Esperanto in early science fiction to 1930


Russian author. Born Smolensk, died Leningrad. His name is transliterated in various ways. Characterized by The Great Soviet Encyclopedia as a writer with humor, technological imagination, and "social acuity." As close to being a professional science- fiction writer as existed in premodern Russia. It is difficult to judge his work as a whole, since so much of it is propagandistic on a crude level, but in general his abilities would seem to be comparable to those of a second-rank American pulp writer. [p. 46]

156. THE STRUGGLE IN SPACE. RED DREAM. SOVIET- AMERICAN WAR. Arfor Publishers; Washington, D. C., 1965. Published as by Aleksandr Beliayev. Trans. from Russian with intro, by Albert Parry. Pref. by series ed. Frederick I. Ordway III. (Bovba v efire, 1918.)

Utopia and culture clash on a propagandistic level. Mostly around Moscow and Nizhni Novgorod, but episodes in Arabia, Antarctica, and New York City. * The date is not specified, but the twenty-first century is mentioned as in the past. * The nameless twentieth-century Muscovite narrator suddenly finds himself sitting in a garden chair in a surprising situation. Although the season should be winter, it is obviously spring-like, and the friendly people around him are dressed in various sorts of light tunics. The narrator observes that they speak a strange language (perhaps a development of Esperanto), and soon he realizes that he has been transported to the future. [p. 47, excerpt of entry]

BENSON, R[OBERT] H[UGH] (1871-1914)

British religious figure, writer. Brother of E. F. Benson. Educated at Eton, Cambridge. Ordained in Church of England, converted to Roman Catholicism in 1903. Private chamberlain to Pope Pius XI, 1911 on. Prolific writer of religious fiction, apologetics, sermons, popular journalism. Msgr. Benson’s supernatural fiction is covered in The Guide to Supernatural Fiction. [p. 55]

179. THE LORD OF THE WORLD. Pitman; London, 1907. +Dodd, Mead; New York, 1908.

Apocalyptic cautionary novel, religious in orientation and subject matter, science-fictional in vehicle and background. Obviously based on the medieval chain of prophecy and traditional notions about the Antichrist, it follows the chronology of the Prophecies of St. Malachy. I do not know whether Benson took the latter seriously, or whether they are simply a fictional device. * Precise dates are not given, but the story takes place in the early twenty- first century, in Great Britain, Rome, and Palestine. * Most of the world is now socialist, and there have been major boundary shifts. The America« are consolidated; Japan and China have merged, forming an Eastern Empire that includes Central Asia, Siberia, India, and Australia. The position of Europe is not completely clear, but it seems to be a loose confederation. * Religion is almost completely dead, except for Islam in Asia and Roman Catholicism in Europe and America. The national Church of England succumbed, as did the universities, during the communist and socialist events of the twentieth century. » Along with the decline of religion has arisen a callousness for human life. The government can euthanatize the sick, and suicide is legally permissible. * Technology has advanced. The cities are huge unit formations. Automotive traffic can reach one hundred and fifty miles per hour. Radio has been perfected. And there are flying machines (volors) that can fly rapidly or hover. Esperanto serves as an international language. [pp. 55-56, excerpt of entry]


American (New York) businessman, writer. The Business Bourse publishing house. Ed. The Business World, 1910 on. Author of books on stocks, investment, various aspects of business. Masters of Advertising Copy (1925) went through several editions. Also miscellaneous books, including How to Understand Women (1941). Now remembered for The Long Island Sea Food Cook Book (1939), an excellent collection of recipes. [p. 265]

817. THE PLANET JUGGLER. All-Story, November 1908. Nouvelle. * One of the very earliest space operas, setting many of the patterns of later work. * World peril and interstellar war. * Unspecified future, far enough away that Esperanto has become the world language. * A startling message reaches the earth: "Deliver to me five hundred million tons of gold, or else I will drop the earth into the sun." Conversation reveals that the threat-maker is a native of Canopus, and that he has learned Esperanto by monitoring earth for the past ten years. (It is also revealed later that gold is in short supply on Canopus, and that the entity needs it to build an interstellar empire. He plans to exterminate the lesser races of the universe.) * [p. 266, excerpt of entry]

GIESY, J[OHN] U[LRICH] (1877-1948)

American physiotherapist, contributor to the pulp magazines. Born Ohio. Attended Sterling Medical College. Died Utah. Enthusiast for Esperanto. Popular for series of Semi-Dual occult detective stories in the Munsey magazines. In the following descriptions strict chronological order has been abandoned in order to keep the stories in the Zapt series and those in the Palos series together. [p. 285]


Giesy is covered above. No information about Smith, except that he is said to have been a lawyer. Other of Giesy’s work has been translated into Esperanto. [p. 287]

889. IN 2112. Cavalier, 10 August 1912.
[See “In 2112” & “En 2112” (1912)]
[See also: “In 2112,” by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith, translated from Esperanto by Forrest J. Ackerman]

Short story. * The editors of Cavalier as well as the authors must have been Esperanto enthusiasts, for the English version of the story is followed by a translation into Esperanto by Elmer E. Haynes. * The narrator and the professor awaken after a two hundred year period of suspended animation. It is now 2112 A.D. Taking clothing from a hermetically sealed coffer, they venture out into the world, where they see moving sidewalks, women in Grecian costume, and other noteworthy sights. They meet an attractive young woman with whom they converse in Esperanto, since English seems to have been forgotten. * Among the characteristics of the future culture are preservation of sunlight in building walls, from which it can be released; a brain food that sharpens mentality; and a small radium pencil that the young lady carries for protection (against what?). The narrator is carried away by the charms of the young woman, and embracing her, exclaims "Mi amas vin — amas vin," at which time the professor is standing before him back in 1912. It was all a controlled dream. [p. 287]


German author, wrote dozens of books of geographical adventure, very often set in Latin America. Hanstein’s science-fiction novels, although often published in several editions in German, were known in English only in the translations published in Hugo Gernsback’s magazines. Also wrote several other untranslated science-fiction novels. Also wrote under the pseudonym O. Zehlen. Stories have been arranged in order of German publication. [p. 340]

1038. IN THE YEAR 8000. Wonder Stories, July- September 1932. Trans. from German by Konrad Schmidt and Laurence Manning. Ill. Frank R. Paul.
[Part 1: Wonder Stories, vol. 4, no. 2, July 1932, pp. 102-117.
 Part 2:                            vol. 4, no. 3, August 1932, pp. 260-277.
 Part 3:                            vol. 4, no. 4, September 1932, pp. 360-371.]

A German original has not been found. There does not seem to have been a book publication. * The sentimental stages of German Expressionism. * 8002 A.D. , the moon, Germany, and elsewhere. * Science has progressed enormously. The moon has been colonized, with deep mines yielding radium for the earth. There are thought-machines of various sorts, including one that transfers a journalist’s thoughts into a printed newspaper. Automation is omnipresent in daily life, and gigantic automated farms provide food for the peoples of the earth. * Mankind is divided severely on hostile racial lines: Blancos (whites in Europe, America, Australia), Flavos (yellows in Asia), and Nigros (blacks in Africa). Esperanto, however, is spoken by all. * The Blacks and Orientals are ruled by despotic dictator-emperors. The Blancos, who are scientifically more advanced, have a democratic government. For reasons of efficiency and for birth control, they also have a peculiar sexual system: Every young woman, on maturity, must decide whether she will become a producing mother or a knabino (worker). The knabinos, who have been rendered sexless, are almost masculine in strength and outlook. The producing mothers are concentrated in harems around male breeders. The selection of men, however, does not seem to be for eugenic reasons, for the professional fathers described are a low lot. * The focus of Blanco culture, what with the knabinos and technology, is hyperintellectual, with emphasis on scientism, but there is also an underground movement that urges a return to emotion and nature. [pp. 342-343, excerpt of entry]

SOURCE: Bleiler, Everet F. Science-fiction, the Early Years: a Full Description of More Than 3,000 Science-Fiction Stories from Earliest Times to the Appearance of the Genre Magazines in 1930, with the assistance of Richard J. Bleiler (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1990), pp. 46, 47, 55, 55-56, 265, 266, 285, 287, 340, 342-343.

Note: Boldface, additional bibliographic information & links added by RD. This reference work does not include science and speculative fiction written originally in Esperanto.

For more science fiction in the pulps, see:

The Cavalier: Covers & Contents

J. U. Giesy (John Ulrich, 1877-1948) & His Collaborators

The Planet Juggler
by J. George Frederick
[excerpt with links]

Esperanto in The Scrap Book, April - June 1907
(with 2 articles by D. O. S. Lowell)

In 2112” (1912) by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith

En 2112” (1912) by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith,
translated into Esperanto by Elmer E. Haynes, M.D.

In 2112,” by J. U. Giesy & J. B. Smith,
translated from Esperanto by Forrest J. Ackerman

Farewell to Esperanto
by Bob Davis, the Editor
(The Cavalier, 15 Feb 1913)

Esperanto—A Closed Incident
by the Editor [Bob Davis],
with images of the entire letter column
“Heart to Heart Talks”

Elmer E. Haynes & John A. Morris on J. U. Giesy et al in the pulps (1915)

Karinthy, Frigyes (1887-1938)
by Everet F. Bleiler

Lynch, [John Gilbert] Bohun (1884-1928): Menace from the Moon
by Everet F. Bleiler

J. U. Giesy (John Ulrich, 1877-1948) & His Collaborators

The Cavalier: Covers & Contents

Esperanto & Interlinguistics Study Guide / Retgvidilo pri Esperanto & Interlingvistiko

Philosophical and Universal Languages, 1600-1800, and Related Themes: Selected Bibliography

Sciencfikcio & Utopia Literaturo en Esperanto / Science Fiction & Utopian Literature in Esperanto:
Gvidilo / A Guide

Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress


Engine Stoppers by Martin Kottmeyer
(Magonia 90, November 2005)

J. U. Giesy @ Ĝirafo

Bibliography: In 2112
Internet Speculative Fiction Database

John Ulrich Giesy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Ulrich Giesy @ Project Gutenberg of Australia

Earliest story with Esperanto future

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