ANCIENT SCI-FI FROM RUSSIA: KONSTANTIN TSIOLKOVSKY

itsiolk001p1Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky did real-life work crucial to space-flight and is one of the neglected pioneers of Science Fiction. Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at a few of his works.

DREAMS OF EARTH AND SKY (1895) – The opening section of this piece presents the well-worn Hollow Earth with an interior sun storyline. The real treasure is found in the “Dreams of the Sky” portion.

An asteroid in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter is so large that today it would be called a Dwarf Planet like Ceres. The planetoid is inhabited by ambulatory plant-like humanoids who have wings instead of arms and who live in small versions of greenhouses. 

Dreams of Earth and SkyThese flying plant-people from the Asteroid Belt obtain nourishment through chlorophyll and solar radiation. They also have advanced technology like the harnessing of dismantled asteroids into rings, resulting in lower gravity for manufacturing work.

The beings have even created “space-trains” capable of taking them on interstellar journeys. 

**  

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky bookOUT OF THE EARTH (1920) – Coincidentally set in the year 2017 A.D. this tale features what readers are told is the first manned flight to the moon, some 48 years AFTER it happened in real life. An international team of tycoons and scientific adventurers are planning to explore the universe, with the moon an obvious first step.

This international fellowship is headquartered in the Himalayas and boasts members from Russia, America, England, France, Germany and Italy. Tsiolkovsky was ballsy enough to use millionaires and industrialists as the story’s heroes despite the disapproval of the (by 1920) Soviet government.     

The fellowship uses a multi-stage rocket propelled by liquid fuel. After perfecting model rockets the group moves on to full-scale spacecraft. The explorers orbit the Earth first, and use space suits for extra-vehicular activities.  

Our heroes establish greenhouses in space so they can grow their own fruits and vegetables, using their own waste as fertilizer. Soon other explorers join them in orbit with colonies of their own.

The fellowship at last moves on to lunar exploration, sending two men to the Moon’s surface in a landing craft. Even more foreshadowing of actual moon-landings is featured when the pair drive around in a Moon Buggy. On the Dark Side of Earth’s satellite they discover tiny vegetable life and large industrial diamonds.

At story’s end our protagonists return to the Earth to better plot their next mission: a manned journey to Mars, following which they will mine the asteroid belt for raw materials to construct more space colonies. 

ON VESTA (1916) – This story is about a space voyage to a planet called Vesta. The entire planet is covered in liquid but there are intelligent life-forms which live in the sub-aquatic environment.

The inhabitants of Vesta are very accommodating and provide undersea craft for the Earth visitors to travel around in. The Vestans are much more scientifically advanced than Earth, even in an age of space travel.  

FOR TEN MORE EXAMPLES OF ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION CLICK HERE:   https://glitternight.com/2014/03/03/ten-neglected-examples-of-ancient-science-fiction/

FOR WASHINGTON IRVING’S 1809 depiction of an invasion from the moon click here:   https://glitternight.com/2014/05/05/ancient-science-fiction-the-men-of-the-moon-1809-by-washington-irving/

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

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