Talk:Hugo Gernsback

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Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Assessment

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Yamara 05:36, 26 May 2007 (UTC)


Re: Ralph 124C 41 actually meant "One to foresee." More info on Hugo is available at [1]

If you read it aloud, that's One To Fore-See For One! --Orange Mike 03:57, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Radio Craft[edit]

This magazine was very influential in the 1930s. Someone knowledgable about it needs to add information about it to the article. Rlquall 13:08, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Hugo Awards[edit]

why isn't there any reference to the famous Hugo Award that was named to honor him?-- 19:07, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

There is, and has been for some time. I have put a brief reference to it in the lead paragraph, though. --Orange Mike 22:30, 29 July 2007 (UTC)


You know, in other places I have seen references to "Hugo and Sydney" Gernsback, describing "their" publishing empire. Siblings? Spouses? What's the story here? --Lquilter (talk) 15:36, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


probably some mention should be made of the fact that gernsback was the first man to provide a theoretical description of radar................ -Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:30, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Science and Mechanics[edit]

According to Science and Mechanics / Everyday Science and Mechanics

One of Hugo Gernsback's "return" titles, created after his forced bankruptcy, it was first published in 1929 as EVERYDAY MECHANICS. The name was changed to EVERYDAY SCIENCE AND MECHANICS in 1931. The magazine was sold to Virgil Angerman, and the name shortened to SCIENCE AND MECHANICS, in early 1937. The magazine was sold to Curtis Publishing in 1954, and by them to Davis Publications in 1959. It survived into the 1980's as a quarterly and bi-monthly, with its last issue coming out in 1984. -Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Other References ??[edit]

Is it worth mentioning references to him by other authors ??
William Gibson wrote the Gernsback Continuum, as reference to him - for instance. (talk) 00:00, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Every major figure in SF has this kind of shout-out in later writers' fiction: spaceships named Robert Heinlein, that sort of thing. Anything not real-world (i.e., a lunar crater named after him) is probably too trivial to mention. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:21, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Television enthusiast[edit]

There need to be few lines on his visionary promotion of early television. See for example "The Last Lone Inventor" by Evan Schwartz which details the effects of Gernsback's radio and television technical magazines on Philo T. Farnsworth and his development of electronic television. -Preceding unsigned comment added by Ben Argon (talk o contribs) 17:00, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Sex rears its ugly head[edit]

What about Gernsback's interest in "electro-ejaculation"? This is not a joke. I remember reading about it many years ago. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 15:57, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Started Science Fiction[edit]

This article says he 'Started modern science fiction'. What does that mean? What's "modern" science fiction, and why is it distinct from people like Wells, Verne and Shelly who were previously doing science fiction? Even the term 'science fiction' appears to be in previous use to Gernsback? Why does starting a magazine mean you started the genre, and novels written in the genre that predate the magazine don't count as science fiction, or don't count as 'modern' science fiction?

I can't see any solid ground for this claim? Science fiction existed before Gernsback started his magazine. Metacosm (talk) 10:44, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Gernsback was the first to create a magazine which explicitly identified science fiction or "scientifiction" as a genre distinct from other genres of popular fiction. Even his competitors and deprecators conceded that he had articulated the existence of a sub-set of literature with (roughly) identifiable boundaries, and identified prior works which fell into that genre. The closest thing to that concept previously was the somewhat inchoate concept of "scientific romance"; Gernsback crystallized the saturated solution, and identified the resulting thing with a name. After Gernsback, whether you loved SF or hated it or despised what you mistakenly thought it was, you were talking about something specific as a genre. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:44, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps changing it to 'defined the genre of modern science fiction' would be more accurate? Undisputedloser (talk) 21:19, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
The evidence laid out here shows only that Gernsback coined a term and created a platform for something people were already doing. He didn't start or create it, anymore than his radio magazines mean he 'started radio'. I'm also unsure that the term 'scientific romance' is any more 'incohate', than 'science fiction', as you can still start a good barfight by trying to define what science fiction is. Any definition will tend to leave some works out, and other people will have other definitions that are just as valid. Whatever Gernsback's competitors or deprecators thought is irrelevant (appeal to authority). The claim 'Gernsback crystallized the saturated solution, and identified the resulting thing with a name' just tells us he slapped a name on something that was already happening. How did he 'crystallize' it? I'm sure he only published works that he thought fitted a particular mold, but you can say that of any editor, that's just editorial taste, it's not 'crystallizing' anything. Others coming after him would have struck out in other directions. When we say that he created a new concept: 'something specific as a genre', well what were people talking about when they said 'scientific romance'? They were surely speaking about a specific genre that could be distinguished from other genres. By using the term at all they were making the distinction. How does a work of "scientific romance" differ from a work of "science fiction" (bearing in mind that the word 'romance' here pretty much means 'fiction' in this usage, it doesn't mean a bodice-ripper with spaceships)? If someone goes from saying "I don't like scientific romances" to saying "I don't like science fiction", what has changed about what they're saying? Gernsback's definition appears to be "By 'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive. They supply knowledge... in a very palatable form..", so by this definition 'Star Wars' is not science-fiction (no scientific fact or prophetic vision or knowledge supplied. Personally I'd agree with Gernsback, but others would not). He also uses the term 'romance', effectively defining science fiction in terms of 'romances with science in'. His definition points to pre-existing works (Wells, Verne, Poe), so the thing must already exist for him to do this. Indeed, I cannot see what he's really adding by saying this, he's essentially said "By science fiction I mean scientific romances of the type written by Wells and Verne" (Poe is a bit of a surprise here). There continues to be no evidence for the claim that Gernsback "started science fiction": We can say he coined the term, and that he started the entire genre of the science-fiction magazine, but the claim he started the genre is demonstrably false. Even if we give him the accolade of identifying the genre as a distinct form (and that seems pretty questionable) identifying a thing is not starting it. Metacosm (talk) 16:17, 11 June 2015 (UTC)