Saturday, 3 September 2016


Published in the last decades of the nineteenth century and arguably the first dedicated periodical dedicated to science-fiction, the Franke Reade Library was quite a visionary—although that vision included Manifest Destiny, the white man’s burden and second-wave colonialism as well as the untapped potential of electricity—exploit in circulation in the five-and-dimes of New York and abroad.
Writing under the pseudonym Noname (which made me think of how the wily Odysseus called himself Nobody, Οὖτις, as a nom de guerre whilst combatting the Cyclopes and how Nemo is the Latin equivalent of the pen-name), the young Cuban-American Luis Senarens was certainly the first modern prolific writer in the genre, authoring hundreds of stories in this series and in others, later becoming the editor of a detective story and true-crime magazine. The comparison of Senarens’ work to that of Jules Verne (Captain Nemo) is and the two corresponded over their careers—taking elements of the other’s feats of engineering.