Science Fiction Studies

#21 = Vol. 7, No. 2 = July 1980

Darko Suvin

Seventy-Four More Victorian Books That Should Be Excluded From Science Fiction Bibliographies

The following annotated list of books is a supplement to the one published in SFS No.14, where its provenience and the abbreviations used as well as the logic governing its compilation were explained. The same format has been retained: as before, the date by itself always refers to the UK (or US + UK) publication, and the name after it refers to one of the bibliographies used, which have been identified and discussed in SFS No.14. Five more bibliographies — again cited by the author's first name, except in the case of Locke 73, for which see below — referred to are:

Locke, George. "An Annotated Addendum to Bleiler and Day, "Ferret Fantasy's Christmas Annual for 1973. UK 1974. Continuation of the identical title for 1972 — from which it will be differentiated here by being abbreviated as "Locke 73." Again a very reliable tool by an author who has in this journal been rightly called a master; my rare disagreements are on matters of literary theory.

Newman, John. "America at War: Horror Stories for a Society."Extrapolation. 16 (Dec: 1974):33-41 and 16 (May 1975):164-72. An admittedly incomplete bibliography of "Imaginary Wars" with US imprints. Neither selection criteria nor data are always reliable, so that some caution is needed. Nonetheless a useful supplement to I.F. Clarke's bibliographies in his Voices Prophesying War, 1763-1984 (UK 1966) and to the Clarke item below.
Samaan, Angele Botros. The Novel of Utopianism and Prophecy From Lytton (1871) to Orwell (1949) With Special Reference to Its Reception. Diss. Univ. of London, 1962. A veritable treasure trove of material and data, in spite of not always inspired comments on them and some inclusions I disagree with. An enterprising reprint publisher should put it into book form.

Sargent, Lyman Tower. British and American Utopian Literature  1516-1975: An Annotated Bibliography. US 1979. Has immediately become a basic research tool, on the order of Bleiler's, Clarke's, and Locke's bibliographies. Apart from dire need for better proofreading, I would also carp at the exceedingly laconic and entirely socio-ideologically oriented annotations, and the attendant lack of clarity as to whether the  "literature" is fiction or not — a consequence of which is two entries below that would not otherwise have been included.

Shurter, Robert L. The Utopian Novel in America. 1865-1900. Diss. Western Reserve Univ., 1936; in book form US 1973. It is greatly to be regretted that this pioneering work was not printed at least when Bailey was: by now it is, understandably, to a large extent superseded. It contains useful lists of utopias, including one of "English Utopias, 1859-1888" which should still be consulted though it is not fully reliable either as to its Englishness or as to its utopianness.

 The bibliographies by Bleiler and Clarke referred to in SFS No. 14 have in the meantime been updated, so that I am listing only those titles that have been retained — or added — in the latest editions, i.e.:

Bleiler, E.F. The Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction. US 1978.

Clarke, OF. Tale of the Future From the Beginning to the Present Day .... UK 1978.

For a comment on both of them see SFS No.14 as well as the excellent, judicious review by George Locke in SFS No. 20. Both of these pioneering and basic bibliographies have sometimes erroneous annotations (in Bleiler's case supplied through a system of symbols which are a vast improvement on the unannotated first edition but not always crystal-clear); the bulk of my list has Bleiler as its source. However, l should stress that — just as in SFS No.14 — my inclusion of an item does not necessarily mean the source was to my mind wrong: it can also mean the source was unclear as to the S-F status of the book.


Ainsworth, William Harrison. Auriol: or, The Elixir of Life.  1892. Bleiler. Alchemical and supernatural fantasy melodrama that includes longevity.
Allen, F.M. (pseud. of Edmund Downey). The Little GreenMan.1895. Bleiler. The little green man is a leprechaun.
Al Arawiyah (pseud. of H.N. Crellin). Tales of the Caliph. 1887. Bleiler, Locke. Updated "Arabian Nights" fantasy.
Anstey, F. (pseud. of Thomas Anstey Guthrie). Vice Versâ: or, A Lesson to Fathers. 1882. Bleiler. Father and schoolboy son exchange "spirits" or souls for a time with help of Indian talisman and with comic results.
Ascher, Isidore G. A Social Upheaval: A Novel in Twelve Parts.  1898. Samaan (as 1899). Godawful melodrama of secret society which robs the wealthy to help the poor. Neither SF nor fantasy.
Aubrey, Frank. A Studio Mystery: A Novel 1897. Bleiler. Detective story. Neither fantasy nor SF.
Bell, Mrs. Hugh [i.e. Florence Evelyn Eleanore Bell]. Miss Tod and the Prophets: A Sketch. 1898. Bleiler. Mousy spinster believes false prophecy of the end of the world. Neither fantasy nor SF.
Bloundelle-Burton, John [Edward]. The Desert Ship. [1893]. Bleiler (as Burton). Love and battles around buried galleon in Colorado. Neither fantasy nor SF.
Brailsford, Henry Noel. The Broom of the War God: A Novel. 1898. Newman. "Real" war in Greece 1896-97.
Brereton, C[loudesley] S[hovel] [ H[enry]. The Last Days of  Olympus: A Modern Myth. 1889. Bleiler. Though there is a Miltonic trip through the universe, a moral allegory.
Bridgman-Metchim, D. Atlantis: The Book of the Angels.  1900. Bleiler (as Metchim). Confused science-fantasy bordering on fantasy.
Buchanan, Robert W., and Henry Murray. The Charlatan.  1895 Bleiler. Some psychic powers amid the charlatanry. Marginal occult fantasy.
Carnegie, James, Earl of Southesk. Suomiria: A Fantasy. 1899. Bleiler (as Southesk). Mainly occult fantasy of man-animals. Certainly not Bleiler's "ideal societies, utopias."
Dail, C[harles] C[urtis]. The Stone Giant: A Story of the MammothCave. [ 18981. Bleiler.  Predominantly occult or science-fantasy novel narrated by long-living visitor from pre-Atlantean and Atlantean ages.
Davidson, John. A Full and True Account of the Wonderful Mission of Earl Lavender, Which Lasted One Night and One Day: With a History of the Pursuit of Earl Lavender and Lord Brumm by Mrs. Scamler and Maud Emblem. 1895. Henkin. Comic adventures include false discovery of missing link. Neither fantasy nor SF.
[Davis, Ellis J.]. Coralia: A Plaint of Futurity. 1876. Samaan, Shurter. Immortal spirits underwater after death; Miltonic flight into universe and reincarnation.
[Downey, Edmund]. A House of Tears: An Original Story. 1886. Bleiler (under Anonymous). Horror fantasy about man with snake mouth born such because of his father's interest in snakes.
[Dyes, Richard H.].  The Upas: A Vision of the Past, Present, and Future. 1877.
Clarke. Dream about Spirit of the Future taking narrator on tour of history. Only final segment allegorical vision of future.
Ellis, T. Mullet. Reveries of World-History: From Earth's Nebulous Origin to Its Final Ruin, or The Romance of a Star. 1893. Bleiler. Not fiction.
Fogerty, J. Mr. Jocko: A Novel. 1891. Henkin (as Foggerty and  Jacko). Ape, vaguely suspected of being missing link, sacrifices life to save girl.
[Frost, Thomas]  The North Pole, and How Charlie Wilson Discovered It. 1876. Bleiler. Vernean juvenile adventure, with the discovery of the North Pole as a minor SF element.
Fryers, Austin (pseud. of William Edward Clery). The Devil and the Inventor. 1900. Bleiler, Clarke. Inventor makes pact with the devil, who is finally exorcized by prayer. Fantasy.
Galier, W.H. A Visit to Blestland. 1896. Bleiler. A dream of Blestland, simultaneously ideal society and abode of deceased friends. Minor utopian elements only.
Godfrey, Hal (pseud. of Charlotte O'Connor Eccles). The Rejuvenation of Miss Semaphore: A Farcical Novel. 1897. Bleiler. Water from Fountain of Youth devolves woman back to baby.
[Gray, Annabel, pseud. of Anne Cox]. 'Twixt Shade and Shine. 1883 [1882]. Bleiler. Mundane love-intrigue story. Neither fantasy nor SF.
Haes, Hubert. The Past Shewer. 1899. Bleiler. Invention showing the past used for moral disquisitions without any specific scenes from the past. Not really fiction.
Harris, Thomas Lake. The GreatRepublic: A Poem  of  the Sun.  1867. Messac. Verse preachments, exhortations, and prophecies with vague references to men on the Sun, mainly allegorical. Semi-visionary didactic poem — not SF, only marginally fiction.
Hawtrey, George Procter. Caramella: A Story  of  the Lotus-Eaters Up to Date. [1899]. Henkin. Whimsical spoof of Lotos-land with imperious females.
Hood, Tom. From Nowhere to the North Pole: A Noah's Ark-aeological Narrative. 1875. Bleiler. Semi-whimsical juvenile fantasy.
Hooper, Albert E. Up the Moonstair: A Story for Children. 1890. Bleiler (with author's given names as Albert W.). Juvenile fairy-tale.
Horniman, Roy. The Sin of Atlantis. 1900. Bleiler. Occult fantasy.
Hovenden, Robert. A Tract of Future Times: or, The Reflections of Posterity on the Excitement, Hypocrisy. and Idolatry of the Nineteenth Century. 1850. Clarke. Look backward at wicked 19th century from regenerated 21st century, without any particulars of the transition. Not fiction, though at places coming near to it.
Howard, Charles F. Olympus. 1855. Bleiler. Philosophico-satirical dialogues with the dead on Olympus.
Howell. George Rogers. Noah's Log Book: How Two Americans Blasted the Ice on Mt.Ararat and Found Noah's Ark and Some Curious Relics. 1898. Bleiler. Exactly what it says: anti-evolution tale.
Hume, Fergus W. The Harlequin Opal: A Romance. 1893. Day. Love and political-adventure melodrama around abandoned Aztec-Maya city. Neither SF nor fantasy.
Hungerford, Margaret W. The Professor's Experiment: A Novel. 1895. Bleiler. Love Story. Not SF except for the initial brief incident of new sleep-inducing "anaesthetic."
Hutchinson, Horace GLordon]. That Fiddler Fellow. 1891. Bleiler, Henkin. Gothic horror story.
J. N. Cuttings from "The Times" of 1900. 1873. Clarke. Not fiction.
Johnstone, David Lawson. The Paradise of the North. 1890. Henkin. Lost race.
[ Kendall, May, and Andrew Lang]. "That Very Mab." 1885. Clarke. Fantasy and satire. Not SF (and certainly not an anticipation tale).
[Kirk, Ellen Warner Olney]. A Daughter of Eve. 1889. Bleiler. Mundane melodrama with some mention of unusual educational scheme.
LWJS (pseud. of Valdemar Adolph Thisted). Letters from Hell. 1884  (Danish original 1866). Bleiler. Religious fantasy. (See entry under Rowel in my SFS No. 14  bibliography.)
Maitland, Edward. How the World Came to an End in 1881. 1884.  Shurter. No trace of this title's ever having been published in UK (or USA).
Meade, L.T. (pseud. of Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith), and Clifford Halifax. Stories From the Diary of a Doctor: First Series. 1894.  Bleiler. Detective stories with medical discoveries a bit in advance of the state of the art but not really SF (unknown drug, hypnotism, somnambulism).
Meade, L.T. (pseud. of Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith), and Clifford Halifax. Stories From the Diary of a Doctor: Second Series. 1896. Bleiler. Stories of medical technology: operations. poisons, drugs, etc.
Meade, L.T. (pseud. of Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith), and Robert Eustace. The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings. 1899. Bleiler. Novel of secret brotherhood with scientific tricks, e.g. germs, explosives, magnets. Neither fantasy nor SF.
Meade, L.T. (pseud. of Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith), and Robert Eustace. A Master of Mysteries. [1898]. Bleiler. Detective stories with technological tricks (magnet, carbonic acid, submarine boat, speaking tube). Neither fantasy nor SF.
Meade, L.T. (pseud. of Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith), and Robert Eustace. The Sanctuary Club. 1900. Bleiler. Scientifico-medical criminal cases; the final a brain experiment, but too small SF element.
Mervan, Rencelof Ermagine (pseud.). What Is This? 1898. Bleiler. Religious fantasy.
My Great Grandson (pseud.). 1975: A Tradition. [1876]. Clarke, Bleiler (with subtitle as A Prediction). Manuscript from 19th century "published" in 1975, dealing with a murder in 1870s. Only the framework is SF; not "set in the future" as Clarke has it.
Miller, George Noyes. After the Strike of a Sex: or, Zugassent's Discovery. With The Oneida Community and The Perfectionists of Oneida and Wallingford. The Bellamy Library, No. 26. [1896]. Clarke (with wrong annotation), Bleiler (as US [1895]). Though there is a hint at the beginning this will be fiction continuing The Strike of a Sex, it develops into a non-fictional defence of Oneida sexual technique that prevents pregnancy.
Newnham-Davis, N[athaniel]. Jadoo. 1898. Bleiler (as Davis). Anglo-lndian story of love and human sacrifice. Neither fantasy nor SF.
[Nicholson, Joseph Shield]. A Dreamer of Dreams: A Modern Romance.  1899. Bleiler. Young man invents directed dreaming through music and drugs. Love, near-crime, and the devil — all was a dream. One small SF element, a larger one of fantasy.
Norton, Seymour F. Ten Men of Money Island. The Bellamy Library, No. 27. [1895]. Sargent (as US 1891). Island in Pacific with ten allegorical people (e.g. Donothing, Discount) explains finances.
Orpen, Mrs. G.H. Perfection City 1897. Bleiler (as US). Utopian community - in everyday Kansas.
Owen, Evelyn. Driven Home: A Tale of Destiny. 1886. Bleiler. Crime and supernatural fantasy, villain punished by Providence.
Rathborne, St. George. A Son of Mars (A Tale). 1897 (another edition without subtitle also 1897). Newman (as US 1897). Except for a wicked hypnotist, mundane tale of love and war-adventure.
Reade, Compton. Under Which King? 1885. Shurter. No trace of its having been published in or imported into UK.
Savile, Frank [A.]. Beyond the Great South Wall: Being Some Surprising Details of the Voyage of the S. Y. "Racoon". 1899. Bleiler. Geographic adventures, with Mayan refugee-colony remnants and dinosaurs found in Antarctic. Only minor elements of both lost-race and prehistoric SF.
Sirius (pseud. of Edward Martyn). Morgante the Lesser: His Notorious Life and Wonderful Deeds. 1890. Bleiler. Satirical allegory.
Skunks, Major, B.T. of the Volunteers (pseud.): The Great Battle of Patchumup. Fought off Cape Kerkumover, June 1st, in the Year of the Three Naughts: The Only Official Report. [1865?]. Locke 73. Shandean whimsy about various battles in past and present.
Smith, James (Elishama). The Coming Man. 1873. Shurter. Religious fantasy.
Stables, William Gordon. The Cruise of the Crystal Boat: The Wild, the Weird, the Wonderful. 1891. Bleiler. Magical pseudo-Oriental geographic adventures.
Stables, [William] Gordon. From Pole to Pole 1886. Bleiler. Nautical adventures. Neither SF nor fantasy.
Stables, [William] Gordon. From Pole to Pole. 1886. Bleiler. Nautical adventures.  the "Snowbird" Crew in the "Arandoon."  1883. Bleiler. Adventures in ship and balloon. Neither SF nor fantasy.
Steelnib, Jocundus (pseud.). Freaks of Imagination: or, A Batch of Original Tales, Chiefly Facetious. 1852. Bleiler. Stories, one of which ("A Visit to the Moon") is whimsy of balloon flight and visit to Luna, with some Swiftian elements.
Storke,Francis Eugene. Mr. DeLacy's Double. US 1898; imported 1899.Bleiler. Man weds ghost of dead bride with help of medium.
Theosopho and Ellora (pseud. of Gideon Jasper Ouseley).  Palingenesia: or, The Earth's New Birth. 1884. Clarke, Samaan. Religious visions beginning with 69th century, then passing to straight description of its state. SF elements overridden by religious fantasy and even more so by lack of fictional story.
Thompson, W[illiam] M[ort]. A Very Odd Dream. Privately Printed Opuscula, etc., No. 6. 1883. Bleiler. Whimsical dream using SF motifs of rejuvenation and future setting.
Vitu, Auguste [Charles Joseph]. The Strange Phantasy of Doctor Trintzius. Vizetelly's Sixpenny Series of Amusing and Entertaining Books, vol. 12. 1885. Bleiler. Stories oscillating between delusion and occult fantasy.
Wedmore, Frederick. Renunciations. 1893. Bleiler. Three sentimental stories. Neither fantasy nor SF.
Whiteing, Richard. The Island: or, Adventures of a Person of Quality. 1888. Samaan. Love and harmony on Pitcairn Island. Utopian overtones only.
Wright, Henry. Mental Travels in Imagined Lands. 1878. Sargent, Shurter. Semi-allegorical socio-economic countries (e.g. "Labourland," "Nomuniburgh,") described. Not fiction.
Zola, Emile. Fruitfulness. 1900 (French original 1899). Clarke. Brief rhapsodic vision, toward the end, of France's colonial future is the only SF element in this very long novel.

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