H. G. Wells was an English writer. Although he was prolific in many genres, he is best remembered for his work on sci-fi novels, for which he is often referred to as the father of science fiction. His 1901 novel The First Men in the Moon became so influential that a lunar impact crater is named after him.
Winsor McCay was an American animator and cartoonist. McCay is best remembered for creating the popular fictional character Little Nemo, who originated in a comic strip titled Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. Winsor McCay is credited with pioneering several animation techniques, such as inbetweening and cycling. An early animation pioneer, Winsor McCay’s work has influenced generations of illustrators and cartoonists.
Edogawa Ranpo was a Japanese author who played an important role in the progression of Japanese mystery fiction. Ranpo is credited with creating the popular fictional private detective Kogoro Akechi who appears in many of his novels. A number of Ranpo's works have been adapted into films and series. The 1999 film Gemini was inspired by one of Ranpo's stories.
Remembered as the first president of the Leland Stanford Junior University, now known as Stanford University, David Starr Jordan was a reputed ichthyologist. An anti-war activist, too, who opposed America’s participation in World War I, he spent his later years as the chief director of the World Peace Foundation.
American obstetrician/gynaecologist and professor Howard Atwood Kelly was among the four outstanding physicians, known as the Big Four, along with William Welch, William Halsted and William Osler, who became founding professors at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Kelly established gynaecology as a specialty, and developed a systematic approach to gynaecological medicine and surgery as well as new surgical techniques and devices.
Initially a herbalist’s apprentice, Simon Newcomb later deviated to mathematics and astronomy. Born to a schoolteacher, he had loved math since age 5 but wasn’t formally educated. He later joined Harvard University, taught math at the US Navy, detected locations of celestial bodies, and wrote a science-fiction novel, too.
Edwin Abbott Abbott was a theologian, schoolmaster, and Anglican priest. He is remembered for writing the 1884 novella Flatland. He served as the principal of the City of London School where he supervised the education of H.H. Asquith, who would go on to serve as the prime minister of the UK. Abbott is also credited with writing educational text books.
Austrian author, novelist, dramatist, translator, and banker, Gustav Meyer, who used the pseudonym Gustav Meyrink, is best-known for his novel The Golem. Gustav established his own bank but was eventually charged with fraud and jailed for two months. He depicted his jailhouse experiences in The Golem. A prolific translator, Gustav’s translation works include translating fifteen-volumes of Charles Dickens into German.
Born to a Scottish factor, mathematician Eric Temple Bell spent most of his life in the U.S. The Stanford alumnus contributed to the analytic number theory and also taught math at institutes such as Caltech. He also penned sci-fi novels such as The Time Stream as John Taine.
French writer Alphonse Allais, also a journalist and humorist, wrote many collections of whimsical writings. He is known for writing the earliest example of a completely silent musical composition. The small house where he was born was later turned into a museum named Alphonse Allais Museum. The Académie Alphonse-Allais has been awarding an annual prize in his honor since 1954.
Albert Robida was a French illustrator, lithographer, etcher, caricaturist, and novelist. The son of a carpenter, he initially trained to be a notary. However, he eventually chose to pursue a literary career. He wrote several futuristic novels and created over 500 illustrations for Pierre Giffard's weekly serial La Guerre Infernale. He also published the La Caricature magazine.
Antoni Lange was a Polish poet, writer, novelist, philosopher, reporter, science-writer, translator, and polyglot. A representative of Polish symbolism and Parnassianism, Lange was also an expert on French literature and Romanticism. A prolific translator, Antoni Lange translated the works of several international authors into Polish. Lange’s work is often compared to Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle and Stéphane Mallarmé.
Eugène Mouton was a 19th-century French writer who specialized in writing comic, adventure, and fantastical literature. He is considered an early proponent of what would become known as the science fiction genre. He had a successful career as a magistrate and later became a prosecutor. He helped establish one of the first mobile libraries in France.