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Old 10-27-2007, 09:54 PM   #1
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Voltaire: Micromegas, IMP, v.1, 28 Oct 2007.

Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire)
Micromegas (Micromégas)
A Satire on the Philosophy, Ignorance. and Self-Conceit of Mankind.
(1752)

Voltaire does science fiction.

This is a short tale (c. 7,300 words).
Micromegas is a native of Sirius and is 120,000 feet tall. He befriends a dwarf from Saturn (less than 6,000 feet tall) and they visit Earth. Initially believing the planet is uninhabited, they manage to see the locals via an improvised microscope. Then they start a conversation…

Some things don’t change, as this quotation shows:

“You must know, for example, that at this very moment, while I am speaking, there are one hundred thousand animals of our own species, covered with hats, slaying an equal number of their fellow-creatures, who wear turbans; at least they are either slaying or being slain; and this hath usually been the case all over the earth from time immemorial.”


The source was an anonymous translation from a scanned 19th-century edition in archive.org. I have cleaned up the text (which was full of ocr errors) and checked it against the French, making three corrections where the translation was inaccurate.
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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