Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lucian of Samosata's True History



"For seven days and seven nights we sailed the air...." -- Lucian of Samosata, author, True History, 2nd century

"Once upon a time I gathered together the poorest people in my kingdom and undertook to plant a colony on the Morning Star [Venus], which was empty and uninhabited. Phaethon out of jealousy thwarted the colonisation, meeting us half-way at the head of his Ant Dragoons. At that time we were beaten, for we were not a match for them in strength, and we retreated: now, however, I desire to make war again and plant the colony." -- Lucian of Samosata, author, True History, 2nd century

"The distinction of this, the so-called True History, is that it includes the first [Roman] account of an interplanetary voyage...." -- Kingsley W. Amis, critic, New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction, 1960

"I will merely remark that the sprightliness and sophistication of True History make it read like a joke at the expense of nearly all early-modern science fiction, that written between, say, 1910 and 1940." -- Kingsley W. Amis, critic, New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction, 1960

Lucian of Samosata: Icaromenippus, An Aerial Expedition, 2nd century

Friend: Oh, I see; using stars to steer by, like the Phoenicians?

Menippus: Oh no, [by] travelling among them.
Fredericks, S.C., Lucian's True History as SF, Science Fiction Studies, Volume 3, Number 8, Mar 1976

No comments: