Wednesday, May 13, 2015


By Vilhelm Bergsoe
Translated by Dwight R. Decker
Vesper Press
47 pages

When little books, sometimes called chap-books, land on my desk, they bring within their pages lots of unique, long forgotten literary treasures.  FLYING FISH “PROMETHEUS” is a very old Danish science fiction tale reminiscent of the works of Jules Verne.  It is a rare story, considering its source, and little known among most sci-fi buffs until only recently.  It was published in 1870 and tells the story of a Danish engineer who travels in a remarkable airship.

In the tale, the author sets his adventure in the future of 1969 and his hero is on his way to Central America to witness the opening of the Panama Canal.  The fun of this short tale is seeing which of the author’s predictions came true and which were pure flights of imaginative fancy. (Pun intended.)  Perhaps the greatest of these being the aircraft itself which works less than conventional dirigibles and more like an actual flying fish having to propel itself out of a body of water to attain flight. 

For those of you who enjoy finding such long lost sci-fi gems, this wonderful package comes with additional material to include an essay on the author and the story’s history and a post article by the translator, Dwight Decker, on his role in bringing the story back into print and the inherent challenges in the translation.  All in all, FLYING FISH “PROMETHEUS” is a rare sci-fi oddity we think readers will enjoy discovering…at long last.

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