Jules Verne

The same author who wrote the 1873 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea also wrote which of the following books?

Considering Around the World in Eighty Days, King Solomon's Mines, Treasure Island and Ivanhoe, the answer is: Around the World in Eighty Days.

Photo courtesy: public domain. 

French author Jules Verne laid the groundwork for modern science fiction. His adventure novels include Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and From the Earth to the Moon. With works translated into more than 140 languages, Verne is one of the world’s most translated authors.

Science fiction didn't appear out of the blue – Verne's greatest works make reference to classic myths and tales by which he is preceded by some several hundred years. For example, the Captain Nemo from Twenty Thousand Leagues is a direct reference to the Odyssey, as it is the name that Odysseus uses to conceal his identity from the cyclops. Additionally, Verne was quick to adapt the fantastical liminality of his predecessor Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in order to create fictional realities in which the possibilities of the future became pertinent, probable, and exciting. In this sense, science fiction both builds off of and manipulates stories that have persisted across fiction for centuries.

Verne completed ample scientific research for his novels, drawing from the science of the time period (and its methods) to help project a future he thought could resemble reality. Further, Verne used familiar problem-solving in the form of puzzles to ground his reader in reality before whisking them away to fantasy. Journey to the Center to the Earth is one of such novels, as the characters finally find their way to the center of the Earth by deciphering a cypher. Thanks to Verne, puzzles as the key to unlocking magical realities are now a widely used trope in the genre of science fiction.

What's most interesting, perhaps, is to consider the ways in which Verne's fantastical reality of the future eerily resembles the reality of the present. Machines that can transmit information across long distances, carriages that can pull without horse power, and ships that sail below the surface of the sea are just a few of the ideas that Verne imagined the future could bring. Sound familiar?

Check out this Britannica article to learn more about this highly influential science fiction author.



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