And now … a truly wondrous phantasmagorical find! A Science Fiction novel written and published by a woman in … wait for it … 1666. That’s (let me write these numbers out, because – supreme awesomeness) Three Hundred And Forty Seven Years Ago.
The story is titled: ‘The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing-World’. (our fore-mothers sure knew how to craft a blistering title) by the ‘Thrice Noble Illustrious and Excellent Princesse, the Duchess of Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish’ (another impressive title)
“Here on this Figure Cast a Glance.
But so as if it were by Chance,
Your eyes not fixt, they must not Stay,
Since this like Shadowes to the Day
It only represent’s; for Still,
Her Beauty’s found beyond the Skill
Of the best Paynter, to Imbrace
These lovely Lines within her face.
View her Soul’s Picture, Judgment, witt,
Then read those Lines which Shee hath writt,
By Phancy’s Pencill drawne alone
Which Peces but Shee, can justly owne.”
“You can make explicit certain social problems which, again, would be prejudged or not encountered at in real life, because people have set up defenses against it. Fantasy allows you to get past defenses” – Elizabeth Moon, Science Fiction and Fantasy Author