Hugo Gernsback


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science Fiction

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(1884–1967) Born Gernsbacher, American publisher and editor. Born in Luxembourg, Gernsback emigrated to the USA in 1904 to establish several businesses exploiting the new technology of radio, including the magazine Modern Electrics, in which he serialized his novel Ralph 124C 41+ (1911–12), a utopian melodrama of what he was to call ‘scientifiction’. In 1926, he launched Amazing Stories, the first English-language magazine dedicated to scientifiction (later science fiction), which he promoted as a didactic and inspirational, even prophetic form, after the examples of Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. G. Wells, all of whom were extensively reprinted in Amazing. ‘Extravagant fiction today: cold fact tomorrow’ was its slogan. Losing control of Amazing in 1929, he continued to publish magazines. Gernsback's influence upon later science fiction is controversial; he popularized the form but arguably he also trivialized it. See, The Mechanics of Wonder (1998).

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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