Mistress of a New World: Early Science Fiction in Europe’s “Age of Discovery”

Considered by many one of the founding texts of the science fiction genre, The Blazing World — via a dizzy mix of animal-human hybrids, Immaterial Spirits, and burning foes — tells of a woman’s absolute rule as Empress over a parallel planet. Emily Lord Fransee reflects on what the book and its author Margaret Cavendish (one of the first women to publish using her own name) can teach us about empire, gender, and imagination in the seventeenth century. …more