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Unknown Futures: Nineteenth-Century Science Fiction in Spain

Lawless, G. (2011) Unknown Futures: Nineteenth-Century Science Fiction in Spain. Science Fiction Studies, 38 (2). pp. 253-269.

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This article provides an overview of studies of nineteenth-century science fiction in Spain, arguing that scholars' attitudes to this subject have changed dramatically over the past fifty years. It examines in detail two sf narratives from this period, Antonio Flores's Ayer, hoy y mañana [Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow] and Leopoldo Alas's "Cuento futuro" [Future Story] and suggests that both these works represent important developments in the history of sf because of their totalizing attitudes toward the future. In the final section of the article, it is suggested that the perception of Spain's scientific backwardness during the nineteenth century might, ironically, have led to innovative experimentations in the sf genre there.