||Published the same year as Jules Verne's classic From the
Earth to the Moon and Henri de Parville's An Inhabitant of the Planet
Mars, Achille Eyraud's Voyage to Venus (1865) was the first novel to describe
an interplanetary rocket-powered spaceship. Eyraud supports his design
with an elaborate (but ultimately flawed) pseudo-scientific argument and
describes its cosmic voyage in a logical manner. Once on Venus, his protagonists
discover a utopian society in which the sexes are equal and solar-powered
robots toil in the fields.
Voyage to Venus has often been mentioned in many histories of space
travel and science fiction, although the difficulty of obtaining the
original text until now meant that few have read it. This ground-breaking
work is at last available in English in its first annotated translation
by award-winning author Brian Stableford.
Cover by Christine Clavel
Published by Black Coat Press in April 2011