The Coming Race

The Coming Race

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by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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The story of a fascinating underground world of winged beingsSee more details below


The story of a fascinating underground world of winged beings

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“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

“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

Publishers Weekly
Edward Bulwer-Lytton's seminal 1871 SF novel, The Coming Race, edited with an introduction by British scholar David Seed, recounts the adventures of an Englishman in an underground world inhabited by a race of advanced beings. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Christine Ferguson University of Glasgow
"Peter Sinnema's excellent new edition of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's The Coming Race restores to prominence a lost classic of Victorian science fiction, one whose contemporaries ranked it alongside Thomas More's Utopia and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. The edition's masterful introduction and rich set of accompanying appendices set the novel within a remarkably diverse range of Victorian social, scientific, and political contexts, including those of first-wave feminism, Darwinism, electro-magnetic theory, and early science and adventure fiction. Particularly useful is the introduction's discussion of the fascinating genre of hollow earth fiction, one whose scholarly rediscovery this new edition is sure to precipitate. All in all, The Coming Race is a wonderful addition to the Broadview series which will be of interest to a wide range of scholars, students, and general aficionados of Utopian fiction."
Bruce Clarke Texas Tech University
"Addressing a wide spectrum of Victorian cultural and intellectual contexts, Sinnema's edition presents an especially sophisticated, rich, and current introduction to the allegorical complexities and literary impact of, and critical debates over, Bulwer-Lytton's seminal science-fiction classic. With a well-annotated text and judicious and efficient selection of period documents, ranging from the physics of Faraday and Maxwell and the evolutionary thought of Darwin and Huxley to the sexual politics of Ruskin and Mill, this Broadview edition nicely equips the contemporary student or general reader of The Coming Race for critical comprehension."

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Product Details

Wesleyan University Press
Publication date:
Early Classics of Science Fiction
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Toby Widdicombe
“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.”
Scott Rice
“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.”

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