When an unidentified “monster” threatens international shipping, French oceanographer Pierre Aronnax and his unflappable assistant Conseil join an expedition organized by the US Navy to hunt down and destroy the menace. After months of fruitless searching, they finally grapple with their quarry, but Aronnax, Conseil, and the brash Canadian harpooner Ned Land are thrown overboard in the attack, only to find that the “monster” is actually a futuristic submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by a shadowy, mystical, preternaturally imposing man who calls himself Captain Nemo. Thus begins a journey of 20,000 leagues—nearly 50,000 miles—that will take Captain Nemo, his crew, and these three adventurers on a journey of discovery through undersea forests, coral graveyards, miles-deep trenches, and even the sunken ruins of Atlantis. Jules Verne’s novel of undersea exploration has been captivating readers ever since its first publication in 1870, and Frederick Paul Walter’s reader-friendly, scientifically meticulous translation of this visionary science fiction classic is complete and unabridged down to the smallest substantive detail.
Jules Verne was born in 1828 into a French lawyering family in the Atlantic coastal city of Nantes. Though his father sent him off to a Paris law school, young Jules had been writing on the side since his early teens, and his pet topics were the theater, travel, and science. Predictably enough, his legal studies led nowhere, so Verne took a day job with a stock brokerage, in his off-hours penning scripts for farces and musical comedies while also publishing short stories and novelettes of scientific exploration and adventure.
His big breakthrough came when he combined his theatrical knack with his scientific bent and in 1863 published an African adventure yarn, Five Weeks in a Balloon. After that and until his death in 1905, Jules Verne was one of the planet’s best-loved and best-selling novelists, publishing more than sixty books. Other imaginative favorites by him include The Mysterious Island, Hector Servadac, The Begum’s Millions, Master of the World, and The Meteor Hunt. Verne ranks among the five most translated authors in history, along with Mark Twain and the Bible.
Praise for Amazing Journeys
“...a unique and impressive red, white, and blue-collar collection of refreshing translations of Verne that gives new life to some of the old storyteller’s most famous tales.” — Science Fiction Studies
“…this new version emphasizes the wit, theatricality, and brilliance captured by the writer in these remarkable tales. Here is a classic series of adventures that, in spite of technological advances, will still enthrall the reader, and should be part of every young person’s library.” — San FranciscoBook Review
Frederick Paul Walter is a scriptwriter, broadcaster, librarian, and amateur paleontologist. A long-standing member of the North American Jules Verne Society, he served as its vice president from 2000 to 2008. Walter has produced many media programs, articles, reviews, and papers on aspects of Jules Verne and has translated many Verne novels, including Amazing Journeys: Five Visionary Classics and The Sphinx of the Ice Realm, both also published by SUNY Press. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.