Rus Articles Journal

First science fiction: year 1657 or 1709? A prolog of

One fine morning at the very beginning of the eighteenth century civilians of Vienna came to the sheer amazement, and some - and to easy concern, even confusion: On June 24, 1709 the city newspaper “Vinshe Diarium“ published the sensational message thanks to which almost all its copies which are just printed in printing house were bought up in a flash!.

The note reported that in the sky the large number of birds, packs of attackers on a huge bird was found. The flying giant which underwent artful attack soon approached the Earth`s surface and it was … the mechanism, to be exact - the air ship with sails. The only person operating an aeronautic design could not will go down on a city square - wind carried him to a tower, and sails, alas, were hooked for its spike.

Only later a couple of hours the heavenly hero managed to beat off edge of a spike, and the released ship smoothly landed on the square of Vienna. Under protection of the traveler took away in five-stars hotel (concerning stars is for the sake of a witty remark, but the hotel also really was the best in Austria), and after a while “the guest from heaven“ handed to the city authorities important letters, including the letter to the Portuguese envoy. As the traveler appeared … yes, the Portuguese.

He told that he took off from Lisbon two days ago. Flight was followed not only the mass of the most fascinating adventures, but also considerable difficulties which the aeronaut with honor overcame. The Portuguese had to beat off importunate birds all the time and if not guns and axes which he providently captured in flight (probably, assuming a similar embarrassment), for sure, do not survive.

When the traveler flew by by the Moon, to him there was the most important adventure - and on the Moon the biggest confusion. Because sleepwalkers strongly were frightened of appearance of the brave earthling, unusual for them. - that they are shy spirit, and remind people only partly - are rather similar to turtles. Inhabitants of the Moon have no legs at all, and bodies them are put into large shells.

Further the hero declared that, considering this important circumstance (weak defense capability of sleepwalkers), he easily will be able easily to win the Lunar kingdom with fifty similar aircraft. Onboard each of them there are enough four or five fighters - so, only it is slightly more than two hundred “conquistadors“. Things are easy - that is behind the order, the supreme will of the Portuguese monarch.

Of course, readers of the Vinshe Diarium newspaper could have doubts - and that to a descent to dispel them, on pages of the printing edition drawing was given: an aeronautic design with rather detailed designations of the main details. In front the ship the bird`s head crowned, the Portuguese flag was behind patriotically stuck. There was a wheel, there were also two lateral wings similar to eagle.

Carrying power of the vessel was provided with two sources. Long panels of sails, an arch tense from a nose to a stern, are intended for windy weather. If there is no wind - air moves in sails bellows through rigid bells. There are still magnets, pieces of amber and still some superconfidential devices or substances which are placed highly over the deck and attract it by “the principle of the baron Myunkhgauzen“. Matter of course, the baron is not mentioned in the newspaper for the simple reason - that book is not written yet. But principle obviously that!

Alas to us, alas … History did not inform of a name of the author who is not deprived of the imagination us. And could, he could head the list of the first writers who nicely worked in a genre of science fiction!

All or almost know to all that actually the person for the first time more - rose in air almost century later after the described Austrian events less successfully. But the hero`s prototype - the aeronaut from the Vienna newspaper existed, and called his “Uvuador“ that is translated as “Letatel“.

For this purpose that that situation with emergence of a fantastic note became more clear, it is advisable to plunge slightly into history, fuller to feel, so to speak, events of bygone days in a historical context.

Portugal, having lost almost all main colonies by the beginning of the 18th century, very grieved for the former military force, power on ocean open spaces. And here still dependence on Britain … The Metuensky contract of 1703 was pernicious for the Portuguese trade from now on deprived of former customs protection against the English import. (And here to become thoughtful to passionate propagandists that at the beginning of the XXI century stand up for the introduction “all it is universal“ countries of Eastern Europe to the European Union with its categorical in fact requirements to “members“ - requirements which a little in what differ from that servitude in what came to be at the beginning of a century of XVIII - go poor Portugal.)

Took place and a military factor: were actively conducted, as if now told, military operations for oil … sorry, for the Spanish inheritance. And Portugal enslaved by categorically unprofitable contract was forced to send peacekeeping forces … forgive, again made a reservation - it was forced to battle, exhausting the already not very magnificent forces, in deadly fight for interests of Great Britain!

The second year on a throne of Portugal the king Zhoan the Fifth. He together with the favourite queen dreams of former glory of the country, of power of the monarchy. As if to return “Golden Age“ to Portugal, to return the power over all colonies? Dreams, dreams, oh, your sweet …

I here appears in time the wonder-worker - they, the wizards promising wonderful healing from an illness or all completeness of the power with the bags filled by gold always appear very opportunely! Always and in all centuries (there would be a situation suitable!) . And now such public not a rarity.

In April, 1709 to the arena of domestic Portuguese policy there is somebody to Bartolomeu Lawrence de Gousma ́ the N

of Bartolomeu is not connected with books Conan in any way - Doyle which will appear several centuries later. But the spirit of adventurism and a certain raid of future fantasy at it distinctly is present. Certainly, supported with quite good education - the boy from a family of the Brazilian colonists was trained at Jesuit school.

Having matured, Bartolomeu got on the historical homeland and was before light eyes of the tsar-father - in this concrete case of Bartolomeu achieved an audience from the king Zhoan the Fifth.

During an audience the former colonist submitted to the king the application on providing monopoly - the comprehensive privilege on the invention which will return to the country the lost power.

Unless the similar petition can leave the king - the dreamer indifferent?!

Bartolomeu declared that he invented the ship capable to move by air with the highest (for those times) speed: allegedly the vessel is capable to fly by per day neither more nor less … 600 miles! Of course, to today`s reader it is ridiculous - a pier where here a fantasy?! Now there are devices capable of all for an hour to cover bigger distance.

But we will not forget that those events will be spaced from us on time exactly for 302 years.

Huge term for technical progress!