|Edgar Allen Poe|
The story opens with a manuscript detailing the journey to the moon of a man named Hans Pfaall. The manuscript, which comprises the majority of the story, sets out in detail how Pfaall reached the moon using a balloon and a device which compresses the vacuum of space into breathable air. The journey takes him nineteen days. He describes the Earth from space as well as the landing on the moon, which is fiery and volcanic.
Pfaall wants to negotiate a pardon from the Burgomaster for several murders he committed as he left Earth and promises to reveal more about the surface of the moon and its inhabitants. After reading the manuscript, the city authorities agree that Pfaall should be pardoned, but the messenger (apparently a resident of the moon) has vanished and they are unable to restore communication with him.
[adapted from Wikipedia]