Dime Novel Sci-Fi at “God and the American Writer” Symposium

At the end of February, I’ll be presenting a paper on the Frank Reade, Jr. dime-novel inventor series at a special symposium on “God and the American Writer” sponsored by the American Literature Association.

What do those early science-fiction stories–best known for their giant, anthropomorphic machines and multi-propellered airships–have to do with God in America?  Surprisingly, quite a bit.

I’m looking at three stories from between 1893-1895 that feature the globe-trotting adventurer encountering lost civilizations with ties to the Old Testament.  These are prime examples of science-fiction texts that really see the Bible as an authoritative historical source–a trend that becomes less prevalent as SF became codified in the early 20th century, but that continues in modern anti-evolutionary textbooks and other conservative counter-narratives to science.

More info is on the “Appearances” page.

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