Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Morgan Robertson (1861-1915) was an American author who often wrote stories about the sea.  He is pretty much forgotten today, except for his story "The Wreck of The Titan," which eerily predicted the sinking of an unsinkable ship when it hits an iceberg.  The story was published fourteen years before the sinking of the Titanic.  Thus, this story often comes up when people are having a "do you know what's really odd?" conversation, along with choice bits gleaned from the writings of Charles Fort.

Well, do you know what's really odd?  This little snippet I found in "The Slumber of a Soul," a story piublished in Robertson's 1898 collection Spun Yarn and reprinted the same year in his Three Laws and the Golden Rule.  The story itself is a pure melodrama about blackade running and smuggling from the time of the Civil War until 1895.  And in 1895, the smuggling ship Avon is sailing off the coast of Florida:

"The following midnight found her well past Cape Canaveral, and here, after answering a rocket from shore..."

I doubt if Robertson realized that in little over a half century from when he wrote those words, a much different type of rocket would begin launching from that shore, and that, within twenty years, it would launch men to the moon.  Still, this little squib from the guy who "predicted" the sinking of the Titanic is interesting.  And, really odd.

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