The hero of this tale of scientific wonder is called "A Columbus of Space" because he is the first to take advantage fo the power of "inter-atomic energy," which enables him to navigate the Ocean of Ether and sail to the shores of another world than ours. He constructs a curious spool-shaped machine and "sets sail" into space, arriving with his companions on the planet Venus.
I was surprised by his exhibition of astronomic lore, for I had never known that he had given any attention to the subject, but a minute later the incident was forgotten as Edmund suddenly pushed us back from the window and closed the shutter.
"Going down again so soon?" asked Jack.
Edmund smiled. "Going," he said simply, and put his hand to one of the knobs. Immediately we felt ourselves moving very slowly.
"That's right, Edmund," put in Jack again, "let us down easy; I don't like bumps."
We expected at each instant to feel the car touch the cradle in which it had evidently rested, but never were three mortals so mistaken. What really did happen can better be described in the words of Will Church, who, you will remember, had disappeared at the beginning of our singular adventure. I got the account from him long afterwards. He had written it out carefully and put it away in a safe, as a sort of historic document. Here is Church's narrative, omitting the introduc
(1909) Sci-fi / 19th century space travel
This is first story ever written about an atomic powered space craft. Intrepid explorers from Earth journey to the planet Venus, which always has one side facing the Sun. The night side is a frozen polar wasteland inhabited by Neanderthal like hominids, while the light side has an advanced, Greco-Roman classical type civilisation. A good science fiction adventure, still readble today.