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Now Where Did I Put That Atomic Cannon?

1 Apr 2009, 05:56 UTC
Now Where Did I Put That Atomic Cannon?
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It's a fairly well-accepted maxim that just as much as science inspires writers of science fiction, so, too, does truly inventive sci-fi inspire scientists in turn. Back in 1865, Jules Verne published one of the earliest science fiction novels, From...It's a fairly well-accepted maxim that just as much as science inspires writers of science fiction, so, too, does truly inventive sci-fi inspire scientists in turn. Back in 1865, Jules Verne published one of the earliest science fiction novels, From the Earth to the Moon, set few years after the end of the US Civil War. The central characters are all veterans who are members of the Baltimore Gun Club, now put out to pasture and bored silly now that they have no excuse to randomly blow things up. They decide to build a gigantic cannon with enough propulsion power to launch a projectile to the moon.Preposterous, you say? Well, sure, from a 21st century perspective, but at the time it probably sounded perfectly plausible, and this being fiction, the plucky members of the Baltimore Gun Club succeed in launching three men into space with their giant cannon, winning a bet with a rival captain in the process. Verne foresaw the ...

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