The extraordinary resurgence of Jules Verne





Few people some 20 years ago, near the start of the administration of George Bush Sr. — when cyberpunk was still a fresh notion, when there existed only three "Star Wars" films, all good, and when the word "steampunk" had only just been coined — would have predicted that in the early 21st century some of the most entertaining and deftly rendered science fiction being currently published would derive from the pen of a Frenchman dead for a century, whose legacy had long been set in cement as amounting to nothing more than ham-handed adventure novels for juveniles. And yet at that distant time, the rediscovery of this Gallic genius was actually well under way, and today his stature is almost completely restored to its former glory.

Barnes & Noble ReviewThe author under discussion, as you might well guess, is none other than Jules Verne, one of the two generally acknowledged fathers of the science fiction genre, along with his co-daddy, H. G. Wells. Recent years have seen a flood of "new" Verne titles, including re-translations of familiar classics ("The Mysterious Island"), first-time English versions of lesser-known novels ("The Kip Brothers"), and even heretofore-lost manuscripts brought to light ("Paris in the Twentieth Century"). Taken as a whole, this mass of Verniana has encouraged a reassessment of the writer's career among scholars and critics, as well as providing real pleasures for the average reader and fan....

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