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Atterley, Joseph

Entry updated 4 March 2024. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of Bermuda-born scholar and author George Tucker (1775-1861), in US from 1795; Chairman of the Faculty of the University of Virginia while Edgar Allan Poe was a student there, and an influence on him. Told in the first person by its protagonist Joseph Atterley, A Voyage to the Moon: With Some Account of the Manners and Customs, Science and Philosophy, of the People of Morosofia, and Other Lunarians (1827) describes a Fantastic Voyage to the Moon, where various eccentric societies are visited, including one Utopia; as is typical of the Archipelago tale, the Satire is sometimes broad, with several real persons subject to mirth, including Erasmus Darwin (here called Vindar). The Spaceship is coated with "lunarium", the first antigravitic metal in literature, a forerunner of H G Wells's Cavorite (see Antigravity); the trip takes three days. A Voyage to the Moon is true sf, including much scientific speculation, and is a central precursor of American sf. It was reprinted in 1975 – including a review of 1828 and an introduction by David G Hartwell – as by George Tucker. Another sf work, dealing with Overpopulation, was A Century Hence, or A Romance of 1941 (1977), as by George Tucker, probably written around 1841 and edited from his manuscript by Donald R Noble. [JC/PN]

see also: History of SF.

George Tucker

born St George's Island, Bermuda: 20 August 1775

died Albemarle County, Virginia: 10 April 1861


about the author


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