The World of Mercury
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THE WORLD OF MERCURY
by Chevalier de Béthune
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Vincent Laik
The Inhabitants of Mercury are shorter than humans... they resemble the charming ideas we have of zephyrs and genii. Their beauty only fades after several centuries. All of those small people have wings, of which they make use with a marvelous grace and agility...
The World of Mercury was first published in 1750 before Voltaire's MicromÃ©gas (1752) or Tiphaigne's Amilec (1753). In developing his world, Béthune shaped one of the few "Creationist fantasies" entirely unaffected by religious dogma.
His Mercury shines with originality, adventurousness and, especially, bizarrerie. The description of the aerial conflict between the defenders of Mercury's Great Mountain and the monstrous invaders from the "crust" expelled from the Sun is triumphantly eccentric, a match in its colorful extravagance for any space battle featured in the great tradition of 20th century space opera.
Relation du Monde de Mercure [An Account of the World of Mercury] (1750)
Introduction, Afterword and Notes by Brian Stableford.