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The Forgotten Founder Of Science Fiction

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posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 12:57 PM
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This man basically invented every sci-fi concept there is, and you almost certainly haven't heard of him.

It wasn’t until forty years after his death that Edward Page Mitchell was identified as the author of The Clock That Went Backward, along with a multitude other short stories which unveil the work of a visionary who has been shrouded in obscurity for over a century.
Source

Edward Page Mitchell wrote some 30 stories that would introduce an incredible number of what would now be considered fundamental concepts in science fiction storytelling. He operated anonymously as a professional journalist and released many short stories with fantastical new ideas decades before H G Wells would even touch on them.
The only work carrying his name (though also initially credited anonymously) was The Tachypomp, a story about a device capable of infinite speed.
With such obscurity surrounding his writing, it's no wonder that Mitchell's legacy has been a quiet one.
Astounding still that so many great story elements came from one mind! This guy is practically the Shakespeare of sci-fi.


With that story, fantasy gave way to sci-fi. Mitchell would go on to write what are almost certainly the first accounts of a computerized brain and cryogenic freezing (in 1879), personality change via surgery a year later, a time machine and an invisible man (in 1881 — seven and 16 years, respectively, before H.G. Wells did so), a friendly alien (1883) and a mutant child with mental powers (1885)Source


Here's a chronological list of some of the concepts he introduced:

1874: "The Tachypomp", earliest known story utilizing a theory suitable for faster than light travel

1877: "The Man Without a Body,” which featured the first reference to a scientific teleportation

1879: The first fictional computerized brain (a neo-electronic thinking computer functioning in the head of a human)

1880: Personality change via surgery in "The Professor's Experiment"

1881: The first time machine story, "The Clock That Went Backward" (7 years befor H G Wells)

1881: The first ever invisible man, "The Crystal Man" (16 years before H G Wells)

1883: A friendly alien

1885: A mutant child with mental powers

And the list goes on.

From light-speed to cryonics, Edward Page Mitchell seems more a prophet than an author and if it is indeed true that such ideas originated with him, his elevation into the pantheon of science fiction genius is long overdue.


You can read some of his stories online HERE, including:
The Tachypomp (January 1874)
The Soul Spectroscope (December 1875)
The Man Without A Body (March 1877)
The Ablest Man In The World (May 1879)
The Senator's Daughter (July 1879)
The Crystal Man (January 1881) and
The Clock That Went Backward (September 1881)

Stay Astonished!

edit on 22-7-2019 by ADAMandEVIL because: ETA fixes




posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: ADAMandEVIL

That would place him in the top 3 first, of what we would call, modern day science fiction as we know it. After Mary Shely and Jules Vern.

Very interesting and thanks.



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 01:24 PM
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a reply to: ADAMandEVIL

No political baiting? No trolling? Refreshing, new information? (to me).

Wonderful thread, thank you.
Would give you a hundred stars and flags if i could.



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: ADAMandEVIL

Thanks OP.

I will surely give these stories a read.



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: grey580

I wouldn't have put shelly in the sci fi genre.

Definitely not the top 3.



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: ADAMandEVIL

Refreshing thread with great links!
Thanks



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 01:51 PM
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PLVS VLTRA at it again?

I got to take a look at these stories



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 02:04 PM
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a reply to: ADAMandEVIL

Sorry to piss on your party, but

The first fictional computerized brain (a neo-electronic thinking computer functioning in the head of a human)

1863 Samuel Butler " Darwin Amongst The Machines "


The first time machine story.

1733 Samuel Madden " Memories Of The Twentieth Century "

The first ever invisible man.

14th Century Old English. Thomas Chestre " Sir Launfal "


That's only a couple i know about, i am sure the others you have listed could also be found in earlier works.

Who knows.



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 02:47 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

Most scholars recognize Shelly as one of the first modern science fiction writers as we know it.

And I said top 3 first writers. Shelly was first then Verne then Mitchell. Not that She was in the top 3 best writers.



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 03:12 PM
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originally posted by: grey580
a reply to: Bluntone22

Most scholars recognize Shelly as one of the first modern science fiction writers as we know it.

And I said top 3 first writers. Shelly was first then Verne then Mitchell. Not that She was in the top 3 best writers.


I find Shelly's " The Last Man " a very interesting novel.

Set in the future of 2073, it tell the story of humankind being wiped out by a virus. Written in 1826, it was probably one of the first of that genre.

Well worth a read.



posted on Jul, 22 2019 @ 08:01 PM
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Don’t forget Voltaire’s “Micromegas”, about extraterrestrial beings from Sirius and Saturn visiting Earth. Good read and, as always, pretty funny.



posted on Jul, 23 2019 @ 03:53 PM
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a reply to: ADAMandEVIL
Getoff! I can beat that by nearly 2 thousand years. The most widely read sci-fi book of all time. The Bible. It's got all your parameters. Good aliens (angels) bad aliens (the devil) child with mental abilities(Jesus), teleportation (the ascension) and the list goes on.




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