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The Man in the Moone

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The Man in the Moone

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Author: Francis Godwin
Publisher: Original English publication, 1638
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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Space Exploration
Utopia
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Synopsis

Arguably the first work of science fiction in English, Francis Godwin's The Man in the Moone was published in 1638, pseudonymously and posthumously.

The novel, which tells the story of Domingo Gonsales, a Spaniard who flies to the moon by geese power and encounters an advanced lunar civilization of Christians who live in a Utopian state.

The work had an enormous impact on the European imagination for centuries after its initial publication, due to its discussion of advanced ideas about astronomy and cosmology. The novel is an important example of both popular fiction and scientific speculation.


Excerpt

It was now the season that these Birds were wont to take their flight away, as our Cuckoes and swallowes doe in Spaine towards the Autumne. They (as after I perceived) mindfull of their usuall voyage, even as I began to settle my selfe for the taking of them in, as it were with one consent, rose up, and having no other place higher to make toward, to my unspeakeable feare and amazement strooke bolt upright, and never did linne towring upward, and still upward, for the space, as I might guesse, of one whole hower, toward the end of which time, mee thought I might perceive them to labour lesse and lesse; till at length, O incredible thing, they forbare moving any thing at al ! and yet remained unmoveable, as stedfastly, as if they had beene upon so many perches; the Lines slacked; neither I, nor the Engine moved at all, but abode still as having no manner of weight.

I found then by this Experience that which no Philosopher ever dreamed of, to wit, that those things which wee call heavie, do not sinke toward the Center of the Earth, as their naturall place, but as drawen by a secret property of the Globe of the Earth, or rather some thing within the same, in like sort as the Loadstone draweth Iron, being within the compass of the beames attractive.

Copyright © 1638 by Francis Godwin


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