James Verne is a renowned Sci-Fi writer and known to be a founding father of that genre. He created an important pillar in this genre, which is still being used in some of today’s pieces. Many of Verne’s writings had an element of traveling, not just within a city or country, but through space, into different dimensions. This has inspired many pieces today, to a point where Sci-fi movies or novels qualify to be good ones if they involve such traveling. Jules’ audience loved this aspect so much, and the fascination continued to trickle down through generations.
When reading the Extraordinary Voyages series, there is no particular order that will give you the exact storyline. The books in this series are not related in terms of storylines following each other. Each book carries its story, even if they are all founded on the pillar of traveling. Such has made people question whether it deserves to be called a series since a series is where you expect the books to build upon each other. The story in the first book should be continued in the next and continues till the last book, but this is not the case here.
There is one exception which certain scholars give, but it is only between two books. You are advised to read The Mysterious island after you have finished 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. If you are really looking to read these books in a particular order, then the only one which could work is the year of publishing. Since the storylines do not complement each other, the year of publication is the next best thing that makes sense in terms of the order. This series starts with Five Weeks in a Balloon, done in 1863, and ended with The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz done in 1910.
He used some of those books to address issues affecting society, spread awareness of the oppression that was happening around him. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea highlights the social rot in Europe and the imperial form of governance which he with other members of the public did not stand for. He used his influence in writing to bring out a story that had a more profound meaning than what you see from face value. Paris in the 20th century was also politically controversial, till those publishers at the time refused to do it for him. It was not published until it was rediscovered in 1994, 130 years after it was written. This is one of Jules’ first novels, showing what could be if some technological milestones were achieved.
Being denied the opportunity to publish one of his first books may have forced his hand into focusing on pure hard Sci-Fi. Sometimes, those who follow Verne’s life’s work wonder what direction his writing would have taken had he been allowed to publish that piece. He’d probably give his writing as a cocktail, a well-blended mixture of science fiction and social criticism. A lesson that artists should pick today, not only to publish books to create good content for their audience, but they could use their platforms to spread awareness on vices happening in society.