As a fan of science fiction, it is always so interesting to think about the origins of the genre itself. Science fiction is a bit of a weird genre. It requires an imaginative look at science, so we tend to think of the genre as being quite new, but it goes back farther than you probably think.
As a book reviewer and a lifelong fan of science fiction comic books and novels, Jody Royer is now switching roles from consumer to creator by writing his own Sci-Fi short stories. Today he discussed the oldest science fiction story ever written.
Many people attribute the origins of the genre to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or the works of H.G. Wells – and it is absolutely true that these people were pioneers of the genre as we know it today. However, there is a story much older that can be considered the first story of the genre.
The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz by Johann Valentin Andreae was published in Germany all the way back in 1616. The story is a bit different from how we think about science fiction today. As opposed to being based on ‘science’, the story is based on alchemy. Before we had chemistry, people thought there was a way to change base metals into either gold or a substance that could cure all diseases. Before the scientific method was widely used, alchemy was as close to science as you could get.
The story takes place 150 years before it was written and follows the main character as he is invited to a royal wedding.