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Our Roots? Plausible Lies!

Men interested in athletics and in the care of their bodies think not only of condition and exercise but also of relaxation in season; in fact, they consider this the principal part of training. In like manner students, I think, after much reading of serious works may profitably relax their minds and put them in better trim for future labor. It would be appropriate recreation for them if they were to take up the sort of reading that, instead of affording just pure amusement based on wit and humor, also boasts a little food for thought that the Muses would not altogether spurn; and I think they will consider the present work something of the kind. They will find it enticing not only for the novelty of its subject, for the humor of its plan and because I tell all kinds of lies in a plausible and specious way, but also because everything in my story is a more or less comical parody of one or another of the poets, historians and philosophers of old, who have written much that smacks of miracles and fables.

So where does that paragraph come from? Would you believe that it’s the first paragraph of what is considered to be the first ever science fiction story ever written?. Its title was Vera Historia, thus True Story—a phrase asserted  with the same connotation we sometimes give it in English humor too, namely: Don’t believe a word of it. The author was Lucian of Samosata, and the book appeared in 160 AD.  If you want to read it, sacred-text.com will let you do so here. Or you can buy a copy of the book from Amazon here. (We don’t mind helping other people sell books—we’re all in the same boat together). The fact that Vera Historia is still available tells you something about the tenacity of science fiction.

But is Lucian’s work really sci-fi? We would join everybody else and say, Yes. It speaks of a trip by ship to the Moon, strange civilizations there and on the Sun, weird marvels, the interior of giant whales, war in space, elephant-size fleas, islands floating in the air. And more. Much more. What is different is that the strange things Lucian talked about have become much more plausible. And the fact that this is so is illustrated by the first novel we’ve published, Ghulf Genes, which also tells a great tale of Never Never Planet, the first one ever settled by modern humanity. And are there strange beasts there? You bet! And warring civilizations? Yes, sir! Love? Yesssss. Assassinations? Clutch! Not to mention Zerofric.— And we don’t tell lies.

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One Response

  1. Hang on! Hang on! I’ve just finished Ghulf Genes and Never Never Planet is not a planet but the title of a documentary film and technically, the planet in question is not as you write the “first planet ever settled by modern humanity” – that would be Mars – nor is it even necessarily the first one ever settled by humanity OUTSIDE of our solar system, no, no, no! Never Never Planet is just the first one outside of our solar system to be FILMED by humanity and more importantly the first one to report back! But OK, I have to agree, Never Never Planet is a great name!

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