Friday, September 5, 2008

Hugo Gernsback and The Scientific Adventures of Baron Münchhausen

While Hugo Gernsback has often been called the
“father of science fiction” for founding Amazing Stories magazine in 1926 and was recognized for his important contributions to the field with the establishment of the Hugo Award in 1953, he is less well known for writing Baron Münchhausen’s New Scientific Adventures.

A series of thirteen pieces of short fiction, the Baron's scientific adventures were published first in Gernsback's The Electrical Experimenter from 1915 to 1917, later in his Amazing Stories from February to July 1928, and more recently in The Scientific Adventures of Baron Munchausen, edited by Robert Godwin (2006).

Here’s a description of the Baron's adventures: “An episodic story sequence that combines rather puerile humor, passages of popular astronomy, technological speculation, and fanciful extrapolations about conditions elsewhere in the solar system." And here are the nine episodes that pertain to Mars:

#5 “Münchhausen Departs for the Planet Mars

#6 “Muenchhausen Lands on Mars

#7 “Munchhausen is Taught Martian

#8 “Thought Transmission on Mars

#9 “The Cities of Mars

#10 “The Planets at Close Range

#11 “Martian Amusements

#12 “How the Martian Canals Are Built

#13 “Martian Atmospheric Plants

You can read descriptions of these episodes in 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, by Everett F. Bleiler and Richard Bleiler (1990).

Note the variant spellings of the Baron's last name.

Pictured above: The Electrical Experimenter, May 1915, depicting Baron Munchhausen on the Moon.

1 comment:

lartronics said...

I’ve recently published a new 900-page biography about the life and times of Hugo Gernsback. It is available on Amazon. Just follow this link:

The manuscript was found while I was in the process of closing down Gernsback Publications Inc. in 2003. It was apparently written some time in the 1950’s. It covers all the areas that Hugo found interesting: wireless communications, science fiction, publishing, patents, foretelling the future, and much more.

Want more info? Contact me at