3....2....1.....FIRE!From the Earth to the Moon
(French: De la Terre à la Lune
) is a novel published in 1865, written by Jules Verne
about making a travel from the earth to the moon
Some time after the American Civil War
, members of a certain social club in Baltimore
, called The Gun Club (because it consists largely of Civil War artillery officers and various defense industrialists
) starts wondering what can they do in these times of peace — during the war they entertained themselves building guns that kept going bigger and bigger, but that's an expensive hobby in a peacetime.
The club members propose various wacky schemes up to starting a new war
, until one of them suggest doing something that sounds impossible: shooting a giant bullet towards the moon, for no reason other than to show they can do it. Things only get more interesting when an eccentric Frenchman, Michel Ardan, asks them to shoot a hollow projectile where he can travel to the moon.
The book is known for showing off Verne’s investigation
; even though Science Marches On
and some things he stipulated are now known to be incorrect, he still guessed a lot of facts right. It’s even more important if you consider that, when the book was written, there was almost nothing to investigate, since nobody knew anything about space travel or the characteristics of the moon.
Five years later, Verne wrote a follow up, Around the Moon
(French: Autour de la Lune
), about the situations that Ardan and his two companions on the projectile, Barbicane and Nicholl, have to deal with while on their way to the moon and back. As a curious fact, the book finished in his serialized form in 1869; exactly a hundred years later, man would land on the moon.
There was also a third novel, The Purchase of the North Pole
(French: Sans dessus dessous
). This one doesn’t deal with the moon at all and only has the characters in common; the plot is about the Gun Club’s attempt to destabilize the Earth’s orbit in order to exploit the wealth of the North Pole, completely disregarding the well-being of the rest of the inhabitants of the Earth
. That's because it was written in the Verne's later, more misanthropic period
, and is largely a satire at the rampant commercialization of the world.From the Earth to the Moon
was loosely adapted into the Georges Méliès silent film A Trip to the Moon
(1903), which is regarded today as a milestone in the development of Early Films
The book has the following tropes: