Before Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein and even before H. G. Wells there was Jules Verne. The French writer was a pioneer of the science-fiction genre. Verne was noted for writing about cosmic, atmospheric, and underwater travel before air travel and submarines were commonplace and before practical means of space travel had been devised. His creations belong to our imaginary, to our culture.
His novels were immortalized through the years by tons of film adaptations. The first of them was probably the renowned Le Voyage dans la Lune, directed by Georges Méliès, in 1902. The short film was based on Verne’s novel De la Terre à la Lune. The Méliès’ film is available at Internet Archive to download and Google Video to watch.
Verne is the third most translated novelist in the world. The fact that his work is in public domain of course contribute to that, but even before, his books had became classics of the universal literature. For those that want to start to explore his fantastic universe in the original language, La bibliothèque Jules Verne is my suggestion. (via La Bibliothèque électronique du Québec)
I also recommend the always great Project Gutenberg if you are planning to download or even read on-line the works of Verne. There are available versions of his books in French, English and Dutch. Fourteen of the English versions have also audio books. If that wasn’t enough just follow the links at Wikipedia article about him.
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