Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall by Edgar Allen Poe

This is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in the June 1835 issue of the monthly magazine Southern Literary Messenger, and intended by Poe to be a hoax. He is best known for stories of mystery and the macabre, and invented the detective fiction genre. Some of his stories, like this one, were part of the emerging science fiction genre.

Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic.

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]

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