Jules Verne
Biographical notes by Blake Wilfong

"What one man can today conceive,
Other men will someday achieve."

Sometimes called "the father of science fiction", French author Jules Verne (1828-1905) was instrumental in creating and popularizing SF. He was also arguably the first true "science fiction author" in the sense that SF constituted a substantial proportion of his work, and was largely responsible for his wealth and reputation.

The son of a successful lawyer, and himself a stockbroker and conventional author, Jules Verne began writing science fiction novels by accident. In 1863, he failed to sell an essay he had written on the potential of balloon travel. Verne was so disappointed that he tried to burn the manuscript--but his wife grabbed it out of the flames. At last, publisher Jules Hetzel asked Verne to rewrite the essay as a novel.

Five Weeks in a Balloon was an immediate bestseller. It paved the way for futher science fiction adventures, including Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Around the Moon (1870), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).

Among Verne's many lesser-known works are a handful of science fiction short stories.

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