Essays in this volume demonstrate how science fiction can serve as a bridge between science and the humanities. Essays are arranged chronologically and form a historical survey of science fiction, showing how early writers like Dante and Mary Shelley revealed a gradual shift toward a genuine understanding of science; how H.
G. Wells first showed the possibilities of a literature that could combine scientific and humanistic perspectives; how writers influenced by Gernsback's ideas, like Isaac Asimov, illustrated the ways that literature could interact with science and assist in its progress; and how more recent writers offer critiques of science and its practitioners.
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Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) is widely considered one of the greatest French novelists of the 19th century. His best-known works include Lost Illusions, Cousin Bette, and Old Goriot. Daniele Chatelain is professor of French, University of Redlands, and author of Perceiving and Telling: A Study of Iterative Discourse (1998). George Slusser is professor of comparative literature and curator of the Eaton Collection at the University of California, Riverside. Chatelain and Slusser co-edited the essay collection Transformations of Utopia: Changing Views of the Perfect Society (1999), and live in Highland, California.