Unsung Heros and Visionaries - Jules Verne
Jules Verne's novels have been noted for being startlingly accurate anticipations of modern times.Paris in the 20th Century is an often cited example of this as it arguably describes air conditioning, automobiles, electricity, television, even the Internet, and other modern conveniences verysimilar to their real world counterparts.
Another example is From the Earth to the Moon, which, apart from using a space gun instead of a rocket, is uncannily similar to the real Apollo Program, as threeastronauts are launched from the Florida peninsula and recovered through a splash landing. In the book, the spacecraft is launched from "Tampa Town"; Tampa, Florida is approximately 130 miles fromNASA's actual launching site at Cape Canaveral.
In other works, Verne predicted the inventions of helicopters, jukeboxes, and other later devices.
He also predicted the existence of underwaterhydrothermal vents that were not discovered until years after he wrote about them.
Jules Verne’s Voyages Extraordinaires, the vast corpus of novels written over a forty-two year period from1863 to 1905, are quintessentially a document about a changing world and the new possibilities—social, scientific, or political—opened up by progress.1 As travel and technology move to center stageand become in every sense a “motive force” in the storytelling process, Jules Verne lengthily records the nineteenth century’s fascination with the machine and its miraculous power to shrink the globe,enable communication, facilitate construction, or, in some cases, precipitate destruction. At the same time, while colonial expansion changes the century’s perception of the geo-political map, so toothe boundaries of fiction itself are redrawn by Verne in a groundbreaking vision that shifts the novel from local to global concerns.
Verne concentrates above all on its practicalities, focusing...