- Author(s): Elaine Graham
- When: 2015-09
- Where: The Palgrave Handbook of Posthumanism in Film and Television
In his history of science fiction (SF), Brian Aldiss robustly defends his choice of origins of the genre against those who would claim either ‘amazing newness’ — and locate its beginnings in 20th-century tales of space travel — or ‘incredible antiquity’ in Greek or Hindu mythology or biblical literature (Aldiss 1973, 10). For him, SF, firstly as literature and, since the early 20th century, in cinema and latterly in television, begins definitively with the publication in 1818 of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was a product of its cultural context, blending Romantic and Gothic genres in a reflection on the consequences of human technological power at the very moment in Western history when the Industrial Revolution was gaining momentum.