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The enormously popular Emilio Salgari , creator of a series featuring the Malayan pirate Sandokan , also published futuristic tales such as La meraviglie del duemila ["The Marvels of the Year "] , Duemila leghe sotto l'America ["20, Leagues Under America"] , Alla conquista della Luna ["The Conquest of the Moon"] , Il re dell'aria ["The King of the Air"] Futuristic and adventurous elements were also a staple feature of Enrico Novelli's fiction.
Novelli , who published under the pseudonym Yambo, was a journalist and illustrator, and author of a succession of novels for young people which enjoyed great success in his day. His main characters explored underwater worlds Due anni in velocipede ["Two Years by Velocipede"] ; Atlantide ["Atlantis"] see Under the Sea ; traveled to remote, imaginary countries Capitan Fanfara. The Moon is colonized in La colonia lunare ["The Lunar Colony"] ; more prosaically, his heroes are also quite happy, in La rivincita di Lissa ["The Retaking of Lissa"] , to reconquer for Italy the territories on Dalmatia's Adriatic coast which had been lost to the Austrian Empire in The Futurists' love of Machines , technological progress, and new means of Transportation in their narratives, might justify including them in a history of the genre, with novels such as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 's Mafarka le futuriste: Roman Africain ; trans Steve Cox and Carol Diethe as Mafarka the Futurist: An African Novel ; given this literary and artistic movement's later strong attachment to Mussolini's regime, its function in any genre history will almost certainly remain admonitory.
Fantasy, both in the Gothic form and in the sphere of the wonderful and the whimsical, appeals to the modern Italian reader much more than the cognitive rhetoric of Genre SF ; this is certainly why Giacinto Spagnoletti a well known scholar of Italian literature, labelled native sf "neo-fantastico". The tradition is a long one. The most vivid contributions were perhaps the extravagantly Gothic tales of Iginio Ugo Tarchetti , a selection from his scattered oeuvre appearing in English as Fantastic Tales coll trans Lawrence Venuti Much later, the "metaphysical" fiction of Massimo Bontempelli , whose Eva ultima ["The Ultimate Eve"] was inspired by De Chirico's painting; and, more recently, echoes of Scapigliatura can be detected in the hallucinatory world of Dino Buzzati 's short stories and his novel of military life in a forgotten fortress, Il deserto dei Tartari ; trans Stuart C Hood as The Tartar Steppe During the first decades of the Twentieth century sf narratives — not labelled as such, but clearly ascribable to the genre — appeared in Comic books: American heroes such as Flash Gordon were featured in magazines for children such as L'Avventuroso ["The Adventurer"], often "Italianized" to please the Fascist censorship.
Important examples of a national production include Saturno contro la Terra ["Saturn against the Earth"] , created by Cesare Zavattini future scriptwriter of many masterpieces directed by Vittorio De Sica, Michelangelo Antonioni, Elio Petri , and illustrated by Federico Pedrocchi , which was serialized in various Mondadori publications starting in the magazine I tre porcellini ["The Three Little Pigs"] and was translated in the US by Future Comics Many stories with early sf elements Robots , strange Scientists and their fantastic Inventions , Aliens , etc.
Critics identify the creation of "true" sf in Italy only from the period after World War Two. Much of this specialized sf was arguably not culturally Italian, being heavily influenced by the US-UK canon as enthusiastically presented by publishers, notably the Romanzi di Urania series published since by Arnoldo Mondadori under the editorship of Giorgio Monicelli. The reasons why, in spite of the presence of the above-mentioned Italian sf precursors, after the Second World War sf was perceive in Italy essentially as a foreign — Anglo-American — matter, are complex.
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In terms of industrial development, Italy was a late and slower starter compared to England and America. World War Two took a toll on the publishing industry, with a hiatus in the s, and only during the "economic miracle" of the s were most people first able to buy a comic book, a weekly magazine or a cinema ticket. Sf translations were also part of a broader cultural influence of the US, clearly connected to the central position of the US in the global economy as well as its political situation after the conflict.
In fact, some measure of American dominance in sf publications was common in many other European countries during the same years. In Italy, however, there were also specific cultural circumstances which worked against the success of sf. Italian literary criticism in the early twentieth century was dominated by the philosophy of Idealismo ["idealism"] as promulgated by Benedetto Croce , which tended to penalize narrative in general, saw popular genres as inferior forms of literature and undervalued the hard sciences and technology as second-class forms of knowledge.
At the other end of the scale, Marxist criticism was openly suspicious of a narrative form perceived as a consequence of American cultural colonization, not produced within the working classes, but produced for them in a top-down process, and with the ultimate aim of entertainment: in other words, an opium of the people. The very fact that the Italian word fantascienza was coined as a translation of the English term "science fiction" is emblematic.
Giorgio Monicelli , the inventor of the term, had been a self-taught translator from French and English since the s. An avid reader of the American pulp magazines that came from overseas, he created in the first Italian sf magazine, Urania , for the Mondadori publishing house in Milan, taking as his model Horace L Gold 's Galaxy. The publisher came up with the idea of launching a series of novels to be sold at news-stands alongside the magazine, to be called I Romanzi di Urania ["Urania's Novels"]. Fourteen issues of the original magazine Urania , with the subtitle "Avventure nell'universo e nel tempo" ["Adventures through Space and Time"] were published, between November and December , featuring short stories, serializations, articles and columns.
Articles and columns, in particular, showed an idea of science fiction close to other popular genres and imageries mysterious archaeology, curiosities, enigmas, philosophies and doctrines from the far East , while the models for the editorial formula and sources for works of fiction were the American Astounding and especially Galaxy : out of 78 stories published in Urania , 56 were translations from that journal.
One year after its first appearance, the magazine ceased. The closing down of the original Urania can be partly traced back to the distinction and sophistication of the selected fiction: while in the US sf readers came to Galaxy after reading other publications in the previous decades, Italian readers were approaching the genre for the first time.
Another reason was probably the major success of I Romanzi di Urania , with Monicelli editing both publications on his own — from the choice of texts to proof reading. In June the series left aside "I Romanzi di" from its title and became simply Urania. Thanks to the combination of inspired choices on the part of the editor and Mondadori's influence in terms of production and distribution, an international canon of sf and collective imagery arrived in Italy, and in the early s, published weekly or fortnightly, the series sold around , copies per issue.
While a few works were translated from French, only eleven of the first issues included complete novels by Italian authors. In , after an argument with Mondadori, Monicelli created the concurrent publication I Romanzi del Cosmo for the publisher Ponzoni in Milan, which adopted the same formula as I Romanzi di Urania : one complete novel in each issue, sold cheaply at news-stands.
Many Italian authors wrote adventurous sf under pseudonyms for the Romanzi di Cosmo series, and some of them were to become household names in the Italian sf market of the s, including authors like Roberta Rambelli and Ugo Malaguti The magazine — with its "Gernsbackian" formula see Hugo Gernsback combining technical articles on space flight technologies, sf and columns on futurology, rocket model building and UFOs — would remain in print until , but with increasing difficulties and irregularities in publication from the early s onwards.
In these years, events such as the launch of the first Sputnik October and the first manned space flight April stimulated interest in the new genre and leaded to the birth of many often short-lived publications.
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One exception worth mentioning is the birth of Galassia in , published by the small La Tribuna, in Piacenza. From the s there rose a group of writers who, while basically accepting the formulaic conventions of sf, began to emphasize the need for psychological insight, a "human" perception of the Alien and a somewhat sceptical moral probing into the triumphs of Technology.
Futuro featured short stories and novelettes mainly written by Italian authors here also using their real names , reviews and a series of interview with well-known Italian mainstream authors interested in fantastic genres or science — such as Libero Bigiaretti , Giovanni Comisso , Ennio Flaiano , Mario Soldati , and Elio Vittorini The aim was to propose a more highbrow version of sf, attempting to propound it as worthy of the attention of Italy's cultural elites.
Due mainly to distribution problems, the magazine ceased publication after only eight issues. Other Italian sf magazines notably Gamma in the mids and Robot in the mids were short-lived and had to rely heavily on US and UK material. Connected to the magazine Futuro was the collective Anthology Esperimenti con l'ingnoto ["Experiments with the Unknown"] anth ; along with other collections published during the s and the s, this represented the debut of sf in bookshops and the development of a national school, or at least an attempt to foster the visibility of Italian authors, e.
I labirinti del terzo pianeta ["The Mazes of the Third Planet"] anth edited by Cremaschi and Musa, Universo e dintorni ["Universe and about"] anth edited by Cremaschi, and Interplanet , the series of collective volumes edited by Sandro Sandrelli during the s.
It was — and is — sold only by mail without any distribution in bookshops or newsstands , as were all the later Anthologies published by Malaguti's Libra later on refounded as Perseo and later Elara : Slan , Classici and Saturno. Libra's anthologies exemplify the economic difficulties of Italian sf publications: a small publishing house is able to offer products clearly labelled as sf, and of high editorial quality, but only at the price of giving up traditional distribution.
Lino Aldani was also the author of the first monographic study of sf to be written in Italian: La fantascienza ["Science fiction"] , in which he defined sf as a genre able to "place the reader in a different relationship with reality" thanks to an estranged point of view on things, anticipating, to some exteni, Darko Suvin 's idea of cognitive estrangement see Definitions of SF.
Among Italian academic critics, the genre was still largely ignored, with very few exceptions. The refined critic and poet Sergio Solmi wrote an important essay in , analysing English sf as the "mythology of the atomic era", and pointing to the conventional nature of many sf themes and tropes, adopted, shared and developed by many authors. Umberto Eco dealt with sf in his famous essay collection Apocalittici e integrati ; part trans Robert Lumley et al as Apocalypse Postponed , categorically defining the genre as "para-literature", to be studied as a significant production of our age, but not with the same critical instruments to be used for "high literature".
A phenomenon worth mentioning is the gradual development from the early to mids of an Italian sf Fandom. A whole range of non-professional publications began to appear and to be exchanged at Conventions and festivals, including Futuria Fantasia ["Future Fantasy"] published by Luigi Cozzi who would go on to direct sf films , Aspidistra by Riccardo Leveghi, Nuovi Orizzonti ["New Horizons"] by Luigi Naviglio, and Micromega by Franco Fossati and Pierfrancesco Prosperi. A series of small informal conventions took place in Milan, Turin and Carrara, and in a Premio Fanzine ["Fanzine Award"] see Awards ; Fanzine was created for short stories, later renamed Premio Numeri Unici ["Unique Issues Award"] and diversified in different categories also for poetry, graphic work and essays.
On the big screen, after the claustrophobic protectionism that characterized the Fascism regime, the s saw the massive arrival, in Italy, of American productions, and the screening of all the great blockbusters of the period. Inspired by the French Comics character of the same name, there was also the playful Barbarella , directed by Roger Vadim and interpreted by Jane Fonda.
The debut as a director of Luigi Cozzi with Il Tunnel sotto il mondo ["The Tunnel under the World"] , inspired by Frederik Pohl 's story "The Tunnel under the World" January Galaxy , expressed a harsh criticism of consumerism and Advertising typical of the left-wing extra-parliamentary movements of these years, as also would other Italian sf movies between the end of the s and the s, such as Liliana Cavani's I cannibali ["The Cannibals"] On the small screen, the national public channel the only channel existent in the peninsula until aired the national production Gli eroi di carta — Dalla Terra alle Stelle ["Paper Heroes — From the Earth to the Stars"] , an adaptation of Jule Verne 's novel.
Il Marziano Filippo ["Philip, the Martian"] with the comic actor Oreste Lionello, inclined towards farce as much as towards sf. A few productions during the s appealed to a children and young audience, as Gli Eroi di carta already did: the miniseries Obiettivo Luna ["Target Moon"] , remake of the British Target Moon ; the adventurous I legionari dello spazio ["Space Troopers"] The principal American sf series arrived in Italy partially, disorderly and often many years after the original screening dates: s series and serials such as Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Flash Gordon were translated and aired only during the s; the original series of Star Trek was partially aired only in , and became established only after the success of the first movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture During the s, the specialized market lost many of the publications which had been sold at news-stands such as the above-mentioned Oltre il Cielo , Galassia , and others but saw the appearance of new Anthologies , now distributed in bookshops.
Interest in the sf genre was much stimulated at the close of the s by the success of American blockbusters in the cinema, such as Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind during the last years of the decade. The big names in the publishing market at this time were Nord, set up in in Milan by Gianfranco Viviani , and Fanucci, founded in in Rome by Renato Fanucci. The first anthology series published by Nord was Cosmo ["Cosmos"] anth , with the advice of Renato Prinzhofer for the choice of the first volumes, and later of one of the best-known sf experts, Riccardo Valla.
The collection consisted mainly of translations from English, and was immediately marked by the value of the critical notes: introductions, biographical and bibliographical notes on the authors, profiles, and so on. L'avamposto tra i ghiacci ["Oberon. Outpost over the Ice"] , Il giorno della sfida ["The Day of the Confront"] , Alessandro Vietti with Cyberworld and Il codice dell'invasore ["Invasor's Code"] , along with a few others. Along with the quality of biographies and bibliographies of the featured authors, de Turris and Fusco had a special interest in the fantastic genres sf, but also fantasy and heroic fantasy , worthy of serious critical attention and read as modern myths, to be interpreted as symbols, drawing on the work of Mircea Eliade and Julius Evola , and on a value system close to the political right of the Italian Social Movement.
In the year , it started a major initiative in sf with the first volume of Philip K Dick 's complete works, edited by Carlo Pagetti. It is our attention to detail and the richness of Italian experience that we offer, that makes our cycling tours also immensely absorbing for the many non-rider partners that join our small groups.
It is more than picture perfect. Rolling hills, free flowing descents and mesmerizing landscapes at every turn. And post ride, a different sort of magic plays out. The food and wine takes centre stage, the whole experience becomes an indulgent delight. Frankly, we specialize in Italian cycling tours because Italy is our love. The sheer joy of our personal discovery adventures when out riding, and developing routes that meander off the beaten track and into the heart of local communities, is something we feel compelled to share.
- Who Am I??
- The Nine Circles: Adventures across conflicting realities.
- Rock Solid.
- The Shattered Gates (The Rifter Book 1);
- Think Like A Firefighter.
Our reward is having guests express their delight at having experienced our tours, feeling they have been immersed in life as a local. Sharing a dinner table with our Italian families and friends in locations that you only dream about certainly has its rewards — the gift of the pure heart and soul of Italy.
follow link You must experience this ride to fully understand the joy and emotion felt by all……. From there, every experience was better than expected. One of the things that stands out is that I was riding, hoping Lydia non rider would be having a good enough time, while she was having a great time, feeling sorry for me missing out on the things she was doing. Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable week of cycling, touring, and eating.
You guys did a brilliant job scouting out great places to stay, eat and riding routes that achieved everything anyone could dream of.