Difference between revisions of "Ralph 124C41 +"

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The inaccurate ones include those assuming electromagnetic radiation required an "ether" medium to propagate.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_124C_41%2B#Inaccurate]
 
The inaccurate ones include those assuming electromagnetic radiation required an "ether" medium to propagate.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_124C_41%2B#Inaccurate]
  
In a manuscript chapter on "Post-Vernean Victorian SF," John J. Pierce adds to accurate technological prophesies, "radio networks, solar power, sleep-teaching, fiberglass, synthetic fabrics, vending machines, automats, fluorescent lights, liquid fertilizer, automated farms, night baseball, stainless steel, plastics, [and] hydroponics." Very usefully, Pierce puts ''Ralph 124C41 +'' into its larger historical context.
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In a manuscript chapter on "Post-Vernean Victorian SF," [[Origins of the Species|John J. Pierce]] adds to accurate technological prophesies, "radio networks, solar power, sleep-teaching, fiberglass, synthetic fabrics, vending machines, automats, fluorescent lights, liquid fertilizer, automated farms, night baseball, stainless steel, plastics, [and] hydroponics." Very usefully, Pierce puts ''Ralph 124C41 +'' into its larger historical context.
 
  While Gernsback encouraged the legend that Ralph was the fountainhead of science fiction, his “romance” is more the culmination of a tradition than the beginning of one. He may not have been aware of [Albert] [[Robida, Albert|Robida]], but he was an avid reader of [[Verne, Jules|Vernean]] and Victorian science fiction. ''Ralph'' was, by accident if not design, an American counterpart of [Robida's] ''[[The Twentieth Century]]''. Never mind that Queen Victoria was dead; it was the last great flowering of the Victorian sf imagination.
 
  While Gernsback encouraged the legend that Ralph was the fountainhead of science fiction, his “romance” is more the culmination of a tradition than the beginning of one. He may not have been aware of [Albert] [[Robida, Albert|Robida]], but he was an avid reader of [[Verne, Jules|Vernean]] and Victorian science fiction. ''Ralph'' was, by accident if not design, an American counterpart of [Robida's] ''[[The Twentieth Century]]''. Never mind that Queen Victoria was dead; it was the last great flowering of the Victorian sf imagination.
  

Latest revision as of 21:55, 23 May 2020

Gernsback, Hugo. Ralph 124C41 + (also Ralph 124C41 +: A Romance of the Future or Ralph 124C41 +: a Romance of the Future). Serial in 12 installments, Modern Electrics 1911-12, starting April 1911. Fix-up 1925. Available as Ralph 124C 41+: A Romance of the Year 2660, with an Introduction by Jack Williamson. Lincoln, NE: Bison Books imprint of Nebraska P, 2000.

From the publisher's blurb from the University of Nebraska Press's series Bison Frontiers of Imagination:

This visionary novel of the twenty-seventh century was written by Hugo Gernsback (1887-1964), founder of the influential magazine Amazing Stories. Marvelously prophetic and creative, Ralph 124C 41+ celebrates technological advances and entrances readers with an exuberant, unforgettable vision of what our world might become. This commemorative edition makes this landmark tale widely available for the first time in decades and features the prized Frank R. Paul illustrations from the rare first edition, a list of inventions and technological devices, and Hugo Gernsback's prefaces to the first and second editions.

The Wikipedia entry usefully has a sections on Predictions[1] both accurate and inaccurate.

Some successful predictions from this novel include television (and channel surfing), remote-control power transmission, the videophone, transcontinental air service, solar energy in practical use, sound movies, synthetic milk and foods, artificial cloth, voiceprinting, tape recorders, and spaceflight. It also contains "...the first accurate description of radar, complete with diagram...", according to Arthur C. Clarke in his "non-genre" novel Glide Path (1963).
"A pulsating polarized ether wave, if directed on a metal object can be reflected in the same manner as a light-ray is reflected from a bright surface or from a mirror..."[2]

The inaccurate ones include those assuming electromagnetic radiation required an "ether" medium to propagate.[3]

In a manuscript chapter on "Post-Vernean Victorian SF," John J. Pierce adds to accurate technological prophesies, "radio networks, solar power, sleep-teaching, fiberglass, synthetic fabrics, vending machines, automats, fluorescent lights, liquid fertilizer, automated farms, night baseball, stainless steel, plastics, [and] hydroponics." Very usefully, Pierce puts Ralph 124C41 + into its larger historical context.

While Gernsback encouraged the legend that Ralph was the fountainhead of science fiction, his “romance” is more the culmination of a tradition than the beginning of one. He may not have been aware of [Albert] Robida, but he was an avid reader of Vernean and Victorian science fiction. Ralph was, by accident if not design, an American counterpart of [Robida's] The Twentieth Century. Never mind that Queen Victoria was dead; it was the last great flowering of the Victorian sf imagination.

The importance of Ralph is asserted and defended by Gary Westfahl in his essay, "This Unique Document," which see.


RDE, with thanks to J.J. Pierce, 20Ap20