Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

On This Day: Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll, born this day in 1832, is perhaps not the first person one would think of when it comes to classic SFF but Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s pseudonymous novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1971), with their fantastic and whimsical mix of mathematical logic and lyrical nonsense, are beloved childhood classics that have left their mark on many a science fiction writer.

From Stephen Donaldson’s Mordant’s Need (1987), in which mirrors are used to “translate” people and things between locations and realities, and The Wonderland Gambit Trilogy by Jack C. Chalker, which plays heavily on both the characters and themes from Carroll’s novels, to Robert A. Heinlein’s The Number of the Beast (1980) and Philip José Farmer’s Riverworld series, which both feature Lewis Carroll himself as a character, echoes of Alice can be seen everywhere in genre fiction – and these are but a few examples! Brian Aldiss, in Penguin Science Fiction (1961), even argues that “SF owes a greater debt to Lewis Carroll than to H.G. Wells”.

Mad Hatter's Tea Party by John Tenniel