New World, Called The Blazing-World
The Blazing World is a fanciful depiction of a satirical, utopian kingdom in another world that can be reached via the North Pole. It is “the only known work of utopian fiction by a woman in the 17th century, as well as an example of what we now call ‘proto-science fiction’ — although it is also a romance, an adventure story, and even autobiography.”
In the story a young woman enters this other world, becomes the empress of a society composed of various species of talking animals, and organises an invasion back into her world complete with submarines towed by the “fish men” and the dropping of “fire stones” by the “bird men” to confound the enemies of her homeland, the Kingdom of Esfi. The work was published as a companion piece to Cavendish’s Observations upon Experimental Philosophy and functioned as an imaginative component to what was otherwise a reasoned endeavour in 17th-century science.