"The Great Steam-Duck" by "A Member of the L.L.B.B." (first published in an unnamed Louisville newspaper, 1841; reprinted in Magazine of History with Notes and Queries, Tarrytown, NY: 1919, and in 'The Man in the Moone,' edited by Faith K. Pizor and T. Allan Comp, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1971)
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to read "The Great Steam-Duck" this week. I had planned to post a review on the story today for my Short Story Wednesday post, but life (as is often the case) interfered. But will that stop me? Au contraire, mon frere!
For many ages, man has gazed upon the moon and wondered. "What the...?" He made up many myths and legends about that orb and eventually decided that it was another world. But what kind of world, and inhabited by whom? And how can we get there to find out? And so we had stories of men blown to that world by great winds, floating to it by a giant balloon, propelling to it by a large blast, and even journeying there attached to a flock of giant birds.
Pizor and Comp's 'The Man in the Moone' is subtitled "An Anthology of Antique Science Fiction and Fantasy" and contains the following stories and excepts:
- From The Man in the Moone, or a Discourse of a Voyage Thither by Domingo Gonsales The Speedy Messenger by Francis Godwin (1638)
- From The Discovery of a New World....with a Discourse Concerning the Possibility of a Passage Thither by John Wilkins (1640)
- From The Comical History of the States and Empires of the World of the Moon by Cyrano de Bergerac (1656)
- From A Voyage to Cacklogallinia by "Captain Samuel Brunt" (1727)
- From The Life and Astonishing Transactions of John Daniel by Ralph Morris (1751)
- "A journey lately performed through the Air, in an Aerostatic Globe...To the newly discovered Planet Georgium Sidus" by "Vivenair" (1784)
- "Hans Phaall -- A Tale" by Edgar Allan Poe (1835)
- From Great Astronomical Discoveries Lately Made by Sir John Herschel...at the Cape of Good Hope by Richard Adams Locke (1835)
- "The Great Steam-Duck" by "A Member of the L. L. B. B." (1841)