Across the Zodiac

by Percy Greg
Release date: 1880
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

Across the Zodiac: The Story of a Wrecked Record.

It is the late nineteenth century, and our hero has just created a propulsion engine using apergy – a mysterious source of energy. Since childhood he has thought of traveling through the vastness of space to visit those faraway planets. What beautiful and wondrous treasures do those lands behold? And will they be like us at all?

Our hero decides to create a spacecraft and visit the closest of the planets. When he arrives, he not only discovers that there is life, but life that exists is, well, not unlike our own. In fact, it isn't just not unlike our own life, it's mysteriously and frighteningly familiar...

Across the Zodiac is a seminal spaceship novel – it may, in fact, be the tale that spawned all future novels involving space ships. Percy Greg – who lived from 1836 until 1889 – was the son of William Rathbone Greg, an English political writer. Greg, like his father, wrote about politics, but his views were violently reactionary. His 1887 book, History of the United States to the Reconstruction of the Union, is more a polemic than it is a conventional history.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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