Monday, January 5, 2009

SF authors born 1824-33: 1831

1. James B. Alexander


James B. Alexander (1831-?)

American writer, from Minnesota.

* The Lunarian Professor and His Remarkable Revelations Concerning the Earth, the Moon and Mars Together With An Account of the Cruise of the Sally Ann (No publisher cited: Minneapolis, 1909). The narrator (Minnesota, circa 1892) meets a Lunarian — humanoid, with a large round head and eyes, plus six wings and six limbs — who has come to Earth via a kind of antigravity device. He describes life on the Moon (or rather, inside it), an advanced social-insect-like civilization. The Lunarians are altruistic and cooperative; all instinctively work, and the government provides them with all the necessities of life. Seems like a rip-off of Wells's First Men in the Moon. But Alexander's novel is also an imaginative (proto-Stapledonian) future history of the human race: By 1925, the Lunarian informs the narrator, the US will have adopted free silver and the single tax; cities will have spread enormously, and people will live in huge almost autonomous housing complexes [like PKD's con-apts]; and women's rights will have been granted, and the state will provide child-care. By 2000, the British Empire will have lost India; the US will have expanded to include the entire English-speaking world except England and Scotland; war will have been abolished, and a world government established; amazing flying machines, solar power, and synthetic food will have been invented. But that's just the beginning: By 2100, the Lunarians will have introduced a third, neuter sex to humankind; and by the 100th millennium, humans will have evolved into foetus-like creatured fed by machines through the umbilical cord. PS: We also learn that Martians are giant, semi-aquatic, intelligent starfish.

No comments:

Post a Comment