radium age sf

The covers of three radium age sf novels republished by HiLoBooks
While reading Brian Aldiss‘Billion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction’ (1973) [a revised and expanded edition was published as ‘Trillion Year Spree’ (Aldiss & Wingrove 1986)] Joshua Glenn thought that Aldiss unfairly neglected the period from 1904 to 1933:

I’ve concluded that it’s an era of which science fiction historians and fans ought to be proud, not ashamed! I’ve dubbed this unfairly overlooked era science fiction’s “Radium Age” because the phenomenon of radioactivity—the 1903 discovery that matter is neither solid nor still and is, at least in part, a state of energy, constantly in movement — is a fitting metaphor for the first decades of the 20th century, during which old scientific, religious, political, and social certainties were shattered. I’m on a crusade to redeem this era’s reputation; […] Join the crusade!

Well, I already did join and am proud that on my barely started listing of cyberpunkish literature since the beginning there are three radium age titles: ‘The Iron Heel’ and ‘The Scarlet Plague’ by Jack London (1907 and 1910) and E. M. Forster’s The Machine Stops (1909). ‘The Scarlet Plague’ [which I haven’t read yet] is a favourite of Joshua’s, but he seems to have missed ‘The Iron Heel’ [with which I am halfway through]—highly recommended!
    In order to convert all of you into radium-age believers I urge you to read Joshua Glenn’s great essays. In his crusade Joshua goes well beyond just writing about the radium age:

I’ve enlisted two visionary bookfuturists (my HiLobrow colleague Matthew Battles, and publisher Richard Nash) and we’ve started HiLoBooks. This year, we’re serializing (at HiLobrow) and then publishing in paperback form six classics Radium Age science fiction titles. The first three—Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague, Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt—are coming out this spring; they are available for pre-ordering now. Join the crusade!

ALDISS, BRIAN WILSON. 1973. Billion year spree: The true history of science fiction. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
ALDISS, BRIAN WILSON AND DAVID WINGROVE. 1986. Trillion year spree: The history of science fiction. New York: Atheneum.
FORSTER, EDWARD MORGAN. 1909. The machine stops. The Oxford and Cambridge Review 8.
KIPLING, JOSEPH RUDYARD. 1909. With the night mail: A story of 2000 A.D. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company.
LONDON, JOHN GRIFFITH ‘JACK’ (aka JOHN GRIFFITH CHANEY). 1907. The iron heel. New York: Macmillan.
LONDON, JOHN GRIFFITH ‘JACK’ (aka JOHN GRIFFITH CHANEY). 1910. The scarlet plague. New York: Macmillan.
via entry at boingboing
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