Friday, February 8, 2013

Jules Verne's 185th Birth Anniversary

Photograph of Jules Verne by Felix Nadar
Photograph of Jules Verne by Félix Nadar
 - public domain, Wikimedia Commons

“How many things have been denied one day, only to become realities the next!”  ~ Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon

Often referred to as the "Father of Science Fiction", Jules Verne was a remarkably prescient prognosticator of future technology. Many know him as the author of works such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in 80 Days, and A Journey to the Center of the Earth among others; but he also described such inventions as the submarine, fax machines, and even the Taser. My own love of science fiction, like many others, was awakened when I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as a child. This led to reading more books by Verne as well as other authors, notably Arthur C. Clarke, who was also another accurate technology forecaster. And today, Steampunk as a genre wouldn't exist without Verne's imaginings!

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