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Archive for February 22nd, 2010

‘Rappaccini’s Daughter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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With a subtitle like ‘The Evolution Of Hard SF’ you would expect H&C to include some precursor texts. It is less clear that you would expect them to include Hawthorne’s 1844 gothic tale. Particularly since they note that:

It is antithetical in imagery and in affect to the ideal of hard science fiction from Verne and most of Wells through Campbell’s Modern sf. (p. 68)

The story itself? Mad scientist keeps his daughter imprisioned in a poisonous garden in order to give her a toxic vagina. Alright, if you like olden days tosh.

Quality: **
Hardness: **

A quick Google also suggests that H&C have excised Hawthorne’s framing device for the story which seems a fairly reckless editorial decision.

Written by Martin

22 February 2010 at 11:06