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Our hero decides to create a spacecraft and visit the closest of the planets. When he arrives, he not only discovers that there is life, but life that exists is, well, not unlike our own. In fact, it isn't just not unlike our own life, it's mysteriously and frighteningly familiar. . . .
Across the Zodiac is a seminal spaceship novel -- it may, in fact, be the tale that spawned all future novels involving space ships. Percy Greg -- who lived from 1836 until 1889 -- was the son of William Rathbone Greg, an English political writer. Greg, like his father, wrote about politics, but his views were violently reactionary. His 1887 book, History of the United States to the Reconstruction of the Union, is more a polemic than it is a conventional history.
Percy Greg (1836 - 1889), son of William Rathbone Greg, was an English writer. Percy Greg, like his father, wrote about politics, but his views were violently reactionary: his History of the United States to the Reconstruction of the Union (1887) can be said to be more of a polemic, rather than a history. His Across the Zodiac (1880) is an early science fiction novel, said to be the progenitor of the sword-and-planet genre. For that novel, Greg created what may have been the first artistic language that was described with linguistic and grammatical terminology. It also contained what is possibly the first instance in the English language of the word "Astronaut." In 2010 a crater on Mars was named Greg in recognition of his contribution to the lore of Mars.