An Inhabitant of the Planet Mars
AN INHABITANT OF THE PLANET MARS
by Henri de Parville
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Sylvain Despretz
"The conclusion of the geological considerations developed by my illustrious colleagues is that the aerolith discovered by Messrs. Paxton and Davis cannot have a terrestrial origin. The conclusion of the arguments invoked by Mr. Greenwight is that a creature of the nature of the one that has been brought to the Earth can only have come from one planet -- Mars."
Paxton Scientific Commission
September 27, 1864
What if a meteorite dug up by a Colorado oil prospector turned out to contain a mummified body believed to originate on Mars? Initially written in 1864 as a hoax by the science correspondent of the French newspaper Le Pays, An Inhabitant of Planet Mars immediately caught the attention of Jules Verne's publisher who released it in an expanded book version that included the minutes of the scientific commission summoned to investigate the phenomenon.
Henri de Parville, a renowned 19th century scientific journalist, broke new ground regarding the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. By keeping his straightforward narrative to a minimum, he achieved a striking combination of quasi-non-fiction and speculative ambition, developing a theory of life and the universe that was remarkably ahead of his time.
- An Inhabitant of the Planet Mars (Un Habitant de la Planète Mars, 1865);
Introduction and Afterword by Brian Stableford.