ARMATA (1817) – Written by Thomas Erskine, this work of very early science fiction is one of the great neglected works of that genre.
Erskine tells the story in the first person and in the style of the memoirs of great explorers. He is sailing from New York City back to England when an enormous waterspout sucks his ship up in the air and deposits it on the planet of Deucalia.
Deucalia is a twin of the planet Earth and is, oddly enough, connected to our own planet at the South Pole. On Deucalia our ship-wrecked hero encounters Morven, the son of a Scottish couple who wound up ship-wrecked on the planet many years earlier.
With Morven acting as a guide and translator Erskine meets the other inhabitants of the planet and learns they are facing many of the same issues that Great Britain was facing at that stage of the Industrial Revolution. Armata is in the grand tradition of using science fiction concepts to make social and political commentary draped in fantastic tales of adventure.
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