Science Fiction Studies

#71 = Volume 24, Part 1 = March 1997

Christine Kenyon Jones

SF and Romantic Biofictions: Aldiss, Gibson, Sterling, Powers

When St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey shall stand, shapeless and nameless ruins, in the midst of an unpeopled marsh; when the piers of Waterloo Bridge shall become the nuclei of islets of reeds and osiers and cast the jagged shadows of their broken arches on the solitary stream, some transatlantic commentator will be weighing in the scales of some new and now unimagined system of criticism, the respective merits of the Bells, the Fudges, and their historians.

Miching Mallecho (i.e., Percy Bysshe Shelley), dedicating Peter Bell the Third to Thomas Brown (i.e., Thomas Moore) in December 18191 uses a favorite motif among the Romantic poets: an imaginary situation in which their early-19th-century world and its works are seen with the odd and slanted angle of vision bestowed by a viewpoint in the far future.2 John Keats (in a passage which is quoted in Dan Simmons’ Hyperion of 1989) envisaged the time "when this warm scribe my hand is in the grave" ("The Fall of Hyperion" line 18; Simmons, 384-85). Lord Byron, in an 1823 canto of Don Juan, provided a very early example of the "past as a museum" trope which went on to become a regular feature of later time-travel narratives, when he imagined a post-catastrophe generation unearthing the remains of a well-known and hugely fat figure of his own time:

When this world shall be former, underground,

Thrown topsy-turvy, twisted, crisped and curled,

Baked, fried, or burnt, turned inside-out, or drowned,...

What then if George the Fourth should be dug up!

How the new worldlings of the then new East

Will wonder where such animals could sup!...

How...will these great relics when they see ‘em

Look like the monsters of a new Museum? (IX:291-320)3

The notion of an affinity between science fiction, and the lives and works of the Romantic period must once, not very long ago, have appeared to be an odd and unlikely one. But it has now become almost an established convention which—unlike Frankenstein’s monster—has been able to father and give birth to vigorous and autonomous progeny of its own, not only in criticism but also in fictional works. In this paper I want to trace the beginnings, the raison d’être, development, and nature of this link, and to indicate why this association should have become an appealing, meaningful, and inspiring one for writers in a postmodern era and at the end of a millennium.

As Brian Aldiss has pointed out, "Before I wrote, almost no one paid any attention to that old previctorian novel of Mary Shelley’s" (Trillion Year Spree 18). Aldiss’s Billion Year Spree, published in 1973, certainly was enormously influential, not only in identifying the Gothic or post-Gothic as the characteristic mode of science fiction, and in arguing for the status of Frankenstein as the first true science-fiction narrative, but also in drawing attention to the imaginative depth of Mary Shelley’s novel and in claiming its right to be the object of serious literary study. Aldiss’s promotion of the work and the author coincided with the rise of critical feminism, and the growth in Mary Shelley’s reputation may owe more to the latter than to the former, but it is nevertheless true that the effect of her rediscovery in the last two and a half decades has been an astonishing one: not only affecting the way in which the history of science fiction is perceived, but also contributing to a redrawing of the mental map of Romanticism itself.4

Aldiss expressed his imaginative as well as critical interest in Mary Shelley in the form of a 1973 novel, Frankenstein Unbound, in which a 21st-century ex-president, Joseph Bodenland, travels back in time to 1816 and has a sexual encounter with the author of Frankenstein.5 He meets not only Percy Shelley, Dr John William Polidori (author of The Vampyre), and Lord Byron, but also the offspring of Mary’s imagination, Victor Frankenstein, and the illicit creature of his envisioning, the Monster himself. This blurring in a fictional setting of the line between historical personages and imagined ones, biographical and fictional personalities, and the associated exploration of the nature of reality and consciousness, is an explicit feature of Aldiss’s novel which I shall return to discuss later. Frankenstein Unbound is an evident precursor for two of the other works I want particularly to look at here: Tim Powers’ The Anubis Gates (1983) and Powers’ more extended biofantasy of 1989, The Stress of Her Regard. Both these novels are substantially set in the Romantic period and feature Romantic poets as protagonists, with traits which hark back to Aldiss’s work.

Also to be considered here as belonging to the neo-Romantic family ancestored by Aldiss is William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Engine (1990). The steam-powered, computerized 19th-century London, whose story Gibson and Sterling present as having been generated by one of its own machines, provides the established "major" Romantics with alternate, but wittily appropriate, non-poetic bit-parts. As Percy Shelley is secondary in importance to Mary in Aldiss’s novel, so Lord Byron appears in The Difference Engine primarily as the father of Lady Ada Byron, "the Queen of Engines, the Enchantress of Numbers," and also as a Prime Minister who owes his real power to his wife.

"P.B. Shelley" has been executed by Lord Byron before the novel opens, in retribution for his activities as an ultra-radical conspirator, whose followers, "fired to a phrensy by the furious polemics of the atheist," attacked and looted Establishment churches (§5:358/399). "Professor Coleridge" and "Reverend Wordsworth" are the utopian leaders of the "Susquehanna Phalanstery" (§4: 262/291), an extrapolation from the real Pantisocracy project which absorbed Coleridge and Robert Southey in the 1790s, when they planned to emigrate and set up an ideal community on the banks of the Susquehanna. John Keats appears as a "kinotropist"—a creator of steam and computer-driven moving pictures—who "tends to somewhat excessively fancy work" and suffers from a nasty cough (§3:111/120-21). Of the canonical Romantic "big six" only William Blake is still allowed to be a poet, and he illustrates his own books of poems because he "can’t find a proper publisher," and the role of the "fine poets of England" has been taken over by such as John Wilson Croker (in reality the MP and Tory politician who critically attacked Keats) (§4:271/300).

The Difference Engine is not particularly successful as a narrative, but it does have some brilliant reworkings of early 19th-century preoccupations, including the theory of Catastrophism, which is what lends the work of the real Percy Shelley and Lord Byron much of its proto-sf flavor.6 Founded on James Parkinson’s Organic Remains of a Former World (1804-11) and Baron Cuvier’s Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles de quadrupèdes (1812), with their exploration of the significance of the dinosaur bones then beginning to be unearthed, Catastrophism posited that the world had been destroyed—probably by the impact of a comet—and remade many times before, and that previous worlds had been dominated by non-human species which might well have been superior in intelligence and achievement to human beings.

Percy Shelley’s response to these ideas was mainly political. The ending of former worlds was believed to have been sudden and brutal, and he envisaged that the political revolution he longed for might begin in this way, and thus celebrated the destructive force of autumn in the words of the famous "Ode to the West Wind": "If Winter comes, can spring be far behind?" Shelley’s Panthea in Act Four of Prometheus Unbound (1819) describes

The wrecks beside of many a city vast,

Whose populations, which the Earth grew over,

Was mortal, but not human (296-98)

while Byron in the 1823 Preface to Cain speculates

that the pre-Adamite world was also peopled by rational beings much more intelligent than man, and proportionately powerful to the mammoth.

A little earlier Thomas Medwin recorded Byron’s prophecy that

we shall soon travel by air-vessels; make air instead of sea-voyages; and at length find our way to the moon, in spite of want of atmosphere.... Who would not wish to have been born two or three centuries later? We are at present in the infancy of science. Do you imagine that, in former stages of this planet, wiser creatures than ourselves did not exist? All our boasted inventions are but shadows of what has been,—the dim images of the past—the dream of other states of existence.... Who knows whether, when a comet shall approach this globe to destroy it, as it often has been and will be destroyed, men will not tear rocks from their foundations by means of steam, and hurl mountains, as the giants are said to have done, against the flaming mass?—and then we shall have the traditions of the Titans again, and wars with Heaven. (226-28)

Gibson and Sterling pick up these ideas in The Difference Engine, making their main protagonist Edward Mallory a geological Catastrophist, who is led by this theory to "his greatest personal triumph: the discovery, in 1865, of continental drift (§4:288/320).7 Mallory also applies Catastrophism outside the strictly geological sphere: "'History works by catastrophe! It’s the way of the world, the only way there is, has been, or ever will be. There is no history —there is only contingency!’" (§4:271/301). This claim apparently supports the novel as a whole, since the narrative premises an alternate 19th century based on contingencies and "Jonbar points" creating events which are supposedly just as plausible as the ones that occurred in reality.

The last two contemporary novels I want to mention here are not, I think, related to the Aldiss and Frankenstein Unbound family. Amanda Prantera’s Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 163 years after his Lordship’s Death (1987) is a modern version of a type of work that was popular enough in the early 19th century to stand almost as a sub-genre in its own right: gossip about Byron, fantasies and forgeries of aspects of his life and more-or-less accurate accounts of his conversations recorded by his contemporaries (see Soderholm, passim). Prantera brings in computers, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Emulation to pastiche these Romantic "Conversations," telling a tale of modern university researchers who have developed a computer and programmed it with every known word that Lord Byron ever wrote, and every piece of information about him ever recorded, so that it has "become" Byron in some sense. The twist is that, while the computer is managing to avoid any really significant communication with the researchers, its "passive" or unexpressed mode is ruminating on "its" life and recounting to itself a mysterious episode from the Byron biography. For the reader (but not the researchers) it recounts a new explanation of Byron’s relationship with a choirboy, John Edleston, at Cambridge and the series of poems apparently addressed to a woman—"Thyrza"—but actually written about Edleston after his death. Prantera’s story does what many women wanted to do in Byron’s own time, by straightening out his actually complex sexuality and making the choirboy a girl from a noble European family, who is in disguise at Cambridge for obscure reasons. Later episodes in Byron’s biography are also "explained" with reference to this hypothesis.

More elaborate and ambitious is Tom Holland’s The Vampyre (1994; US title, Lord of the Dead), which makes Byron himself into a vampire, living on with Haidée, the now "realized" (and also vampirized) heroine of cantos two to four of Don Juan, in the crypt of a London chapel, preying on late 20th century Londoners and recounting his life story to his own great-great-great granddaughter. As in Powers’ and Prantera’s novels, recorded events of the "real" biography of Byron are skillfully reinterpreted as part of a new and hitherto secret story. Magic and sorcery take the place of "science" in the book, but its fictional mode is emphatically neo-Gothic, with all the props which are associated with what Lyotard called the "hysterical sublime" (77-81).

Karl Kroeber has suggested that both fantasy and science fiction emerge in reaction to periods—including the European Enlightenment culture of the 18th century, and the Western modernist culture of the mid-20th—when the supernatural has been driven out by a society which has ceased to recognize anything except the strictly human (24). Holland’s book, like other contemporary vampire and sword-and-sorcery novels, expresses a determination to work the supernatural back into a human-dominated world. Its vampire subject-matter associates it firmly with Gothic and Romantic writing and it shares with the group of sf and fantasy novels I have identified a fascination with the lives of the Romantic poets and an ingenuity in interpreting them according to an agenda of its own.

What these agendas are, and how they relate to those of a much more dominant sub-genre of late 20th-century science fiction—cyberspace and cyberpunk—is what I want to explore in the second part of my paper. At first sight, the two types of subject-matter could hardly seem more dissimilar. On the one hand, cyberculture novels deal with a determinedly non-historical world, where referents can only be sustained with difficulty over hours or days —let alone years, decades or centuries—because the speed of change is envisaged as being exponentially faster than that of our own time, and where all culture, which is based on history, is imagined as being subjugated to the machine. Biofictions and fantasies, on the other hand, are apparently entirely preoccupied with the historical and the personal: they start from the premise of a given individuality and what they construct on this basis only makes sense if the details of the biographical foundation are at least slightly known to the reader.

But such a simplified description of their subject-matter misses the point that the two sub-genres exist side-by-side in time, written within a community of discourse and a genre that is notably or notoriously self-referential, and that they are sometimes, as in William Gibson’s case, the product of the same word-processor. As Percy Shelley pointed out in his preface to The Revolt of Islam,

there must be a resemblance, which does not depend upon their own will, between all the writers of any particular age. They cannot escape from subjection to a common influence which arises out of an infinite combination of circumstances belonging to the times in which they live....

In fact, I hope to show that the small handful of Romantic biofictions share with the much more extensive and widely-read volumes of cyberculture novels an involvement with the organization and disorganization of self, a compulsion to explore the nature of their authors’ contemporary, postmodern world, and a desire to reflect upon the texture and meaning of science fiction itself: a preoccupation of late-20th-century sf writers which, as Edward James has remarked, may be taken either as a sign of the maturity of the genre or as one of its decadence (201).

Damien Broderick, in Reading by Starlight (1995), selects from Fredric Jameson’s analysis of the postmodern some features that are particularly apposite to science fiction:

"a flatness or depthlessness"...a waning of affect, or feeling, linked to the (alleged) loss of a discrete subjectivity...the end of personal, unique style and a sense of history itself, and their replacement by a pastiche...[and] the fragmentation of artistic texts...which takes the form especially of collage governed by "differentiation rather than unification." (104)

Many critics (including Jameson himself) have identified these features in cyberculture novels, particularly William Gibson’s hugely influential Neuromancer of 1984, which some have seen as quintessentially postmodern. Tim Powers’ The Anubis Gates, which won the Philip K. Dick award the year before, does, I believe, respond in very much the same way to postmodern influences, despite its 19th-century setting and its plot, which ranges from Romantic biography to ancient Egyptian magic, and from Piranesian Gothic to the Dickensian underlife of beggars.

The story centers on a character called William Ashbless, who is presented as a canonical Romantic poet.8 But Ashbless is actually fictional in more than the straightforward sense, since the novel itself narrates the fictionality of his creation: he is in fact a combination of the personality of Brendan Doyle (a 20th-century academic who travels back in time partly to research Ashbless and gets stuck in the year 1810) and the body of another 20th-century time-traveler who is the victim of a body-change werewolf. Ashbless is therefore a collage, in Jameson’s terms, whose physical entity is made up from fragments, and whose poetry and biography are fictions created by Doyle from his own memory of reading them in the 20th century. Doyle/Ashbless is destined to live out every detail of his own remembered life, lacking "a discrete subjectivity" until the very end of the book when he unexpectedly kills his doppelgänger, thus hoodwinking the fictional biographer into recording Ashbless’s own death, and liberating Doyle/Ashbless to live on into the unknown future, unrestricted by any previously-recorded life story. Doppelgängers are an important feature of the novel: the young Lord Byron appears in it only as a ka, or replicant, while another character exists in three different versions simultaneously: the "original," his double, and the ravaged version of that double who has been almost destroyed during a time-travel episode.9

There is perhaps a link here with Aldiss’s Frankenstein Unbound, where, at the end, "two moons sailed in the sky" (§22:133), indicating a state of multiple alternate possibilities, and where Bodenland feels that his "original personality had now almost entirely dissolved, and the limbo I was in seemed to me the only time I knew" (§24:139). But in Aldiss’s novel, published in 1973, although a concern with the disintegration of individuality is strongly prefigured, it is as yet mainly a side-effect, brought about by time travel and encounters with alternate fictions and realities. The main theme of the book is firmly stated and is quite different, being to show Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as "the archetype of the scientist, whose research, pursued in the sacred name of increasing knowledge, takes on a life of its own and causes untold misery before being brought under control" (§6:47).

Powers’ 1983 doppelgängers, however, along with his surgically-created monsters, and his biofictional and fabricated personalities, share with Gibson’s 1984 cyborgs, personality constructs and human/machine hybrids—different as they appear to be on the surface—a much more central involvement with the fragility of personal and biographical identity, and a preoccupation with defining individuality at the very limits of the possible which is recognizably postmodern in its development.

In The Anubis Gates literary achievement seems to be reverenced and privileged (although, of course, the fabrication of a "new" canonical Romantic poet in the novel draws satirical attention to critics’ ability to resurrect and almost to "invent" authors). At the end of the novel a sympathetically-drawn Samuel Taylor Coleridge—whose lecturing is the ostensible reason for the time-travel in the first place—interprets the whole of the villains’ Gothic edifice and its monstrous inhabitants as creatures of his own imagination: a sort of anachronistic Ballardian Inner Space. He assumes in a distinctly post-Freudian way that the building and its prisoners—"mistakes" created by experiments on living human flesh—are embodiments of his own duties, vices, and virtues which he has imprisoned in his unconscious, and he politely requests some "Thought or Whimsy or Fugitive Virtue" to "direct me to the waking levels of my mind" (§15:450) As in Aldiss, where "the poets had always been on the side of the people" (§8:58), and in Gibson’s Neuromancer—where it is the strong humanity of the Zionites which makes them able to write poetry, while the personality construct of the Dixie Flatline is sentient but "ain’t likely to write you no poem" (§10:159)—contact with poetry acts as a touchstone to define the inherent sympathy or moral worth of a character.

In Powers’ The Stress of Her Regard, however, the use of biofiction applies itself to an attack on the poets and on the idea of literary individuality. The younger Romantic poets were in many ways the apogee of literary individualism: the cult of the poet as a remarkable and unconventional personality reached its peak with them, and a close link was perceived between inspirational biography and literary output which had never been so significant before nor has been since. Powers’ later novel turns this on its head by reducing Byron’s, Percy Shelley’s and Keats’s poetic inspiration to nothing but the effect of playing host to the vampire-like nephelim, who are brilliant musical and poetic creators but who harbor murderously jealous intentions toward the poets’ families. "I wonder how many of the world’s great writers have owed their gift to the...ultimately disastrous attentions of the nephelim," Powers’ Byron ponders, "And how many of them would have freed themselves, if they could have" (§9:176). When Keats, Shelley, and Byron at last find the strength to cast off their supernatural muses they cease to be poets but become fully human instead.

Powers very effectively deploys this alternate myth, with rigorous attention to accuracy with respect to the biographical "facts" of the Romantics’ lives (although he does make a few mistakes!). In The Anubis Gates Byron’s actual life is described as "appallingly thoroughly chronicled" and in his later novel Powers determinedly shoe-horns into the interstices of Byron’s, Percy Shelley’s and Keats’s well-documented lives a Gothic sf plot which completely subverts the meaning and authority of the biographies while leaving the surface patterns intact. The effect is that of a structure which has huge complexity and intricacy, but which in fact is not "original": it relies on what Jameson identifies as pastiche and collage, or more accurately, on bricolage—not quite in Lévi-Strauss’s terms, but as a re-use of existing materials to create something new.

Here again, despite the entirely 19th-century setting, there are many resemblances to cyberspace and cyberpunk. One of the characters has a "mechanical mode," very reminiscent of a robot, into which she reverts when the going gets too tough for her "real" personality to cope. There is an episode where Byron and the novel’s main protagonist, Crawford, share and exchange consciousness and bodies in a way which readily recalls Case using "simstim" to access Molly’s experiences in Neuromancer. The nephelim can create visual phantasms similar to Riviera’s mental holograms, and "elective surgery" of the type favored by streetwise gangs in Gibson’s work is necessary in Powers’ book to create the hybrid creature Werner Von Aargau, who unites the human and nephelim species by having a stone child implanted into his abdomen. Crawford in The Stress, like Case in Neuromancer, can see making physical love in two contradictory ways at once: as both "the flesh, the meat the cowboys mocked" (§20:285) and as a uniquely human and powerful experience.

Gibson’s novel, as the earlier of the two, must be accepted as the originator of these nova, but Powers deploys them in distinct and inherently convincing ways so that there is no sense of borrowing or copying. The effect is rather that of using very different material—about as different as it could be within the confines of science fiction and fantasy, although Gibson does include distinctly Gothic elements in his description of the Tessier-Ashpool dynasty—to explore the same themes and preoccupations. While Gibson and his cyberculture colleagues are exploring ways of de-constructing the human essence in a technology-dominated world, Powers and the other creators of biofiction are taking that most human of artefacts—a biography—and subjecting it to forces that crack it open and rebuild it in quite a different form.

Biofiction and science fiction may not immediately appear to be productive partners, but it seems to me that in fact biographical material can be very successfully adapted for sf. Karl Kroeber has suggested that science-fiction plots must tend towards the functional, because sf aims to convince by using scientific discourse which requires an absolutely straightforward relationship between cause and effect to demonstrate proof (28). Scott Sanders has described science fiction as a genre "centrally about the disappearance of character" (131), and it is a common perception that the creative energy of sf writing goes not into plot or characterization but into the novelty of the treatment. Critics have nevertheless expressed disappointment with the predictability of Gibson’s plots and characters and called for "a radically different formulation of human agency and action" to go with the exciting surface of cyberpunk (Sponsler 53). The biofiction novels of Powers and the other writers I have explored suggest that biography and biofiction might provide a way of meeting this need, by offering a ready-made framework—of both character and plot—onto which science fiction can be woven, allowing the maximum possible scope for ingenuity and originality within carefully defined limits.

Romantic biography is particularly appropriate for use in this way. The life-stories of the Romantic poets are especially gripping in their own right, and their association with the writer who was arguably the founding mother of science fiction adds to their attraction. As a setting, the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries offers possibilities because it is at the cross-roads between eras of magic and superstition and those of modern science and technology: a time when, as John Clute has it, "any experiment might well bear fruit, any dream might become reality" (110). This was also the great age of biography—including Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets (1779); James Boswell’s life of Johnson (1791), the Comte de Las Cases’ life of Napoleon (1821-23), and Thomas Moore’s of Byron (1830)—and thus the first era to find a literary means of celebrating personality and cultivating individuality. We seem now to be at the end of this era—to have arrived at a point where the cult of personality has gone full circle and is being broken down again by forces defined as postmodern. Romanticism and postmodernism are the two ends of an arch celebrating human individualism which has spanned two centuries. William Gibson’s Neuromancer—or "New Romancer"—begs the question, as to who or what is the old romancer. The novels I have presented here supply an answer to that question by both celebrating and driving a postmodern stake into the heart of Romantic biography.


1. The poem and dedication, however, did not see print until 1839, when they were included in the second edition by Mary Shelley of Shelley’s poetry. See Carlos Baker’s Shelley’s Major Poetry: The Fabric of a Vision (Princeton UP, 1948), 164-73, for an account of the circumstances that occasioned the poem and dedication.

2. See also Anna Laetitia Barbould’s Eighteen Hundred and Eleven (1812).

3. For museums in science fiction, see Crossley, passim.

4. Aldiss does sometimes over-emphasize Mary Shelley’s originality. He describes her short story "Transformation" as one which "throws light on the events of Frankenstein’s wedding night" (Trillion Year Spree 36). In fact "Transformation" (published after 1828) owes its plot and its theme to Byron’s unfinished play The Deformed Transformed, which was written in 1822-3, some six years after Frankenstein, and copied out by Mary Shelley for Byron in 1823. Both the story and the play feature the exchange of bodies between the hero and a misshapen Mephistophelian dwarf, who succeeds in wooing the woman the hero loves.

5. The title of Aldiss’s novel is, of course, an allusion to Percy Shelley’s poem Prometheus Unbound, which is echoed in Frankenstein’s own subtitle: "The Modern Prometheus."

6. The two poets’ interest in Catastrophism is discussed by Brewer (31-35).

7. In reality, the theory of Continental Drift did not receive serious attention until the publication of Alfred Wegener’s Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane in 1915.

8. Powers has also used "William Ashbless" as his own pen name.

9. Byron, in a letter to John Murray of 6 October 1820 recounts how several people claimed to have seen him in London in 1810, when he was in fact in Greece and Turkey (George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron, Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand [13 vols., London: John Murray, 1973-1994], 7:192).


Aldiss, Brian W. Frankenstein Unbound. 1973. Triad, Granada, 1982.

_____, with David Wingrove. Trillion Year Spree, London: Gollancz, 1986.

Brewer, William D. The Shelley-Byron Conversation. Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 1994.

Broderick, Damien. Reading by Starlight, Postmodern Science Fiction. London and NY: Routledge, 1995.

Byron, George Gordon Noel, Lord. The Complete Poetical Works. Ed. Jerome J. McGann. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980-1983.

Clute, John. Science Fiction, the Illustrated Encyclopaedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, 1995.

Crossley, Robert. "In the Palace of Green Porcelain: Artefacts from the Museums of Science Fiction." Fictional Space: Essays on Contemporary Science Fiction. Ed. Tom Shippey. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991.

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. 1984. London: HarperCollins, 1995.

_____ and Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine. 1990. London: VGSF, 1995. The page references following the slash are to NY: Bantam paperback, 1992.

Holland, Tom. The Vampyre, Being the True Pilgrimage of George Gordon, Sixth Lord Byron. London: Little, Brown, 1995. As Lord of the Dead: The Secret History of Lord Byron. NY: Pocket Books, 1996.

James, Edward. Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century, Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994.

Kroeber, Karl. Romantic Fantasy and Science Fiction. New Haven: Yale UP, 1988.

Lyotard, Jean-François. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi, Manchester: Manchester UP, 1984.

Medwin, Thomas. Conversations of Lord Byron Noted During a Residence with His Lordship at Pisa, in the Years 1821 and 1822. London: Henry Colburn, 1824.

Powers, Tim. The Anubis Gates. 1983. London: HarperCollins, 1993.

_____. The Stress of Her Regard. 1989. London: Grafton, 1993.

Prantera, Amanda. Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 163 Years after His Lordship’s Death. London: Abacus, 1987.

Sanders, Scott. "The Disappearance of Character in Science Fiction." Science Fiction: its Criticism and Teaching. Ed. Patrick Parrinder. London: Methuen, 1980.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Ed. Thomas Hutchinson. Oxford Standard Editions. NY: Oxford UP, 1933.

Simmons, Dan. Hyperion. NY: Doubleday, 1989.

Soderholm, James. Fantasy, Forgery, and the Byron Legend. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 1996.

Sponsler, Claire. "William Gibson and the Death of Cyberpunk." Modes of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Twelfth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Ed. Robert A. Latham and Robert E Collins. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1991.

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