Anonymous

Tagged: Author

This entry records those relatively few Anonymous SF Authors who did not use a pseudonym and whose identity has never been established. The ordering below is first chronological by year of first publication, then alphabetical by title.

1. Unidentified author of A Voyage to the Centre of the Earth [for full title information see Checklist directly below] (1755), which describes a Fantastic Voyage into the Hollow Earth through the crater of Mount Vesuvius; the world inside, which the protagonist is by no means the first to visit, is occupied by a single Utopia where goods are shared in common, and the concept of a hierarchical concentration of wealth and power and land is beyond the inhabitants' capacity to believe in nonsense (see Politics). En passant, the protagonist is given (by obscure means) a tour of what may be the Solar System, and learns that the universe is full of inhabited planets. [JC]

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2. Unidentified author of The Reign of George VI, 1900-1925 (1763), the earliest known example of the Future War novel. Showing the forceful George VI becoming master of Europe following his successes in the European War of 1917-1920, the anonymous UK author gave no consideration to possible changes in society, technology or military strategy, his depicted future being very similar to contemporary reality. [JE]

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3. Unidentified author of Equality, or A History of Lithconia (15 May-26 June 1802 The Temple of Reason as "Equality: A Political Romance"; 1837), which is set in the imaginary country of Lithconia and was one of the earliest American Utopian works. It depicts a communal economy in a society where conurbations have been rejected in favour of an equal distribution of houses. A speculative attribution (by Donald H. Tuck) of this novel to Philadelphian liberal crusader Dr James Reynolds has not been confirmed. [JE/DRL]

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  • Equality: A History of Lithconia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Liberal Union, 1837) [first appeared 15 May-26 June 1802 The Temple of Reason as "Equality: A Political Romance": binding unknown/]

4. Unidentified author of The Battle of Dorking, a Myth: England Impregnable: Invasion Impossible; Or, the Events That Occurred in AD 1871, AD 1921, AD 1971, AD 2000 (1871 chap), which contradicts the pessimistic Battle of Dorking scenario, within the frame of a Future History supposedly set down more than a century after publication and describing a series of British triumphs. [JC]

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5. Unidentified author of The Battle of the Ironclads; Or, England and her Foes in 1879 (1871 chap), in which a group of officers foregather after a Naval Review in 1893 (see Club Story) to listen and comment upon a version of the extremely successful history of Britain (see Future History) after the Battle of Dorking, whose warnings of military unpreparedness are thus taken to heart. [JC]

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6. Unidentified author of Britannia in Council: A Political Retrospect (1871 chap), in which the Battle of Dorking is re-enacted as a kind of Near Future pantomime, in which John Bull and other similar figures reminisce animatedly about the events of 1871, the minatory bite of George T Chesney's tale being translated into farce. [JC]

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7. Unidentified author of The Hens Who Tried to Crow: An Apologue (1871 chap), a Beast Fable [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] which re-enacts the Battle of Dorking scenario in heavily Satirical terms that distantly prefigure the exorbitance of Steampunk. Nineteenth century Beast Fables are not normally thought to be significant precursors of steampunk (however, see Equipoise), though Bryan Talbot's Grandville sequence unmistakably profits from the form. [JC]

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8. Unidentified author of A Man from the Moon (1871 chap), in which a mountain climber, resting at the summit of Mount Aconcagua in the Andes, encounters there a man from the Moon who tells him that humanity is part but not necessarily the peak of Evolution, and who decries the feeble arguments of human Religions against this fact. When the climber asks him "Are we like the beasts that perish then?" the "Lunar Excursionist" responds, "We are the beasts that perish". The secular tone of this booklet marks it off from most pre-twentieth century tales featuring wise advice from Aliens. [JC]

works

  • A Man from the Moon (London: C R Brown, 1871) [chap: undated: though it is bound in with several 1871 pamphlets, the British Library catalogue suggests their copy may date from 1870: pb/uncredited]

9. Unidentified author of What May Happen in the Next 90 Days: The Disruption of the United States: Or, the Origin of the Second Civil War (1877 chap), Future War novel reflecting a troubled sense that in the aftermath of the American Civil War (1861-1865), worse chaos was bound to follow. [JE/DRL]

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10. Unidentified author of The Angel and the Idiot: A Story of the Next Century (1890), a surprisingly complex tale whose love-torn protagonist, after drowning, seems to enter a Posthumous Fantasy (see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below) and to commune with invisible angels; but they tell him that he can return to Earth, though only as an idiot. He accepts, finds himself in the distant Near Future, about a hundred years hence, in a Utopian England where – after a French Invasion had finally been frustrated decades earlier – a pacific, Feminist, vegetarian state was established, its continuing benignity protected by advanced Technology, though at a very high initial cost, as the founder of this new state had ruthlessly applied Eugenic principles to the surviving population, exterminating the "unfit". The protagonist, rapidly regaining full sentience, engages in what would now be considered Oedipal games with his original lover, now his great-grandmother. The darkness underlying this utopia is clearly intended as part of the burden of the tale. [JC]

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11. Unidentified author of The Nampa Image [for subtitle see works below] (circa 1890 chap), a Satire on the historical 1889 discovery in Nampa, Idaho, of a small human image 90 metres underground, which was thought at the time (in error) to date from the Pleistocene era. The satire "explains" this unlikelihood by positing an ancient Idaho civilization (see Lost Race), which is destroyed through some natural Disaster. [JC]

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