This collection of nine proto-science fiction tales, translated and edited by renowned science fiction writer and scholar Brian Stableford
, ranges from Louis-Sbastien Mercier's 1768 opening tale, in which the hero communicates with the dead through a beam that anticipates a modern-day laser, to an 1887 story by Guy de Maupassant that speculates on Martian life. In between, we have tales of a heart transplant, a device that can see through time and an alien dragon. The book also includes Albert Robida's classic novella “The Monkey King” in which Saturnin Farandoul, shipwrecked as a baby and raised by apes on a Pacific Island, visits the Mysterious Island and joins forces with Captain Nemo to battle the savage pirate hordes of Bora-Bora. Stories by Georges Eekhoud, Stphane Mallarm, Guy de Maupassant, Louis-Sbastien Mercier, Eugne Mouton, Fernand Noat, Jean Richepin, Adrien Robert and Albert Robida. This edition includes a historical introduction and notes by Stableford.