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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Rhys Vaughan


Moving ever closer to the modern age of SF we encounter Voltaire and his short work "Micromegas". It starts with the description of an inhabitant of one of the planets of Sirius. This planet is 21.6 million times larger in circumference than Earth and the hero is correspondingly huge, being 37 km tall. However, after writing a book on the insects of his world he is banished for inventing the story, as at only 30 metres long the insects are too small to be observed directly. Travelling the Universe, he visits Saturn and encounters the Secretary of the Saturnian Academy who is a mere 1.8 km tall.

Together they visit Earth which they decide is lifeless as its organisms are too small for them to see. However, by accident, they collect a ship staffed by human scientists and eventually manage to communicate with them.

Shocked by their lack of knowledge, the giants manage to produce a book small enough to be carried by the humans. The giants promise it contains all the knowledge the human race will ever be able to develop. The giants then move on in their exploration of the cosmos.

The book is taken to Paris but when opened is found to be nothing but blank pages

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