I am taking a moment out of my usual issues and giving honor to a great writer.
Jules Gabriel Verne was born on this day in 1828. He died in 1905. Yet his vision was so incredible, he wrote of men going to the moon, a nuclear submarine and predicted the shrinkage of the world with his Around the World in 80 Days.
His work was thrilling, spectacularly imaginative and vividly enjoyable. He weaved story, humor and political messages into thrilling tales of wonder and adventure.
There is always the question if writers envision the future or if fans bring their visions to life. But it cannot be denied that either way, the impact of science fiction writers on our lives is tremendous.
Yet, the genre has always gotten the cold shoulder from most literati types, scholars, and anyone else out there. The fans are called nuts, kooks, weirdos, crazies and more derogatory terms than can be listed here.
No matter if Verne's envisioning nuclear powered submarines gave them eventual form or if his imagination gave spark to some engineer's brilliance. He did see it, he did write about it. He even took on an environmental tone to his tale, aka PETA-like, long before it was "fashionable" to do so.
And his style, in such tales as his adventure on the Amazon (Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon) which has been put to great use by the likes of James Patterson.
Whether you are a reader or not, a fan of science fiction or not, Jules Verne had a seriously positive impact on the lives of billions around the world. And in the grand tradition of his country of birth, I uncork a bottle of Chablis and say "Bon anniversaire, Jules. Nous vous saluons!"