Did Virginia Woolf write science fiction? Not really
|Photo from Wikimedia|
There were the usual big names, such as Mary Shelley, and some unfamiliar names, but there was one familiar name that surprised me: Virginia Woolf. The post claimed that Woolf, under the name E.V. Odle, had written several science fiction novels.
I had never heard of Odle or that Woolf had written science fiction (unless you count Orlando, which is more of a meditation on sexuality and/or gender, or a fantasy at best since no scientific or even alchemical explanation is given for Orlando's sex change). So I did a quick Web search.
Well, there was a reason for my ignorance: it's not true. As Annalee Newitz put it on the io9.com blog, "Sometimes you come across a satire that sounds so plausible that you wish you lived in an alternative universe where it were true. Such is the case with this article from Check Your Facts about Virginia Woolf's pulp career writing under the pen name EV Odle to make money."
(Michael Walsh provided additional citations -- here and here -- in a comment on BuzzFeed.)
|Cover image from HiLoBooks|
(Interestingly, Woolf was a science fiction fan, having corresponded with one of my favorite neglected science fiction authors Olaf Stapledon, best-known for Odd John, Sirius, Last and First Men and Star Maker.)
Was Dickens aware that this was a hoax, or was she simply too willing to be taken in by a hoaxer? Either way, it's a good reminder to not believe everything you read on the Web.