One of the earliest science fantasy stories ever written, From the Earth to the Moon follows three wealthy members of a post-Civil War gun club who design and build an enormous columbiad -- and ride a spaceship fired from it all the way to the moon!
he ramparts." The president was sufficiently well known, however, for all to be assured that he would not put his colleagues to discomfort without some very strong motive.
Impey Barbicane was a man of forty years of age, calm, cold, austere; of a singularly serious and self-contained demeanor, punctual as a chronometer, of imperturbable temper and immovable character; by no means chivalrous, yet adventurous withal, and always bringing practical ideas to bear upon the very rashest enterprises; an essentially New Englander, a Northern colonist, a descendant of the old anti-Stuart Roundheads, and the implacable enemy of the gentlemen of the South, those ancient cavaliers of the mother country. In a word, he was a Yankee to the backbone.
Barbicane had made a large fortune as a timber merchant. Being nominated director of artillery during the war, he proved himself fertile in invention. Bold in his conceptions, he contributed powerfully to the progress of that arm and gave an immense impetus to exper
(1865) Sci-fi (Space voyage) / Adventure (Perils in space)
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I've had this on my PDA for about 5 years, but never got around to reading past the first chapter. I finally finished it last night, and it was a true delight to witness the scientific thought and insight that pervaded Jules Verne's imagination. There were vast descriptive passages that I flipped through, but the observations of these explorers were amazingly accurate for a 19th century writer.
It started a little slow, but once it gets going, it is very adventurous, and as mentioned, the characters are wonderful and play off one another in a very entertaining way. Up until they get to the moon, the scientific writing is wonderful. You can really see why this book was so inspirational. A great book with a great ending. I am very glad I read it.
Jules Verne's vision of space travel is recounted in two works, "From the Earth to the Moon", and his sequel "Around the Moon". Happily, the e-book available here includes both. (The sequel is available as a separate download, but does not seem as complete a translation as this double-version, which I also recommend for the better translation of humor.)
Verne shows great imagination and precise scientific principles of his day--it's spooky to read the calculations and physics that are amazingly similar to the Apollo moon missions, and also entertaining to see his imaginative yet inaccurate bits (vegetation and water on the far side of the moon?)! The first book deals with engineering an enormous cannon to shoot a space capsule to the moon, and the second part chronicles the journey. Some of the scientific description may be dry for some readers, but humorous and endearing characters are well-developed throughout. Thank you, Jules Verne!