Frankenstein in hyperspace

the Gothic return of digital technologies to the origins of virtual space in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The virtual, hypertextual spaces of twenty-first-century interactive digital media are commonly considered to be uniquely modern phenomena. Adaptations of classic texts into this format are therefore seen as radical departures from the original texts and the experience of reading them. This chapter proposes, however, that the adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein into the new form of the interactive ‘digital book’ paradoxically marks a return to its central—yet often overlooked—concerns with higher-dimensional (hyper-)space, which Shelley explored both thematically and formally, and which were also involved in nineteenth-century approaches to reading. As well as examining these early forms of virtual space, this chapter proposes that the ‘digital book’ is itself an inherently gothic form that reveals the uncanny potential of new media in the twenty-first century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Frankenstein
EditorsCarol Davison, Marie Mulvey-Roberts
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319781426
ISBN (Print)9783319781419
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameStudies in Global Science Fiction
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


  • science fiction
  • Gothic fiction
  • gothic
  • digital technology
  • virtual space
  • virtual reality
  • nineteenth century
  • Romanticism--England
  • narrative theory
  • literary adaptation
  • literary criticism
  • literary studies
  • literary history
  • ghosts
  • Fantasy fiction--History and criticism

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