The first science fiction con was held in 1891 at the Royal Albert Hall

Originally published at:


I hope this material has been digitally preserved.

Neato. It looks like cosplay was an aspect of SF conventions right from the start.

Now we know how many nerds it takes to fill the Albert Hall.


That title took a turn. I was expecting, “The first science fiction con was…” to be followed by “Scientology.” Or something I’d never heard of that predates Scientology.

But this is cool too.


SCHOOL OF MASSAGE AND ELECTRICITY!!! I’ve got my next band name.

Bulwer-Lytton is famous mostly for bad writing, but based on Vril he was nowhere near as bad as some volume-oriented current sci-fi authors whose books routinely sell well and get nice quotes. I can certainly see the connection between his racial theorizing and later Nazis, but let’s be clear: sci-fi is still full of that kind of stuff. Neal Stephenson is a particularly uncomfortable example.


I think at the time, the term used was scientific romance.
Which has a certain ring to it.

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