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  • Martyn Rhys Vaughan

THE FIRST MENTION OF ANTIGRAVITY

As we approach the nineteenth century, we get closer to the modern forms of SF. But on the way, we encounter minor figures such as George Tucker (August 20, 1775-April 10, 1861).

Born in Bermuda he moved to North America at the age of 20 and entered into the politics of the new republic, becoming a member of the House of Representatives.

However, he was no democrat and advocated restricting the franchise to no more than half of the body of free men.

His major work was “The Valley of the Shenandoah”, written in two months in 1824, which relates the experiences of aristocrats in Virginia.

However, in 1827, using the pseudonym of “Joseph Atterley” he wrote, “A Voyage To The Moon: With Some Account Of The Manners & Customs, Science & Philosophy Of The People Of Morosofia, & Other Lunarians”.

Although intended only as a political satire the voyage is achieved by the use of “Lunarium”, a material that repels matter. He, therefore, has the honour of being the first SF writer to employ antigravity.

In 1841 he wrote “A Century Hence: A Romance of 1941”. Although meant once again as a satire, it nevertheless touches on the possibility of overpopulation.




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