." "The Balloon-Hoax [is] the description of a trans-Atlantic balloon travel." "Mellonta Tauta is the only far future story written by Poe... it takes place in the 25th Century, Poe simply criticizes human nature".
  2. "The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion".
But he doesn't list one of the most important science fiction stories of Poe - "A Descent into the Maelstrom". To me, this reads as very much normal hard-sf - nothing proto about it, though the language & telling style is kind of old. Arthur Clarke wrote a space age sequel to it - "Maelstrom II", of which a 3-minute movie version & a set of graphic slides are online.