Romanian science fiction began in the 19th century and gained popularity in Romania during the second half of the 20th century. While a few Romanian science fiction writers were translated into English, none proved popular abroad.
The country's earliest science fiction story is Al. N. Dariu's Finis Romaniae (1873), an alternate history short story which presents the history of Romania after the sudden death of Carol I and a revolution against the new prince, which declares Romania a republic.
Alternate history or alternative history (AH), is a genre of speculative fiction consisting of stories in which one or more historical events occur differently. These stories usually contain "what if" scenarios at crucial points in history and present outcomes other than those in the historical record. The stories are conjectural but are sometimes based on fact. Alternate history has been seen as a subgenre of literary fiction, science fiction, or historical fiction; alternate history works may use tropes from any or all of these genres. Another term occasionally used for the genre is "allohistory".
Carol I, born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was the monarch of Romania from 1866 to 1914. He was elected Ruling Prince (Domnitor) of the Romanian United Principalities on 20 April 1866 after the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup d'état. In May 1877, he proclaimed Romania an independent and sovereign nation. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire (1878) in the Russo-Turkish War secured Romanian independence, and he was proclaimed King of Romania on 26 March [O.S. 14 March] 1881. He was the first ruler of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty, which ruled the country until the proclamation of a republic in 1947.
The following story was Spiritele anului 3000 , a utopia written two years later, in 1875, by a teenager under the pen name "Demetriu G. Ionnescu", who would later become the statesman Take Ionescu. The short story is set in the year 3000, when the earth is populated by humans of small stature who reach maturity by age 15. Politically, the monarchies have been abolished, with all the states being republics and part of a world confederation. Religion and wars have disappeared and Bucharest, a garden city, is the capital of a Romania within its natural (ethnic) borders, following a ruling from a Supreme Tribunal.
A Utopia is an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia. One could also say that utopia is a perfect "place" that has been designed so there are no problems.
Take or Tache Ionescu was a Romanian centrist politician, journalist, lawyer and diplomat, who also enjoyed reputation as a short story author. Starting his political career as a radical member of the National Liberal Party (PNL), he joined the Conservative Party in 1891, and became noted as a social conservative expressing support for several progressive and nationalist tenets. Ionescu is generally viewed as embodying the rise of middle-class politics inside the early 20th century Kingdom of Romania, and, throughout the period, promoted a project of Balkan alliances while calling for measures to incorporate the Romanian-inhabited Austro-Hungarian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Bukovina. Representing his own faction inside the Conservative Party, he clashed with the group's leadership in 1907–1908, and consequently created and led his own Conservative-Democratic Party.
}} World government or global government is the notion of a common political authority for all of humanity, yielding a global government and a single state that exercises authority over the entire Earth. Such a government could come into existence either through violent and compulsory world domination or through peaceful and voluntary supranational union.
In the early 1900s, Victor Anestin was a notable popularizer of science who, apart from writing hundreds of articles and books about science, wrote three science fiction novels: În anul 4000 sau O călătorie la Venus ("In the year 4000, or A trip to Venus", 1899), O tragedie cerească, Poveste astronomică ("A Celestial Tragedy, An Astronomical Story", 1914) and Puterea ştiinţei, sau Cum a fost omorât Răsboiul European, Poveste fantastică ("The Power of Science, or How the European War was Killed, Fantasy Story", 1916). A Celestial Tragedy had one of the earliest descriptions of the possibility of using atomic power for war purposes, being published in February 1914, the same year as H. G. Wells' The World Set Free .
Victor Anestin was a Romanian journalist, science popularizer, astronomer and science fiction writer.
Herbert George Wells was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.
The World Set Free is a novel written in 1913 and published in 1914 by H. G. Wells. The book is based on a prediction of a more destructive and uncontrollable sort of weapon than the world has yet seen. It had appeared first in serialised form with a different ending as A Prophetic Trilogy, consisting of three books: A Trap to Catch the Sun, The Last War in the World and The World Set Free.
In 1914, Henri Stahl published Un român în lună ("A Romanian on the Moon"), themed around the possibility of a moon landing.
Henri Joseph Stahl was a Romanian stenographer, graphologist, historian and fiction writer. Born to educated immigrant parents, he was a friend and disciple of Nicolae Iorga, doyen of modern Romanian historiography. Much of his work in the field resulted in a monographic and conservationist study of his native Bucharest, which was published by Iorga in 1910.
A Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned (robotic) missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission, on 13 September 1959.
After World War II, the new communist regime supported science fiction, using it as a means of popularizing science and of ideological indoctrination. A weekly science fiction magazine, Colecţia de povestiri ştiinţifico-fantastice was founded; this was an important factor in the promotion of science fiction in Romania.
The most popular writers of the era, I.M. Ştefan and Radu Nor, wrote sci-fi adventure novels which sometimes included a Marxist ideological bent.Adrian Rogoz, Sergiu Fărcăşan and Camillo Baciu were the most important science fiction writers of the era, while Vladimir Colin was the first major writer of fantasy.
Vladimir Colin was a Romanian short story writer and novelist. One of the most important fantasy and science fiction authors in Romanian literature, whose main works are known on several continents, he was also a noted poet, essayist, translator, journalist and comic book author. After he and his spouse of the time Nina Cassian rallied with the left-wing literary circle Orizont during the late 1940s, Colin started his career as a communist and socialist realist writer. During the early years of the Romanian Communist regime, he was assigned offices in the censorship and propaganda apparatus. His 1951 novel Soarele răsare în Deltă was an early representative of local socialist realist school, but earned Colin much criticism from the cultural establishment of the day, for what it perceived as ideological mistakes.
During the 1980s, the most notable publication of science fiction was the yearly Anticipaţia almanac, edited by Ioan Albescu. Many of the writers of the 1980s had scientific studies, which meant that their writings tended to be closer to hard science fiction. They were not very fruitful as during the 1980s, it was very difficult to get published and during the 1990s, they moved on to other fields. (For example, Cristian Tudor Popescu became a well-known journalist.)
After the Romanian Revolution, initially, the science fiction genre experienced a boom, as many translations which had not been accepted by the communist authorities were published. Notably, between 1992 and 2003, the Nemira publishing house turned out hundreds of translations and a few Romanian novels, among which Aşteptând în Ghermana by Dănuţ Ungureanu, the steampunk novel 2484 Quirinal Ave and the cyberpunk novel Cel mai înalt turn din Baabylon by Sebastian A. Corn.
Currently, there is a trend to focus more on fantasy rather than science fiction, with only a few publishing houses still publishing Romanian science fiction writers, among them being Amaltea and Tritonic.
The Forbidden Forest is a 1955 novel by the Romanian writer Mircea Eliade. The story takes place between 1936 and 1948 in Bucharest and several other European cities, and follows a Romanian man who is on a spiritual quest while being torn between two women. The book was written between the years 1949 and 1954. It contains several elements and themes which also appear in the author's scholarly work, such as initiation rites and the division between sacred and profane time.
Romanian literature is literature written by Romanian authors, although the term may also be used to refer to all literature written in the Romanian language.
Iuliu Barasch or Baraş (1815—1863) was a Galician-born Jewish physician and writer who made his career in Romania.
Ioan Mihai Cochinescu is a Romanian novelist and essayist. He is also a film script author and director, an art photographer, teacher, musicologist and composer.
Mircea Cărtărescu is a Romanian poet, novelist, literary critic and essayist.
Grigore Cugler was a Romanian avant-garde short story writer, poet and humorist. Also noted as a graphic artist, composer and violinist, he was a decorated World War I veteran who served as the Romanian Kingdom's diplomatic representative in various countries before and after World War II. The nephew of poet Matilda Cugler-Poni, he was the author of unconventional and often irreverentious pieces, which have drawn parallels with the work of Alfred Jarry and Urmuz. Their author was celebrated by some of his generation colleagues for his independent voice in Romanian literature.
Alexandru Ioan Odobescu was a Romanian author, archaeologist and politician.
Paul Georgescu was a Romanian literary critic, journalist, fiction writer and communist political figure. Remembered as both a main participant in the imposition of Socialist Realism in its Romanian form and a patron of dissenting modernist and postmodern literature, he began his career in politics during World War II, when he sided with the anti-fascist groups and the underground Romanian Communist Party in opposition to the Axis-aligned Ion Antonescu regime. During the first twenty years of Communist Romania, Georgescu assisted Leonte Răutu in exercising Stalinist control over local literature, but also published young nonconformist authors, beginning with Nichita Stănescu and Matei Călinescu, in his Gazeta Literară. Sidelined over his own incompatibility with the Socialist Realist dogma, and returning to public life during the 1960s liberalization enforced by Nicolae Ceauşescu, he became openly adverse to Ceauşescu's variety of national communism and clandestinely cultivated the prohibited ideology of Trotskyism.
Mărgărita Miller-Verghy was a Romanian socialite and author, also known as a schoolteacher, journalist, critic and translator. A cultural animator, she hosted a literary club of Germanophile tendencies during the early part of World War I, and was later involved with Adela Xenopol in setting up feminist cultural venues. Her main contributions to Romanian literature include translations from English literature, a history of feminine writing in the national context, a novella series and an influential work of detective fiction. Many of her other works have been described as mediocre and didactic.
Horia-Răzvan Gârbea or Gîrbea is a Romanian playwright, poet, essayist, novelist and critic, also known as an academic, engineer and journalist. Known for his work in experimental theater and his Postmodernist contributions to Romanian literature, he is a member of the Writers' Union of Romania (USR), its public relations executive and the head of its Bucharest chapter. Also recognized for his contribution to Romanian humor and his essays, he has published regularly in journals such as Contemporanul, Luceafărul, Ramuri and Săptămâna Financiară. His career in the media also covers screenwriting for Romanian television stations and the popularization of contract bridge. The author of several scientific works on engineering, Gârbea is also a faculty member at the University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.
Petru Comarnescu was a Romanian literary and art critic and translator.
Gelu Vlașin is a Romanian poet and essayist.
Radu Pavel Gheo is a Romanian fiction writer and essayist. Gheo is a member of PEN Club from Romania and of the Romanian Writers' Union.
Traian T. Coșovei was a Romanian poet. He was a member of the Writers' Union of Romania.
Bogdan Suceavă is a Romanian-born U.S. mathematician and writer.
Ion Agârbiceanu was an Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian writer, journalist, politician, theologian and Greek-Catholic priest. A native of Transylvania, he graduated from Budapest University, after which he was ordained. He was initially assigned to a parish in the Apuseni Mountains, which form the backdrop to much of his fiction. Before 1910, Agârbiceanu had achieved literary fame in both Transylvania and the Kingdom of Romania; his work was disputed between the rival schools of Sămănătorul and Poporanism.
Sarina Cassvan was a Romanian novelist and translator.
Ludovic Dauș was a Romanian novelist, playwright, poet and translator, also known for his contributions as a politician and theatrical manager. He was born into a cosmopolitan family, with a Czech father and a boyaress mother, but his formative years were marked by life in the small boroughs of Western Moldavia. Trained as a lawyer and employed for a while as a publisher, Dauș joined the body of experts at the Ministry of Royal Domains, climbing through the bureaucratic ranks. In parallel, he advanced his literary career: a noted dramatist, he was an unremarked poet and historical novelist prior to World War I. His translation work covered several languages, and includes Romanian versions of The Kreutzer Sonata, Madame Bovary, and Eugénie Grandet.