The World Beyond the Hill

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The World Beyond the Hill: Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence
cover of The World Beyond the Hill
Author Alexei Panshin and Cory Panshin
Country United States
Language English
Genre Literary criticism
Publisher Jeremy P. Tarcher
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 685 pp
ISBN 0-87477-436-5

The World Beyond the Hill: Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence (1989) is a book about the history of science fiction, written by Alexei Panshin and Cory Panshin. It took them about ten years to research and write, though they had made earlier attempts at writing a book on the genre.[1]

It was first published in hardcover by Jeremy P. Tarcher in August 1989 in a limited signed and numbered edition of 500 copies; a broader hardcover edition for general release and a trade paperback edition followed from the same publisher in the same year. An ebook edition was issued by in December 2002, and a new hardcover edition by Phoenix Pick in April 2010.[2]


The book looks at the evolution of science fiction from Horace Walpole's 1764 fantasy, The Castle of Otranto to modern science fiction writers through the middle of the twentieth century.[3]


  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. The Mystery of Science Fiction
  • Part One. Before Science Fiction
    • Chapter 2. A Mythic Fall
    • Chapter 3. The New Prometheus
    • Chapter 4. Into the Unknown
  • Part Two. Science Fiction Emerges
    • Chapter 5. The Higher Powers of Science
    • Chapter 6. A Universe Grown Alien
    • Chapter 7. The Relativity of Man
    • Chapter 8. The Death of the Soul
    • Chapter 9. Evolution or Extinction
  • Part Three. Modern Science Fiction
    • Chapter 10. Mastery of Time and Space
    • Chapter 11. The Laws of Chance
    • Chapter 12. Universal Principles of Operation
    • Chapter 13. Shifting Relationships
    • Chapter 14. A World of Change
    • Chapter 15. Consciousness and Reality
    • Chapter 16. A New Moral Order
    • Chapter 17. An Empire of Mind
    • Chapter 18. Man Transcending
  • Afterword
  • References and Notes
  • Index


The book was received wide critical acclaim and won the 1990 Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book.[1]


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