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One of the greatest of all horror writers, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) also composed pioneering tales that seized upon the scientific developments of an era marked by staggering change. In this collection of sixteen stories, he explores such wide-ranging contemporary themes as galvanism, time travel and resurrection of the dead. 'The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall' One of the greatest of all horror writers, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) also composed pioneering tales that seized upon the scientific developments of an era marked by staggering change. In this collection of sixteen stories, he explores such wide-ranging contemporary themes as galvanism, time travel and resurrection of the dead. 'The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall' relates a man's balloon journey to the moon with a combination of scientific precision and astonishing fantasy. Elsewhere, the boundaries between horror and science are elegantly blurred in stories such as 'The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar', while the great essay 'Eureka' outlines Poe's own interpretation of the universe. Powerfully influential on later authors including Jules Verne, these works are essential reading for anyone wishing to trace the genealogy of science fiction, or to understand the complexity of Poe's own creative vision


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One of the greatest of all horror writers, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) also composed pioneering tales that seized upon the scientific developments of an era marked by staggering change. In this collection of sixteen stories, he explores such wide-ranging contemporary themes as galvanism, time travel and resurrection of the dead. 'The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall' One of the greatest of all horror writers, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) also composed pioneering tales that seized upon the scientific developments of an era marked by staggering change. In this collection of sixteen stories, he explores such wide-ranging contemporary themes as galvanism, time travel and resurrection of the dead. 'The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall' relates a man's balloon journey to the moon with a combination of scientific precision and astonishing fantasy. Elsewhere, the boundaries between horror and science are elegantly blurred in stories such as 'The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar', while the great essay 'Eureka' outlines Poe's own interpretation of the universe. Powerfully influential on later authors including Jules Verne, these works are essential reading for anyone wishing to trace the genealogy of science fiction, or to understand the complexity of Poe's own creative vision

30 review for The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe

  1. 4 out of 5

    Merl Fluin

    42 SHORT STORIES IN 42 DAYS* DAY 20: A Descent Into The Maelström One of Poe's more underrated stories, this takes a while to get going – but the second half is terrifying. *The rules: – Read one short story a day, every day for six weeks – Read no more than one story by the same author within any 14-day period – Deliberately include authors I wouldn't usually read – Review each story in one sentence or less Any fresh reading suggestions/recommendations will be gratefully received 📚 (less) 42 SHORT STORIES IN 42 DAYS* DAY 20: A Descent Into The Maelström One of Poe's more underrated stories, this takes a while to get going – but the second half is terrifying. *The rules: – Read one short story a day, every day for six weeks – Read no more than one story by the same author within any 14-day period – Deliberately include authors I wouldn't usually read – Review each story in one sentence or less Any fresh reading suggestions/recommendations will be gratefully received 📚 (less)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Earl Biringer

    Why I Almost Docked This Rating One Star Just For The Inclusion of “Eureka” And Why I Didn’t Follow Through With That, And Also Why This Book is Mistitled: A Review Of “The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe” First, why I was so sorely tempted to give this volume 2 stars instead of the deserved three: “Eureka” is atrocious. Now, I know what you’re all going to say (or many of you, anyway). You’re going to say that it’s easy to look back in time nearly 200 years with our early-21st century perspect Why I Almost Docked This Rating One Star Just For The Inclusion of “Eureka” And Why I Didn’t Follow Through With That, And Also Why This Book is Mistitled: A Review Of “The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe” First, why I was so sorely tempted to give this volume 2 stars instead of the deserved three: “Eureka” is atrocious. Now, I know what you’re all going to say (or many of you, anyway). You’re going to say that it’s easy to look back in time nearly 200 years with our early-21st century perspective and criticize the level of scientific knowledge/understanding of a poet. And you’re right. It is easy – too easy. But the total and complete lack of understanding of the scientific method, of the aims and objectives of scientific research, and of the foundations of scientific thinking are NOT why I was tempted to dock this book one star. See, it is one thing to be scientifically illiterate -and make no mistake: even for the period in which he lived, Poe was scientifically illiterate. To know some few facts, to be able to drop a name (be it of a person or of a theory), to understand that two and two will always equal four: these do not count as scientific literacy, any more than being able to tell the difference between a rap song and a tin pan alley ditty makes one musically literate. In order to be considered scientifically literate one must understand what it is that science is, what it does and can do and can not do, its goals and aims, or, to sum up, the context in which the scientific enterprise takes place. Poe displays none of this. He rails against what he considers to be the scientists' “two paths to knowledge,” induction and deduction, as though those two words taken in and of themselves can somehow encapsulate the totality of scientific thought. Yes, I agree that these two words can be used as basic, high-level descriptors of the ways we come to consider a statement to be true or to be a fact, but in and of themselves they say nothing. He mocks the great minds of his time and of the past, those who, while definitely fallible (as all science is, another thing lost on Poe), accomplished far more in the realm of science than he ever accomplished in the realm of poetry. Then, the topper: he states that he will replace both deduction and induction with – wait, this’ll have you over-the-barrel-laughing: INTUITON! Yes! That fabulous intuition of ours which, though it may be argued has kept the human race alive for several eons, is by definition antithetical to the concept of truth. That way of thinking which can only lead to trial-and-error attempts at discovering something which may closely enough resemble the truth as to not get us killed! And not just any intuition – no, HIS intuition! HE is the only human being alive who can intuit the TRUTH! Why? Because he’s a freaking poet, of course! Does this make any sense (deductive, inductive, or intuitive, or otherwise) to anyone? Then, after he explains WHY we should believe what he says, we get on to the meat of the matter. The spoiled, rotting, fat-filled, empty-calorie-laden meat. This isn’t science, folks: this is theology. His explanation of god’s plan for the universe, basted with a thin veneer of names and words. The entire thing makes no sense whatsoever. Now, I don’t want to hear “It’s satire! He didn’t really mean it!” Bullshit. He most definitely meant it. That he begins the essay with a satirical message-in-a-bottle-from-the-future introduction does nothing to diminish the earnestness of his exposition. And, though it is satirical, there is nothing in that introduction to lead us to believe that what follows is meant to be satirical. No, the introduction satirizes science, that thing which he does not understand. The introduction reinforces the thoughts expressed in the essay, it does not belie them. Nor do I want to hear “But he was RIGHT on some things! Black holes and the expanding universe and blah and blah and blah!” No, he wasn’t right on anything. That some of the things he says can be compared in some way to true scientific ideas means nothing more than saying “Well, the big bang was god saying let there be light!” Balderdash. Pure, utter, total, and complete balderdash. On a side note, the editors of this volume hint at this way of thinking, even though they do not come right out and say it. They are wrong, and seem to be as scientifically illiterate as Poe. Poe comes across as a bitter, weak man who knows he has failed to be what he wanted to be and insanely insists and acting the part hoping that others may actually see him this way. Yes, I lost respect for Poe on reading this. So, why DIDN’T I dock this review one star for the inclusion of “Eureka”? Well, because I’m glad it’s in here. And I’m glad I read it. It helped me solve a thirty year-old mystery. Or approximately thirty years, anyway. See, it was about that long ago that I first became acquainted with Poe. I don’t remember which I read first, “The Tell-Tale Heart” or “A Cask of Amontillado,” but it was definitely Amontillado which had the greater effect on me. I had grown up reading a lot of SF and a slap-dash of fantasy, but I had never read any horror. This Poe guy intrigued me, and I sought out and read many of his stories (including most of those included in this volume). I read that Poe was the inventor of the modern short story, and I still see that, though I think “inventor” is perhaps too strong a word. I read that Poe created the modern horror and mystery genres, and I still see that, though I think “created” is perhaps too strong a word. I also read that he created the modern SF genre. But I never saw that. I could not understand why these stories were considered to be integral to the development of SF. As an avid reader of SF, this has bugged me for three decades. What was I missing? And now I know: I was missing NOTHING. The truth of the matter is that Poe did NOT create the genre of SF. Nothing he wrote, this volume inclusive, can be considered SF. I know the literary theorists will say I’m wrong, the Poe fan-boys-and-girls will claim I have no idea what I’m talking about, the professors and the text books will roll their eyes and their pages, but I’m right. SF developed out of gothic literature by turning from the supernatural to the natural. Whereas gothic literature saw horror in the world and blamed this on supernatural causes, SF began to begin when Shelley looked at the horror and saw completely natural causes. Later writers then realized that if the causes of things in the world were natural (or existential) and not supernatural (or metaphysical), then we could harness these causes and create not horror but progress. This progress may carry with it its own variety of horror, but the horror will be due to the way we interact with the natural world. There’s still room for gods and magic in SF, in a way, but even these gods and this magic will obey natural laws. Poe will have none of that. Poe is a regressive writer, attempting to turn the outlook of the human race backwards to the gothic. He can not let go of his supernatural, and “Eureka,” while not explaining that in any real sense, exemplifies it. Perhaps it was his own psychological demons that caused him to confront the world on a metaphysical plane, but those demons themselves were natural. This book is misnamed. Poe wrote no science fiction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Иван Иванов

    Колкото и да уважавам По и ролята му в литературата, не мога да си кривя душата, той не ми е от любимите автори. Освен това тази подборка далеч не обхваща най-добрите му произведения. Доколкото разбрах от предговора, правена е с идеята да се покажат различните страни на таланта му и съдържа някои разкази, не особено типични за неговото творчество. Мнението ми за всеки разказ накратко: Разказ за нащърбените планини - Скучновата мистична история, която включва пренасяне в чуждо тяло (от предишен жив Колкото и да уважавам По и ролята му в литературата, не мога да си кривя душата, той не ми е от любимите автори. Освен това тази подборка далеч не обхваща най-добрите му произведения. Доколкото разбрах от предговора, правена е с идеята да се покажат различните страни на таланта му и съдържа някои разкази, не особено типични за неговото творчество. Мнението ми за всеки разказ накратко: Разказ за нащърбените планини - Скучновата мистична история, която включва пренасяне в чуждо тяло (от предишен живот?) Няма кой знае каква логика, но горе-долу се трае. - 2 Балонът-измислица - Опит за прогностична фантастика, описващ първия презокеански полет с балон, изпъстрен със скучни псевдонаучни обяснения. Мъка ми беше да го чета. - 1 Системата на доктор Тар и професор Федър - Тук няма и помен от фантастика, разказът е по-скоро нещо като социална сатира и описва лудница, управлявана от пациентите (това уж би трябвало да е изненада, но се отгатва прекалено бързо). - 1 Спускане в Маелстрьом - Виж, този разказ вече е съвсем в стила на По, но за жалост не е особено интересен. Някакъв моряк разказва как е попаднал в гигантски водовъртеж и с малко съобразителност е успял да се измъкне. - 2 Сфинксът - Много тъп разказ, в който героят взима насекомото, пълзящо на сантиметри пред очите му, за чудовище, бягащо по далечния планински склон. - 1 Истината в случая с господин Валдемар - Единственият разказ, който предизвика някакъв смътен интерес у мен, въпреки цялата си научна несъстоятелност. Човек на ръба на смъртта е хипнотизиран и остава в странно "немъртво" състояние в продължение на месеци. - 3 Хиляда и втората приказка на Шехерезада - Опит да се опишат съвременните "чудеса" през погледа на Синдбад. На някого може да му се стори интересно, за мен не беше. Давам една звезда отгоре само за въображението на автора в описанията. - 2 Фон Кемпелен и неговото откритие - Още един безбожно скучен разказ. След разчистване на несвързаните дрънканици, сюжетът му на практика се свежда до "Някакъв си човек превръщал оловото в злато". - 1 Разговор с мумия - Колкото и да е странно, този разказ представлява не друго, а фейлетон. Учени случайно съживяват мумия с ток, тя започва да им се оплаква, те се извиняват, след което започват да беседват джентълменски на всякакви теми - от история и политика до мода. Доста е забавен и крайно малоумен. Предполагам, оценката зависи от това доколко човек е склонен да приеме първото за сметка на второто. - 2,5 Не мога да препоръчам с чиста съвест този сборник на никого, дори и на фенове на По. Освен ако не са мноооого непретенциозни.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Very disappointed. Some old stories, some stories using science ideas already around. A so-called "prose poem" to rid yourself of the need for ambien. So sad, I have loved his stories and poems for years. I wish I had not found this one. Very disappointed. Some old stories, some stories using science ideas already around. A so-called "prose poem" to rid yourself of the need for ambien. So sad, I have loved his stories and poems for years. I wish I had not found this one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anita Radeva

    Като за първо запознаване с произведения на Алън По съм достатъчно впечатлена! Почти всички разкази ми харесаха, в повечето случаи даже се усещах как затаявам дъх в очакване на развръзката. Едноименният разказ си заслужава определено... Както и разказа със сфинкса. Радвам се, че нямаше никакви страхотии, които да ме откажат да дочета книгата. Сега ще дам шанс и на други бележити заглавия от Едгар Алан По.

  6. 5 out of 5

    El

    Kate Beaton sums it all up very well. Poe wrote about balloons. A lot. And as I read, I looked very similar to Beaton's drawing of Verne in the third panel of that comic. And when my back hurt too much, I turned into Verne in the fourth panel. I love Poe, quite a bit. He's one of those authors I remember reading when I was probably too young to read him, but I could read him in the library and I dug it. Now that we've become fans of Baltimore, where Poe lived for many years and where his grave is Kate Beaton sums it all up very well. Poe wrote about balloons. A lot. And as I read, I looked very similar to Beaton's drawing of Verne in the third panel of that comic. And when my back hurt too much, I turned into Verne in the fourth panel. I love Poe, quite a bit. He's one of those authors I remember reading when I was probably too young to read him, but I could read him in the library and I dug it. Now that we've become fans of Baltimore, where Poe lived for many years and where his grave is, we made it a mission to visit the Poe House and Museum which, we were informed by the Visitors' Center, is "in a negative part of town". You can't get any info about it at the Center, you have to find it on your own because if you get shot or carjacked outside, the city doesn't want to be held responsible for it. Very sweet, Baltimore. So we found it on our own, something I consider a personal victory, and I highly enjoyed it even though it's exceptionally small and has limited information within its walls. It's where Poe lived, man, and that's really awesome. He could have been drunk at some point right where I was standing. That's incredible. We're all familiar with his stories of mystery and macabre, but people are less familiar with his science fiction and hoaxes. This collection has all that stuff. From what I can tell (and I'm certainly no expert), Poe wasn't all that smart when it came to science stuff. Seems like he took a lot of the popular theories of the day and sort of bastardized it so it made sense to him, and then he would write stories based on those ideas. Hey, don't knock it, it's "speculative" fiction for a reason, I'm okay with it, and I tend to do the same thing myself. I just don't sell those stories to the papers. I won't say I like his science fiction more than his gothic stories because that would be a stretch. They're like the bread and butter of my childhood and I'm new to the more speculative fiction aspect of Poe's mind. I'm not entirely comfortable with it. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, he wrote a bit about balloons and those are probably my favorite stories/hoaxes of the bunch. There are others that never needed to have ever been written, which is not something I would normally say about Poe. And then there's Eureka, a long essay (100 pages exactly in my edition) that Poe claims he wanted people to consider as a poem. A prose poem. I don't buy it. This was an essay, and a not very good one, and pretty boring to boot. It shows most of all how little he really knew about what was going on in the scientific world. But apparently it was even received poorly in his own day and age, so I guess I'm not alone in these feelings. Those are 100 pages of my life I will never get back. Yes, it breaks my heart to write that. What makes up for it is the cover of this edition which is an image of my beloved Odilon Redon's 'L'oeil comme un ballon bizarre se dirige vers L'INFINI' which, the back cover tells me, was inspired by Poe himself. Clicky-click for a close-up of the image. It's great, much like everything else I've ever seen of Redon's. (Except that god-awful stupid print hanging up where I work. I'm over that one.) Sadly, I failed to finish this on Poe's death-day which was just three days ago. I plan to make up for that by visiting his grave again next month. I'm sure he'll understand.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most interesting and intriguing authors of the 19th century. A poet, and master of the short story, he is credited with creating the detective story, and of course his gothic horror stories are well known. The collection “The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe” demonstrates that Poe also influenced the development of the genre of Science Fiction. There are 15 works of short fiction, along with the incredible essay/poem “Eureka”. These stories are arranged in chronol Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most interesting and intriguing authors of the 19th century. A poet, and master of the short story, he is credited with creating the detective story, and of course his gothic horror stories are well known. The collection “The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe” demonstrates that Poe also influenced the development of the genre of Science Fiction. There are 15 works of short fiction, along with the incredible essay/poem “Eureka”. These stories are arranged in chronological order of when they were published. While these are not typical of stories that one usually considers Science Fiction, for example the first story in the book “MS. Found in a Bottle” is a sea tale which probably would be considered more horror than science fiction, the narrator finds himself aboard the legendary Flying Dutchman, and hints at the idea of a Hollow Earth, but other stories which deal with mesmerism, and life-force, and even a trip to the moon, certainly include elements of science fiction. For myself, the most interesting and amazing work in this collection is “Eureka”, which isn’t fiction at all, but rather an essay or prose poem containing Poe’s thoughts on science and the nature of things. Though there are certainly many incorrect thoughts contained in the work, he did anticipate the theory of the Big Bang, and the existence of entities like black holes. That being said, one cannot call it a scholarly work, but rather one of inspiration on the part of the author. It is certainly interesting choice, and a good one as well, that this work is included in a collection dedicated to Poe’s works which contain science fiction elements There are too many works contained in this volume to go over each one, but some of my favorites include “A Tale of The Ragged Mountains”, “Some Words with a Mummy”, “Melonta Tauta”, and “Von Kempelen and His Discovery”. I wouldn’t consider any of the works included to be poor, and the supporting documentation included with the Penguin Classics edition helps the reader to understand Poe, the stories, and the circumstances under which they were published. Overall, I am rounding this work up to 5-stars, even if not all of the stories contained merit a rating that high.

  8. 4 out of 5

    noximera

    Давам този рейтинг (като одобрение) за следните истории: “Разказ за нащърбените планини”, “Системата на доктор Тар и професор Федър”, “Спускане в Маелстрьом” (реално ми допадна най-много), както и “Сфинксът”. Останалите писания ми бяха крайно отегчителни и излишно разточителни.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Wilson

    This book is an interesting insight into the period when "science fiction" was still forming. As such, I feel very guilty about giving up on it - it certainly isn't terrible, and some of the concepts are very interesting, I simply find (and have always found) Poe's writing style hard going. I managed "MS. Found in a Bottle", "The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion", "A Descent into the Maelström", and "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall". The dense writing style is not helped by the r This book is an interesting insight into the period when "science fiction" was still forming. As such, I feel very guilty about giving up on it - it certainly isn't terrible, and some of the concepts are very interesting, I simply find (and have always found) Poe's writing style hard going. I managed "MS. Found in a Bottle", "The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion", "A Descent into the Maelström", and "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall". The dense writing style is not helped by the rather stuffy endnotes in this collection; a short introduction or addendum to to each item explaining the scientific context would be more helpful (for example, recent fiction and public beliefs about ways to travel to the moon for "Hans Pfall", or the belief in Hollow Earth theory at the time of "MS. Found in a Bottle"), as well as footnotes translating the occasional French or Latin quotations.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Snufkin

    Sci-fi and fantasy has always been my genre, but reading this triggered my love of darker and gothic genres, classics, poetry...Even in this day and age, Poe's imagination draws you in and makes it real, whether it be journeying to the moon in a balloon or falling through the centre of the earth at the poles... Sci-fi and fantasy has always been my genre, but reading this triggered my love of darker and gothic genres, classics, poetry...Even in this day and age, Poe's imagination draws you in and makes it real, whether it be journeying to the moon in a balloon or falling through the centre of the earth at the poles...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Hunt

    Some Words with Poe's Mummy If I could bring Edgar Allan Poe's own mummy out today for a conversation at my dining table, much like the one he has with Ponnonner's Mummy Allamistakeo in Some Words with a Mummy; I wonder if we could not find more than lozenges with which to shame him over the state of his era. He probably wouldn’t be surprised though, since he admits that he was already tired of the state of the 19th Century. Poe was quite an interesting man, with a unique mind and imagination. Li Some Words with Poe's Mummy If I could bring Edgar Allan Poe's own mummy out today for a conversation at my dining table, much like the one he has with Ponnonner's Mummy Allamistakeo in Some Words with a Mummy; I wonder if we could not find more than lozenges with which to shame him over the state of his era. He probably wouldn’t be surprised though, since he admits that he was already tired of the state of the 19th Century. Poe was quite an interesting man, with a unique mind and imagination. Like all of us, he was widely influenced by the details of his personal life, his childhood circumstances, and the age in which he lived. But, no era could have prevented Poe from being Poe. I believe his writing would have a cult following if he were alive and writing today. But, he's dead. And, so are most of the ideas presented as "Science Fiction" in this book in scientific circles today. That makes it a very credible snapshot of what Science looked like 200 years ago. And, it gives the basis for the inspiration of many other Sci-fi writers like Jules Verne. It almost seems odd classifying Poe as Sci-fi, though it’s not much of a misnomer if at all. Much of his work seems more like horror or macabre. I’d read some of his short stories in the past, and my favorite was probably The Pit and the Pendulum, though that is not included here. It is true horror, though it really only illustrates historical reality in a sense. So, what I’m saying is that it would be impossible to truly classify Poe in any sense. His writing is different. Name any genre… it’s not like that. He was an original. And, you really don’t have to look past his poetry (The Raven) to see that. I do love reading The Raven, which is not in this book, of course. But, what did I like in this collection? I felt A Descent into the Maelstrom was intriguing, though a bit creepy in the psychological sense. The Balloon Hoax was possibly the most accurate resemblance of Science Fiction. And, it only took a century for men to be able to fly a balloon across the Atlantic. So, that could be seen as a true prediction. Some Words with a Mummy was hilarious, intentionally so. Poe seems to be laughing at the Science community. And, that quip about Democracy resulting in mob rule is a point well taken. In the past, I had avoided that story, simply because I mistook it for a horror tale. But, after reading it I realized it was only a parody meant in jest. Some of the short stories here I did not enjoy at all. I didn’t enjoy Mellonta Tauta. I found most of the stories dealing with the idea of ‘mesmerism’ boring, with the exception of The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. In that story, you can see Poe’s sense of toying with science. And, that is a good example of the fact that he tends to descend into the maelstrom of psychology and philosophy sciences, rather than the ‘hard’ science of physics, or geology, or even chemistry. And, of course, he’s always looking at death. I read this from an old dog-eared paperback copy I’ve had for a few decades. I suggest this for those who like Poe, but less horror. You will find something here to enjoy in the collection, and much at which to marvel.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Knigoqdec

    Всички разкази, подбрани тук, са в един стил и не мога да кажа, че са най-силните и запомнящи се. Това са произведения, които са били силни за своето си време, преди около два века, но не дават възможност на човек да бъде включен и увлечен в случващото се. Остарели са като много стари статии от много стар вестник, а знаем, че най-старото нещо на света по принцип е новината от вчерашния вестник... За чувството спомага и фактът, че повечето истории са написани именно като статии. Може би най-силни Всички разкази, подбрани тук, са в един стил и не мога да кажа, че са най-силните и запомнящи се. Това са произведения, които са били силни за своето си време, преди около два века, но не дават възможност на човек да бъде включен и увлечен в случващото се. Остарели са като много стари статии от много стар вестник, а знаем, че най-старото нещо на света по принцип е новината от вчерашния вестник... За чувството спомага и фактът, че повечето истории са написани именно като статии. Може би най-силният разказ действително е "Спускане в Маелстрьом", в който си личи оня истински стил на По, с който аз съм свикнала и заради който силно обичам този автор.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Falk

    Outside of his poetry and detective fiction, Poe is egregiously overrated. This collection is well-edited and annotated (aside from the fact that some of the pieces are not science fiction) but is otherwise disappointing. Poe's hoaxes and satires are difficult to interpret. His snarky timbre is a harbinger of today's culture in some ways, and it is particularly unfortunate in the context of the nineteenth century. My star rating is as high as it is due to the work of editor Harold Beaver as much Outside of his poetry and detective fiction, Poe is egregiously overrated. This collection is well-edited and annotated (aside from the fact that some of the pieces are not science fiction) but is otherwise disappointing. Poe's hoaxes and satires are difficult to interpret. His snarky timbre is a harbinger of today's culture in some ways, and it is particularly unfortunate in the context of the nineteenth century. My star rating is as high as it is due to the work of editor Harold Beaver as much as Poe, but Poe's prose can be intoxicating and mellifluous (like his poetry).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Cordova

    I underestimated the quality of Poe's mind. He's more thoughtful than I remembered. These stories explore topics such as the nature of death, the experience of time, natural philosophy, cosmic metaphysics, shifting perspectives on historicity, and more. This for me is the big appeal of the book. His philosophical inclinations helped sustain my interest in these stories, even while reading some of the less eventful ones. I underestimated the quality of Poe's mind. He's more thoughtful than I remembered. These stories explore topics such as the nature of death, the experience of time, natural philosophy, cosmic metaphysics, shifting perspectives on historicity, and more. This for me is the big appeal of the book. His philosophical inclinations helped sustain my interest in these stories, even while reading some of the less eventful ones.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dark Chocolate

    Трудно ми е да дам оценка на сборника, тъй като по начало рядко чета такива разкази, а и това е първата ми среща с Едгар Алан По (но не и последна!). Тъй като може да се каже,че половината разкази ми хареса, а другата половина-не особено, ще дам оценка от 3 звезди.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jake Berlin

    this book is not without its occasional charm, but many of the stories suffer from being written at the early and still murky stages of the industrial revolution, and a number of them are frankly unreadable.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I was sadly underwhelmed. I like Jules Verne, but this was just... boring. And not very imaginative, to mee.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jaap

    Mooie verhalen maar SF uit 1835 is ook wel érg gedateerd nu. Leuk om te zien wat er is uitgekomen van al die fantasieen maar ook waar ze de plank volledig misslaan.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    This is an extremely well footnoted/annotated edition for aficionados of science fiction. Harold Beaver, the editor and annotator is Poe's number one fan. The point of getting this book is to read the footnotes. Yes, it's all sort of antiquated and a bit boring for people whose expectations have been set by Frankenstein or even Poe's own horror, which have held up very well over time. However, a lot of sci fi writers point to items in this collection as "the beginning" so I guess you might as we This is an extremely well footnoted/annotated edition for aficionados of science fiction. Harold Beaver, the editor and annotator is Poe's number one fan. The point of getting this book is to read the footnotes. Yes, it's all sort of antiquated and a bit boring for people whose expectations have been set by Frankenstein or even Poe's own horror, which have held up very well over time. However, a lot of sci fi writers point to items in this collection as "the beginning" so I guess you might as well get through it. "Message found in a bottle" is the only story I really enjoyed from a purely literary standpoint, and is probably in some other collections. I was familiar with it. "A thousand and second tale" is my second favorite for some fun puns and jokes. Poe retells stories of factual modern science via the vehicle of pure fantasy - the Arabian Nights - of stories too strange to be true, and in so doing frames the ballistic trajectory of human development as so fast and unstoppable as to be unbelievable, too extreme and overwhelming to be comfortable in any way except as fantasy. It was praised by Swirski in A Stanislaw Lem Reader, which by bizarre coincidence I was reading at the same time. Swirski gives credit to this story as one of the progenitors of the "Stranger in a Strange Land" sub-genre. Most of the rest of the stories fall into two categories, 1. Futurist stuff, lots of balloon stories. Here you will find the beginnings of a sub-genre which has not held up well for Poe nor anyone who has followed this path. 2. Metaphysics and sci-fi, which includes some neo-classical conversations between thought bubbles. Think Italo Calvino - I had just finished Mr Palomar which was fun to contrast with a lot of this stuff. In particular Eureka. Eureka, an essay, is a pretty unique, if difficult read. Poe shines as someone who was obsessed with state of the art science - the first popularizer of science perhaps. I had a lot of fun comparing Poe's understanding of 19th century cosmology, to actual 19th century cosmology, to it's current state. Reading Eureka really drives you to Wikipedia all the time - I found myself reading about historical models of solar system formation. Most of the article is concerned with Poe's ideas for the theological implications of modern (for him) cosmology, and he comes up with a big bang theory as well as infinite universe theory that is quite remarkable, as he grapples with the origins of the universe colliding with the sort of Deist theology practiced at the time. Tedious though it is to read, you have to give in to Poe's excitement and abundance of ideas. It really makes you want hang out with him. I'm finding this difficult to rate. I'm led to believe there is a ton of sci-fi history being made, but it wasn't fun to get through it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This book was the most challenging title I read this year mostly due to the 1800s style prose with long, compound sentences. There are some good stories in here but you have to work for them. What was 1800s sci-fi like? Think a hot air balloon trip to the moon, a hot air balloon speed flight across the Atlantic and a maelstrom from hell in the Nordic seas. The most difficult story in this collection was "Eureka: A Prose Poem" which I nearly gave up on after a few pages. Instead, I plugged away a This book was the most challenging title I read this year mostly due to the 1800s style prose with long, compound sentences. There are some good stories in here but you have to work for them. What was 1800s sci-fi like? Think a hot air balloon trip to the moon, a hot air balloon speed flight across the Atlantic and a maelstrom from hell in the Nordic seas. The most difficult story in this collection was "Eureka: A Prose Poem" which I nearly gave up on after a few pages. Instead, I plugged away at it a few pages at a time with a week or so between doses of self-flagellation. With the intention of finishing this book before the end of the year, I read the last 2/3 of EAPP in a calendar day. I cannot heartily recommend EAPP, though it is interesting. Poe seems to have been at least 75 years ahead of his time by having written an early version of the Big Bang Theory (sadly, not the television sitcom). I state 75 years because Georges Lemaître proposed the BBT in 1927 (more than 75 years after Poe's death).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joaquin

    Este libro es una recopilación de historias de ciencia ficción escritas por Poe en el Siglo XIX. Se hace curioso leer ciencia ficción sobre eventos que en la época en la que se escribieron lo eran, como el viaje a la luna o cruzar un océano por el aire, pero que con la tecnología ya se han superado. Es gracioso ver cómo el autor intenta resolver, a mi modo de ver un poco inocente, los problemas tecnológicos que entonces se planteaban y que ahora tienen una solución clara. El libro me ha resultado Este libro es una recopilación de historias de ciencia ficción escritas por Poe en el Siglo XIX. Se hace curioso leer ciencia ficción sobre eventos que en la época en la que se escribieron lo eran, como el viaje a la luna o cruzar un océano por el aire, pero que con la tecnología ya se han superado. Es gracioso ver cómo el autor intenta resolver, a mi modo de ver un poco inocente, los problemas tecnológicos que entonces se planteaban y que ahora tienen una solución clara. El libro me ha resultado entretenido, aunque no llega a ser tan bueno como sus relatos de misterio y suspense en los que borda la perfección.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Веселин Божков

    -- "Библиотека Галактика" - книга 10 -- Повечето разкази бяха много скучни. Тук-там имаше някой малко по-интересен, но нито един не беше за 3 звезди. Може би просто са остарели зле. Разказът с балона, например, категорично е остарял ужасно. Колебаех се между 1 и 2 звезди. В крайна сметка давам две - повече заради уважението, което поражда у мен факта, че тези разкази са част от ранното детство на фантастиката, от нейните "първи 7". -- "Библиотека Галактика" - книга 10 -- Повечето разкази бяха много скучни. Тук-там имаше някой малко по-интересен, но нито един не беше за 3 звезди. Може би просто са остарели зле. Разказът с балона, например, категорично е остарял ужасно. Колебаех се между 1 и 2 звезди. В крайна сметка давам две - повече заради уважението, което поражда у мен факта, че тези разкази са част от ранното детство на фантастиката, от нейните "първи 7".

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate K. F.

    A fascinating and thoughtfully put together collection of Edgar Allan Poe's speculative fiction. The stories cover a range from the almost possible to stories that would feel comfortable in any modern science fiction collection. A good book for a reader who wants to know more about how the genre of science fiction began and enjoys untangling untrustworthy narrators. A fascinating and thoughtfully put together collection of Edgar Allan Poe's speculative fiction. The stories cover a range from the almost possible to stories that would feel comfortable in any modern science fiction collection. A good book for a reader who wants to know more about how the genre of science fiction began and enjoys untangling untrustworthy narrators.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Adi

    I was expecting a lot more from these tales. Having in mind how much I enjoy Poe's horror stories, this book was a bit disappointing. The descriptions were a bit naive and partial, and I was waiting for a lot more interesting endings of the separate stories. Additionally, the "The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade" definitely did not help the book to get a higher rating from me. I was expecting a lot more from these tales. Having in mind how much I enjoy Poe's horror stories, this book was a bit disappointing. The descriptions were a bit naive and partial, and I was waiting for a lot more interesting endings of the separate stories. Additionally, the "The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade" definitely did not help the book to get a higher rating from me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hannah H.

    Sometimes belaboured but often insightful.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mikaela

    Some stories were better than others, but overall not a bad read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Skylar

    Very interesting book. Its hard to understand sometime, but it is still very interesting.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Kenny

  29. 4 out of 5

    Krum Ganev

  30. 4 out of 5

    Albena Georgieva

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