Thursday, July 22, 2010

By Rocket to the Moon (1931/1949)

A new look for the blog and an old book. By Rocket to the Moon is one of my favorite early fictional books about going to the moon. Especially the "technically accurate" illustrations:

Gail, Otto Willi. By rocket to the moon ; the story of Hans Hardt's miraculous flight. New York : Dodd, Mead & Co., 1931

First published in 1928 in German and published in English in 1931, this novel for older children was written by one of the most popular German science fiction writers of the time.

Closely based on the work of his friends Hermann Oberth and Max Valier, it is an accurate mirror of many of the space travel concepts being discussed by pre-war European experts.

Here is the 1949 German reprint:

With new illustrations:

This illustration reminds me of the ramp from the 1951 film: When Worlds Collide. I am sure it influenced their design ideas.

Compare this image to the one above from the 1931 edition.

A beautiful (and classic) descent to the Moon.

You can buy a copy here:

1 comment:

  1. Not sure if the rocket-on-a-rail image influenced "When Worlds Collide." The idea of a rail-launched rocket had been around for a long time by then, and the actual "When Worlds Collide" novel (Which is terrible, by the way) came out in 1933.