Bookmark and Share

Subterranean Worlds
A Critical Anthology
Peter Fitting

Early Classics of Science Fiction

Wesleyan University Press
2004 • 242 pp. 4 illus. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Science Fiction / Literary Criticism

$29.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6723-9

Exploring the hollow earth from the 17th century to the present.

The bizarre idea that the earth’s interior is hollow and, perhaps, even populated has been put to effective literary use by writers ranging from Edgar Allen Poe and Jules Verne to Rudy Rucker and Edgar Rice Burroughs. This notion had respectability as a scientific hypothesis until the early 1800s, and the theory that the earth “is hollow and inhabitable within” continues to find believers as an alternative description of the earth to this day.

The hollow earth is one of the most important settings in the literature of the imagination that fed into early science fiction. Subterranean Worlds presents a fascinating look at the theme of the hollow earth and its history, as well as the geological theories which produced many of these stories. It excerpts key passages from the major subterranean world fictions, some translated into English for the first time. With helpful introductions to each selection and a comprehensive bibliography, this book is the definitive treatment of this entertaining topic.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS


"Fitting provides and introductory chapter on early, non-fictional theorizing about the hollowness of the Earth, which provides the background to the fictions; introductions to the selections that form the body of the book; and a final chapter giving a glimpse of the late 19th- and early 20th-century tales...all of which are excellent; and there's also a considerable amount of material on subterranean theorist John Cleves Symmes Jr.. (F)ascinating material."—Fortean Times


Subterranean Worlds is an excellent introduction to the topic, and will take a permanent place on the shelf of reference works indispensable for historians of geology, fantasy, science fiction, and utopias.” —Paul Alkon, Leo S. Bing Professor of English, University of Southern California

“Fitting supplies deft introductions to each of the selections in the volume; his mastery of primary material and secondary literature on the subject is enhanced by his enthusiasm for the project.”—John T. O’Connor, Professor of History, University of New Orleans

PETER FITTING is Director of the Department of Cinema Studies Program at the University of Toronto and former chair of the Society of Utopian Studies.

Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:11:39 -0500