THE UNPRETENTIOUS PHILOSOPHER (1775) – By Louis-Guillaume de La Follie. The original French title of this work of proto-science fiction was Le Philosophe sans Pretention ou l’Homme Rare, but in the 21st Century it’s more generally known by the slightly shorter title.
One of the central characters of this story is an Earth scholar named Nadir, and I have no idea if it’s a coincidence or if the people behind the 1960’s film Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster were paying sly homage to de La Follie by naming one of the characters Nadir. At any rate Nadir is visited by Ormisais, a space traveler from the planet Mercury.
Ormisais regales Nadir with details about life on Mercury and also informs him that he has crash-landed on Earth and needs rare elements to repair his electrically -powered craft so that he can return to his home planet. The Mercurians had a planetary version of the British Royal Society and the French Academy, but it had a much more limited membership. Continue reading