The Father of Science Fiction – Jules Verne

By | Feb 8, 2008

Science Fiction has been around nearly as long as man has been telling stories. But it really wasn’t until the “Age if Reason” and the “Industrial Revolution” that it spread it’s wings to fly. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein helped define the Science Fiction Novel and Edgar Allan Poe wrote a story about a flight to the moon. But it was Jules Verne who first created a body of work that would help shape the genre.

Jules Verne was born on the 8th of February in 1828 in the western France City of Nantes. Nantes was a harbor city and Verne developed an interest in travel and Exploration. He moved to Paris to study law and there he began writing librettos for operettas with Michel Carre. He was also writing travellers stories,

In the 1850’s Verne supported himself as a stockbroker, while also developing his writing talents. During that period he met Alexandre Dumas, père and Victor Hugo. They both offered writing advice.

It wasn’t until Verne met the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, that his writing career really took off. Verne had been working on a story about the balloon exploration of Africa. The story had been rejected by other publishers as being “too scientific”. Hetzel liked the idea, helped rewrite the story and published Five Weeks in a Balloon in 1863.

Many of Verne’s stories were published as biweekly chapters in Hetzel’s Magasin. Once all the chapters were printed there, they were be put together and published in book form, usually at the end of the year to be purchased as Christmas presents.

Verne’s Science Fiction in ways were prophetic. In his novel From the Earth to the Moon had three astronauts launched from Florida and returning to earth with a splash landing. His Nautilus showed like in a submarine, long before submarines were in use.


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