Streifzüge. Essays zu zweihundert Jahren Science Fiction (Forays into the History of Science Fiction)


Angela und Karlheinz Steinmüller Memoranda-Verlag Berlin, 2021

The German subtitle promises essays about two hundred years of SF, but the essays cover really much more than just two centuries. The expedition starts deep in the 17th and 18th century with the French voyages imaginaires that depicted societies on the Southern Continent and other remote places sometimes in an utopian, sometimes in a satirical vein. Many discoveries follow suit. Did you know:

  • That Italians made a balloon expedition to the moon as early as in the year 1836?
  • That French writer Émile Souvestre wrote the first great dystopia in 1846, the novel The World as It Shall Be (in the year 3000)?
  • That there were very close relationships between scientific detective stories (with famous detectives like C. Auguste Dupont or Sherlock Holmes) and science fiction?
  • That first interpretations of science ficton as the mythology of our age go back into 1952 and 1953?
  • That Cordwainer Smith was an expert in psychological warfare?
  • That Star Trek comes very close to East German utopian literature?
  • That East Germany, the ill-famed GDR, still lives on and sometimes even prospers in a bunch of alternative history novels? The forays lead into the lesser researched parts of the continent of science fiction, where still rare birds and exotic flowers may be found.

You find at a (German) presentation of the book and a (German) reading sample.