Friday, August 13, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 16

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne

I first discovered Jules Verne in the 1980s while in high school. Though I tend to read more fantasy and horror, some science fiction has come my way over the years, and Verne seemed a natural as he’s considered one of the grandfathers of science fiction in particular and speculative fiction in general.

20,000 Leagues Under the SeaI was going through a period where I felt I needed to read some of the masters of science fiction, and Verne was a logical choice. Eventually I read quite a few of his novels, but the very first one was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I started with this book for no other reason that it seemed the most famous of Verne’s work.

Immediately I was drawn into this tale of adventure and the themes behind it. As I’ve blogged about, one of the things that drew me to the book Moby Dick was its treatment of wrath and sanity. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea drew me for many of the same reasons. I’ve always wondered who was madder? Captain Ahab or Captain Nemo? I’ve always leaned toward Ahab for madness, but Nemo for pure vile.

Anyone interested in science fiction literature and/or writing should read Jules Verne, especially 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Verne can show that speculative literature isn’t only about the speculative, but it also can touch open the human element, our emotions, our mental states and more.

Up next: The Iliad

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I actually still have some Verne books I haven't read, although I've read the big ones.