French author Jules Verne, born on February 8, 1828, is considered the father of science fiction. Many of his 19th-century works forecast amazing scientific feats–feats that were actually carried out in the 20th century–with uncanny accuracy. Verne’s 1865 book From the Earth to the Moon told the story of a space ship that is launched from Florida to the moon and that returns to Earth by landing in the ocean. An illustration from the original version of the book is shown above. Something of a scientist and traveler himself, Verne’s 1870 work about a submarine, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days also foretold technological advances that seemed fantastic at the time. Jules Verne died in 1905.
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