Adam Roberts again:

I argue that how we configure the birth of the genre [of science fiction] has consequences for how we read the mode today. If we say SF begins with Frankenstein then we are saying that it is, at root, a Gothic mode, and that one of its shaping myths is the scientific advance and the unintended consequences thereof, ‘hubris clobbered by nemesis’ as Aldiss puts it. If we say: ‘SF begins at the end of the 19th-century and the beginning of the 20th’ then we’re saying SF is about modernity: industrialisation, technological acceleration and the deracinated nature of contemporary life.

By saying ‘SF begins with Kepler’ I am saying something with large consequences for how we read SF nowadays, for the way it figures — or so I believe. To be specific I am saying: SF is born out of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and its rise coincided with two other things themselves closely tangled-up with that social and cultural earthquake: the scientific revolution, and the rise of Capitalism.

I’ve read Adam’s book, and he makes this case powerfully. I like to think that it converges in interesting ways with an essay of mine on fantasy.