Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Jules Gabriel Verne, a French author, is widely ranked as one of the pioneers of the science fiction genre with his pre-spacecraft novels about space travel, pre-submarine stories of underwater travel, and pre- "deep earth" geology tales of adventures within the planet. He was born in Nantes, France, to Pierre and Sophie Verne, and was followed by four siblings. His interest in travel was fostered by the sight of the ships in the harbor and on the Loire River, and he began writing poetry and short stories at a young age. He studied law in Paris, but spent his time more in writing than in attending to his studies; he also met famous writer Alexandre Dumas, with whom Verne became good friends and who helped him in his writing career. In 1857 he married widow Honorine de Viane Morel, and four years later they had a son, Michel. At this point in time Verne began to work with publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel to produce Verne's famous "Extraordinary Voyages" collection - "Journey to the Centre of the Earth," "Around the World in Eight Days," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," and so on. He continued writing some less well-known (and sometimes darker) books throughout his life, including the unpublished manuscript "Paris in the 20th Century," which was discovered in 1989 and published in 1993.