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For Educators


The Coming Race
Edward Bulwer-Lytton; David Seed, ed.



Early Classics of Science Fiction

Wesleyan University Press
2005 • 280 pp. 2 illus 5 3/8 x 8 1/2"
Science Fiction / Literary Criticism - English

$22.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6735-2
$34.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6749-9



“First published in 1871, The Coming Race represents a curious hybrid. Its premise is unflinchingly futuristic: the inevitable displacement of today’s humanity by a more evolved 'race.' But the story unfolds in perhaps the last unexplored place on earth—the 'hollow' interior of the planet…”—Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

The story of a fascinating underground world of winged beings

Climbing through the recesses of a mine, an English man falls into a deep chasm and finds himself suddenly trapped in a subterranean world inhabited by an ancient race of advanced beings. From Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth to Chris Marker’s La Jetée, subterranean worlds have been a source of both fascination and fear for the literary imagination and The Coming Race is no exception. An evolutionary fantasy first published in 1871, the story draws upon ideas of Darwinism to describe a near future world characterized by female dominance, physical perfection, and vast technological progress. The novel was extremely popular in its time and is now considered a seminal science fiction text by contemporary scholars. This Wesleyan edition includes scholarly notes and an introduction that places the work in an intellectual and literary context, and describes the author’s interest in the occult.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews:

“Seed offers a comprehensive and useful critical edition of Bulwer-Lytton’s early science fiction novel … [that] illuminates the meaning and importance of this work to both writers who were Bulwer-Lytton’s contemporaries and to science fiction and fantasy writers who followed him. Summing up: Highly recommended.”—P.J. Kurtz, Choice

Endorsements:

The Coming Race is a fascinating novel. Seed’s edition of this seminal work is manifestly superior to previous ones and a significant contribution to Lytton studies.”—Toby Widdicombe, professor of English, University of Alaska, Anchorage

The Coming Race displays Bulwer-Lytton at his best—as a writer, a theorist, and a visionary. To date, other editions of this science fiction classic have lacked the heft of David Seed’s offering, thus failing to make the strongest case its historical and cultural importance. David Seed rectifies this failing. Anyone who reads The Coming Race in this edition cannot but emerge with greater respect for Lytton’s intellectual and literary achievement.”—Scott Rice, professor of English, San Jose State University and founder of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest



Author of over 100 other works, SIR EDWARD BULWER-LYTTON was a prolific writer and remains, even today, a well-recognized figure in 19th century British literature. DAVID SEED is a prominent British scholar of early science fiction. He holds a personal chair in American Literature at the University of Liverpool and is the author of American Science Fiction and the Cold War.






Sun, 5 Oct 2014 14:26:56 -0500