Satire from the Prophet of Science

Posted by Anonymous
on Monday, October 02, 2006

Bison Books has published the first-ever English translation of The Meteor Hunt by Jules Verne. The French writer left the novel to us when he passed away in 1905.

In this novel, a meteor of pure gold heads toward Earth, setting off excitement and chaos. The Meteor Hunt provides Verne’s view of turn-of-the-century science. Of particular interest to the investigative reader are notes from editors and translators Frederick Paul Walker and Walter James Miller following the translated text. Somewhat disappointing in Verne’s approach is the lack of his futuristic forecasts. With The Meteor Hunt, there is little to compare with the progression of 20th-century America.

The driving force behind this novel’s direction is his interpretation of American society. And the time is distant enough that there should be no hard feelings even for the most sensitive and defensive American reader. While entertaining, this effort won’t promote Verne to the gallery of great satirists. Who’s to say that Johnathan Swift or Oscar Wilde could compete with Verne in a sci-fi writing competition, though?

This book collides with bookstores in October.

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