Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a literature of ideas. Science fiction is difficult to define, as it includes a range of subgenres and themes. Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying science fiction is what we point to when we say it, a definition echoed by author Mark C. Glassy, who argues that the definition of science fiction is like the definition of pornography, you do not know what it is, in 1970 or 1971William Atheling Jr. According to science fiction writer Robert A, rod Serlings definition is fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible, Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possible worlds or futures. Science fiction elements include, A time setting in the future, in alternative timelines, a spatial setting or scenes in outer space, on other worlds, or on subterranean earth. Characters that include aliens, mutants, androids, or humanoid robots, futuristic or plausible technology such as ray guns, teleportation machines, and humanoid computers. Scientific principles that are new or that contradict accepted physical laws, for time travel, wormholes. New and different political or social systems, e. g. utopian, dystopian, post-scarcity, paranormal abilities such as mind control, telepathy, telekinesis Other universes or dimensions and travel between them. A product of the budding Age of Reason and the development of science itself. Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Keplers work the first science fiction story and it depicts a journey to the Moon and how the Earths motion is seen from there. Later, Edgar Allan Poe wrote a story about a flight to the moon, more examples appeared throughout the 19th century. Wells The War of the Worlds describes an invasion of late Victorian England by Martians using tripod fighting machines equipped with advanced weaponry and it is a seminal depiction of an alien invasion of Earth. In the late 19th century, the scientific romance was used in Britain to describe much of this fiction. This produced additional offshoots, such as the 1884 novella Flatland, the term would continue to be used into the early 20th century for writers such as Olaf Stapledon. In the early 20th century, pulp magazines helped develop a new generation of mainly American SF writers, influenced by Hugo Gernsback, the founder of Amazing Stories magazine. In 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his series of Barsoom novels, situated on Mars
Henry Kuttner was an American author of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Henry Kuttner was born in Los Angeles, California in 1915, Henry Kuttners great-grandfather was the scholar Josua Heschel Kuttner. Kuttner grew up in relative poverty following the death of his father, as a young man he worked for the literary agency of his uncle, Laurence DOrsay, in Los Angeles before selling his first story, The Graveyard Rats, to Weird Tales in early 1936. Alfred Bester told this anecdote about Kuttner, Mort Weisinger introduced me to the informal gatherings of the working science fiction authors of the late thirties. I met Henry Kuttner, whom Bester described as medium-sized, very quiet and courteous, once I broke Kuttner up quite unintentionally. I said to Weisinger, Ive just finished a story that takes place in a spaceless, timeless locale where theres no objective reality. Its awfully long,20,000 words, but I can cut the first 5,000, apart from the flesh-eating animals, Masson eventually comes face-to-face with a burrowing zombie-like creature. This often-anthologized tale made recent appearances in The Gruesome Book, edited by Ramsey Campbell, other Kuttner stories are also tinged with Lovecraftian horror. Rats was also adapted as part of the anthology film Trilogy of Terror II. Kuttner was known for his prose and worked in close collaboration with his wife. They met through their association with the Lovecraft Circle, a group of writers and their work together spanned the 1940s and 1950s and most of the work was credited to pseudonyms, mainly Lewis Padgett and Lawrence ODonnell. Both freely admitted that they collaborated in part because his page rate was higher than hers, in fact, several people have written or said that she wrote three stories which were published under his name. Clash by Night and The Portal in the Picture are sometimes attributed to her, according to de Camp, it was typical for either partner to break off from a story in mid-paragraph or even mid-sentence, with the latest page of the manuscript still in the typewriter. The other spouse would routinely continue the story where the first had left off and they alternated in this manner as many times as necessary until the story was finished. These stories were collected in Robots Have No Tails. In her introduction to the 1973 Lancer Books edition, Moore stated that Kuttner wrote all the Gallegher stories himself, in 2007, New Line Cinema released a feature film loosely based on the Lewis Padgett short story Mimsy Were the Borogoves under the title The Last Mimzy. In addition, The Best of Henry Kuttner was republished under the title The Last Mimzy Stories, marion Zimmer Bradley is among many authors who have cited Kuttner as an influence. Her novel The Bloody Sun is dedicated to him, roger Zelazny has talked about the influence of The Dark World on his Amber series
He spent most of his working life at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge and served as its director for six years. He was a writer of fiction, and co-authored twelve books with his son. Hoyle was born near Bingley in Gilstead, West Riding of Yorkshire and his father, Ben Hoyle, worked in the wool trade in Bradford. His mother, Mabel Pickard, had studied music at the Royal College of Music in London, Hoyle was educated at Bingley Grammar School and read mathematics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In late 1940, Hoyle left Cambridge to go to Portsmouth to work for the Admiralty on radar research and he was also put in charge of countermeasures against the radar guided guns found on the Graf Spee. Britains radar project employed more personnel than the Manhattan project, and was probably the inspiration for the large British project in The Black Cloud, two key colleagues in this war work were Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold, and the three had many and deep discussions on cosmology. The radar work paid for a couple of trips to North America and he had an intuition at the time I will make a name for myself if this works out. Eventually his prescient and ground breaking paper came out and he also formed a group at Cambridge exploring Stellar nucleosynthesis in ordinary stars and was bothered by the paucity of stellar carbon production in existing models. He noticed that one of the existing processes would be made a billion times more if the carbon-12 nucleus had a resonance at 7.7 MeV. After the war, in 1945, Hoyle returned to Cambridge University, Hoyles Cambridge years, 1945–1973, saw him rise to the top of world astrophysics theory, on the basis of a startling originality of ideas covering a very wide range of topics. In 1958, Hoyle was appointed to the illustrious Plumian Professor of Astronomy, in 1971 he was invited to deliver the MacMillan Memorial Lecture to the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. He chose the subject Astronomical Instruments and their Construction, after his leaving Cambridge, Hoyle wrote many popular science and science fiction books, as well as presenting lectures around the world. Part of the motivation for this was simply to provide a means of support, Hoyle was still a member of the joint policy committee, during the planning stage for the 150-inch Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales. He became chairman of the Anglo-Australian Telescope board in 1973, and presided at its inauguration in 1974 by Charles, on 24 November 1997, while hiking across moorlands in west Yorkshire, near his childhood home in Gilstead, Hoyle fell down into a steep ravine called Shipley Glen. Roughly twelve hours later, Hoyle was found by a search dog and he was hospitalized for two months with pneumonia, kidney problems as a result of hypothermia, and a smashed shoulder, while he ever afterwards suffered from memory and mental agility problems. In 2001, he suffered a series of strokes and died in Bournemouth on 20 August, Fred Hoyle authored the first two research papers ever published on the synthesis of the chemical elements heavier than helium by nuclear reactions in stars. This idea would later be called the e Process, Hoyles second foundational nucleosynthesis publication showed that the elements between carbon and iron cannot be synthesized by such equilibrium processes. Hoyle attributed those elements to specific nuclear fusion reactions between abundant constituents in concentric shells of evolved massive, pre-supernova stars and this startlingly modern picture is the accepted paradigm today for the supernova nucleosynthesis of these primary elements
James Tiptree Jr.
Alice Bradley Sheldon was an American science fiction author better known as James Tiptree Jr. a pen name she used from 1967 to her death. She was most notable for breaking down the barriers between writing perceived as male or female—it was not publicly known until 1977 that James Tiptree Jr. was a woman. From 1974 to 1977 she also used the pen name Raccoona Sheldon, Tiptree was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012. Bradley came from a family in the enclave of Hyde Park. Her father was Herbert Bradley, a lawyer and naturalist, and her mother was Mary Hastings Bradley, a prolific writer of fiction and travel books. From an early age Bradley traveled with her parents, and in 1921–22, the Bradleys made their first trip to central Africa, which later contributed to Sheldon’s short story, The Women Men Dont See. Later on, Bradley became a graphic artist, a painter, and—under the name Alice Bradley Davey—an art critic for the Chicago Sun between 1941 and 1942. At age 19, she met and married William Davey, her first husband, under the compulsion that she felt it was her duty as a daughter, in 1942 she joined the United States Army Air Forces and worked in the Army Air Forces photo-intelligence group. She later was promoted to major, a rank for women at the time. In the army, she felt she was among free women for the first time, in 1945 she married her second husband, Huntington D. Sheldon, at the close of the war on her assignment in Paris. She was discharged from the military in 1946, at which time she set up a business in partnership with her husband. The same year her first story was published in the November 16,1946 issue of The New Yorker, in 1952 she and her husband were invited to join the CIA, which she accepted. However, she resigned her position in 1955 and returned to college and she studied for her Bachelor of Arts degree at American University, going on to achieve a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967. She wrote her dissertation on the responses of animals to novel stimuli in differing environments. During this time, she wrote and submitted a few science fiction stories under the name James Tiptree Jr. in order to protect her academic reputation. As for her life, Sheldon had a complex sexual orientation. This statement, for example, is how she would have explained it at point, I like some men a lot. The Bradley family returned to Chicago from Africa in March 1922, after a second trip to Africa in 1924, the Bradleys returned to Chicago during the summer, and by fall that same year, ten-year-old Alice was sent to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools