(Published July 2014)
Reviewed by C.D. Lewis
Futures Past is Jim Emerson’s history of science fiction from 1926 to 1975. The first volume – centered on 1926 – opens with an editorial opposite an image of the editorial with which Hugo Gernsback introduced the first issue of Amazing Stories in 1926. The old typeface and its archaic reference to SF as “scientifiction” serve as cogs in a time machine, delivering readers to an age in which the SF genre hadn’t yet been named. But it existed. Gernsback makes clear in referencing authors like Verne and Wells that he’s not proposing a novelty but promoting the best of what he knows can be done. Emerson’s first volume carries the time travel onward for more than fifty pages.