Happy 183rd Birthday Jules Verne

Today, February 8, is the 183rd birthday of Jules Verne, and there is more than enough reason for us to celebrate it. (As those of you doing internet searches today may have noticed, Google certainly has.)

As many of you are no doubt aware, Verne is one of the most important figures in the history of science fiction, having been one of the pioneers responsible for the development of the genre in the 19th century. And while Verne was not the only writer of his time who explored the boundaries of science and imagination through fiction (Edgar Allen Poe and Mary Shelley both dabbled in it during the first half of the century), Verne was undoubtedly the most prolific, eventually accruing a bibliography that spans nearly 50 years. And, as the cornerstone author of 19th century science fiction, Verne is also rightly cited as one of the key figures in the early history of steampunk, long before the genre had been given its current name. Verne’s work truly was “science” fiction, synthesizing the technological creations of his age and imagining (often with remarkable accuracy) the developments of the future.

Thanks to the wonders of modern digital technology, Verne’s works are available online at sites like Project Gutenberg; and similarly, bookstores and libraries are filled with wonderful printed editions of these same stories. I highly recommend that you go out and enjoy the creations of this great sci-fi master in celebration of his 183rd birthday.

Jules Verne

G.D. Falksen, like all sci-fi authors, owes Verne a great debt. And what’s more, he enjoys reading the fellow’s work.


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