(? -? ) Ostensibly Hermann Lang (but note spelling of his given name), a German professor in the Polytechnic School at Karlsruhe, with attested publications in chemistry in the 1850s. However, there seems to have been no German edition of his sf novel, The Air Battle: A Vision of the Future (ostensibly trans 1859), and Lang is may be the pseudonym of a UK author. The novel presents in short compass a remarkable portrait of a world several millennia hence, long after European civilization has been destroyed by floods and earthquakes and other Disasters; the peace-loving black rulers of the country of Sahara dominate Africa, and in a final battle with other powers utilize their great heavier-than-air machines – the first sf use of such devices as Weapons – to establish a beneficial world-wide Pax Aeronautica, which may be first instance of the use of air power in this sense. Remarkably for a novel of this period, miscegenation is strongly approved of, and the white woman whose adventures the plot traces is destined to marry a black man. [JC]
see also: Future War; Race in SF.
Previous versions of this entry