A Meeting in Geneva: The Birth of 'Frankenstein'


My first column on Science Fiction / Fantasy history is now up on Kirkus Reviews! For this first post, I couldn't think of a better place to start than Mary Shelley's creation of Frankenstein in 1816 during a summer trip to Geneva, Switzerland. Frankenstein isn't the first root of the genre, but it is a solid one that has since been built on. You can read the article here on Kirkus Reviews.

A couple of books that I used for the research for this article were:

  • The letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and edited by Betty T Bennett. A three volumn collection of Shelley's letters, which provided a great insight into her life around the time of her writing the book.
  • Survey of Science Fiction Literature, by Frank Northen Magill. This is an academic survey that I recently picked up that has essays from thousands of SF/F novels up to around the 1970s. Great series of reviews of books, which also provides an incredible amount of background on the author and a critical look at the literature.
  • Frankenstein (Norton Critical Editions) by Mary Shelley and J. Paul Hunter. This edition provides the original text of the novel, plus extras: commentary, a couple of letters, and several reviews of the novel from when the book was first published.