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Tag: history of science fiction

If you’ve read some of the books by Star Trek personalities, such as actors like Nimoy or behind-the-scenes experts like Justman and Solow, then you’ve probably come across statements about the “newness” of Star Trek when it premiered in the 1960s.  It is often claimed that nothing else like it was aired to millions of Americans prior to 1966.

While a case can be made for the “newness”of Star Trek, it would be a mistake to label its predecessors as worthless “kid’s stuff” or “merely” anthology series.  From the birth of mass media, there has been a place for science fiction.  Television has been no exception.

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Enormous flying creatures, cave-dwelling serpent-monsters, and fortified cities of people on the Moon… these were the imaginative speculations of Johannes Kepler in the early seventeenth century, when he penned the scientific and literary contents of the Somnium, his “dream” of a trip from the Earth to the Moon.

Arguably, the Somnium can be called the first work of science fiction, because it daringly mixed astronomical theories of the day with speculative fantasies of spaceflight and another populated world (the Moon).  Even today, it is difficult to tell what is fiction and what is science in the pages of the Somnium.

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