Go back to article: ‘Not one voice speaking to many’: E C Large, wireless, and science fiction fans in the mid-twentieth century

Abstract

In this paper, E C Large’s 1956 novel Dawn in Andromeda is examined, using literary analysis, as a work of public history of science. The novel recounts how God places a pioneer population on a new planet, challenging them to work from nothing to the creation of a ‘seven-valve all-wave superhet wireless’ in a single generation. On a general level, this article presents Dawn in Andromeda as a history of science firmly rooted in the human and material efforts of engineering. As such, it is shown to chime more particularly with the hopeful definitions of science explored by wireless enthusiasts and the first generation of science fiction fans in Britain during the 1930s. However, the optimism of the 1930s is not borne out by the novel; ultimately, Dawn in Andromeda satirises the wireless as a form of corrupted science that did not deliver what the fans had hoped for.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/170802/001