October 3, 2022

Published tomorrow by the MIT Press…

Rose Macaulay’s What Not (1918, with a new introduction by Matthew De Abaitua). “A satire of Britain after World War One, where mental improvement has its own powerful government department. A cross between Brave New World and Orwell’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ — all delivered with a sly wit and arch tongue.” — Philippa Levine, Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas, University of Texas at Austin.

More info on this title coming tomorrow! Below, please find an update on the series — which launched in March of this year.


Thus far, the RADIUM AGE series has published the following six titles.

  • Voices from the Radium Age, a collection of proto-sf stories by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, William Hope Hodgson, E.M. Forster, W.E.B. DuBois, and others, selected and introduced by Joshua Glenn. “For early SF buffs, this will be a substantial delight.” — Publishers Weekly | “If you’re looking for old-school adventure mixed with still trenchant social allegory this is a lineup full of winners.” — Toronto Star | “An entertaining survey of the sf of the first third of the twentieth century.” — BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) Review. See this book at MIT Press.
  • J.D. Beresford’s A World of Women (1913, with new introduction by Astra Taylor). “A World of Women speaks as urgently to the world today as to that of 100 years ago in its insistence that crisis must also be recognized as opportunity — to change our society, not to restore it.” — Sherryl Vint. “Even a century after its first appearance, A World of Women remains highly readable and still sadly pertinent.” — Michael Dirda, The Washington Post | “A genuinely interesting sf novel with what was, for the period, particularly original thinking.” — Popular Science | “Particularly relevant right now.” — David V. Barrett, Fortean Times | “MIT’s reprint should allow it a productive critical rediscovery.” — BSFA Review. See this book at MIT Press.
  • E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man (1923, with new introduction by Annalee Newitz). “Edwin Vincent Odle’s ominous, droll, and unforgettable The Clockwork Man is a missing link between Lewis Carroll and John Sladek or Philip K. Dick.” — Jonathan Lethem. “An excellent example of the promise of the Radium Age series, giving deserved attention to a hilarious and prescient work of science fiction that has almost been forgotten.” — Maximum Shelf | “The story of a time traveling cyborg who arrives in the 1920s, deconstructing gender roles along the way.” — Tor.com’s list of Can’t Miss Indie Press Speculative Fiction for May and June 2022 | “Features an introduction by io9 co-founder Annalee Newitz, which is worth the price of admission alone.” — Transfer Orbit | “A triumph of the past, preserved in this beautiful edition that is definitely worth taking a trip to rediscover.” — FanFiAddict. See this book at MIT Press.
  • H.G. Wells’s The World Set Free (1914, with new introduction by Sarah Cole & new afterword by Joshua Glenn). “After writing his pioneering scientific romances, H.G. Wells began a life-long project of writing utopian texts. This sustained and stubborn effort, over forty disastrous years, helped to shape a vision of a better world for those designing the postwar order. The World Set Free is a crucial, stand-out novel in Wells’s amazing effort, and it’s good to see it in a new edition.” — Kim Stanley Robinson. “A ground-breaking book in its description of all-out war.” — Popular Science | “Come for the atomic bomb prophecy, stay for the politics of a utopian dream.” — FanFiAddict. See this book at MIT Press.
  • Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood (1902–1903, with a new introduction by Minister Faust). “Of One Blood returns in this new edition, celebrating a seminal work of Black speculative fiction. Over a century since its original publication, Hopkins’s classic remains as relevant today as ever.” — P. Djèlí Clark. “A fantastic reminder of the long (generally overlooked, ignored, and under-celebrated) legacy of Black speculative fiction!” — Arley Sorg, coeditor-in-chief of Fantasy and Senior Editor of Locus | “Hopkins … transports readers to a technologically advanced, hidden city in Ethiopia that’s remained free of colonialist influences and oppression.” — Transfer Orbit. See this book at MIT Press.
  • J.J. Connington’s Nordenholt’s Million (1923, with a new introduction by Matthew Battles and a new afterword by Evan Hepler-Smith). “I can’t think of a more timely moment to reissue Nordenholt’s Million, a chilling prediction of eco-catastrophe and the authoritarian regimes that can and do arise during such periods of chaos.” — Douglas Rushkoff. “One to Watch” — May 23 issue of The Bookseller. | “I’ve been particularly looking forward to this installment of the [Radium Age] series.” — Transfer Orbit. See this book at MIT Press.


The RADIUM AGE series has received some nice coverage, thus far — including the following.

“A huge effort to help define a new era of science fiction. […] The series is designed to shed light on an under-appreciated era of the literature, one that’s largely been ignored or downplayed by genre scholars.” — Transfer Orbit | “An excellent start at showcasing the strange wonders offered by the Radium Age.” — Maximum Shelf | “Neglected classics of early 20th-century sci-fi in spiffily designed paperback editions.” — The Financial Times | “New editions of a host of under-discussed classics of the genre.” — Tor.com’s list of Can’t Miss Indie Press Speculative Fiction for May and June 2022 | “Long live the Radium Age.” — Scott Bradfield, Los Angeles Times | “Shows that ‘proto-sf’ was being published much more widely, alongside other kinds of fiction, in a world before it emerged as a genre and became ghettoised.” — BSFA Review.

Additional information about MITP’s RADIUM AGE series — including a sneak peek at what’s coming in 2023 — can be found here.

PS: The cover illustration and design for each book in the series is by the Canadian cartoonist Gregory Gallant, better known by his pseudonym Seth — who in June was named by France a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Congratulations, Seth!


In March, the MIT Press Reader published Josh’s essay “The Brilliant Vision of Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s ‘Sultana’s Dream'”.

Here at HILOBROW, Josh has published the following Radium Age-related essays and posts so far during 2022.

First trial flight of zeppelin — 1900

RADIUM AGE TIMELINE, a series of notes towards a comprehensive account of the Radium Age. The lineup so far: [1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903] | 1904 | 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923.

AI-assisted illustration by HILOBROW. Prompt: “Artificial intelligence 1900s”

RADIUM AGE AI surveys Radium Age-era depictions (in proto-sf stories and novels) of the pros and cons of artificial intelligence.


Here at HILOBROW, we’ve been serializing Radium Age proto-sf stories and novels for over ten years now. During 2022 (so far), we’ve serialized the following:

  • Booth Tarkington’s “The Veiled Feminists of Atlantis” (1926)
  • H.G. Wells’s “The Land Ironclads” (1903)
  • A. Merritt’s The Moon Pool (1919)
  • J.D. Beresford’s The Hampdenshire Wonder (1911)
  • Valery Bryusov’s “The Republic of the Southern Cross” (1907)
  • Algernon Blackwood’s “A Victim of Higher Space” (1908)
  • A. Merritt’s “The People of the Pit” (1918)
  • Julian Huxley’s “The Tissue-Culture King” (1926)
  • Max Brand’s The Untamed (1919)
  • More serializations to come, including (during 4Q2022) the following:

  • Clare Winger Harris’s “A Runaway World” (1926).
  • ***

    MORE RADIUM AGE SCI FI ON HILOBROW: HiLoBooks homepage! | What is Radium Age science fiction? |Radium Age 100: 100 Best Science Fiction Novels from 1904–33 | Radium Age Supermen | Radium Age Robots | Radium Age Apocalypses | Radium Age Telepaths | Radium Age Eco-Catastrophes | Radium Age Cover Art (1) | SF’s Best Year Ever: 1912 | Radium Age Science Fiction Poetry | Enter Highbrowism | Bathybius! Primordial ooze in Radium Age sf | War and Peace Games (H.G. Wells’s training manuals for supermen) | Radium Age: Context series | J.D. Beresford | Algernon Blackwood | Edgar Rice Burroughs | Karel Čapek | Buster Crabbe | August Derleth | Arthur Conan Doyle | Hugo Gernsback | Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Cicely Hamilton | Hermann Hesse | William Hope Hodgson | Aldous Huxley | Inez Haynes Irwin | Alfred Jarry | Jack Kirby (Radium Age sf’s influence on) | Murray Leinster | Gustave Le Rouge | Gaston Leroux | David Lindsay | Jack London | H.P. Lovecraft | A. Merritt | Maureen O’Sullivan | Sax Rohmer | Paul Scheerbart | Upton Sinclair | Clark Ashton Smith | E.E. “Doc” Smith | Olaf Stapledon | John Taine | H.G. Wells | Jack Williamson | Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz | S. Fowler Wright | Philip Gordon Wylie | Yevgeny Zamyatin


    Radium Age SF