Garrett P. Serviss

Garrett Putnam Serviss (March 24, 1851 – May 25, 1929) was an American astronomer, popularizer of astronomy, and early science fiction writer. Serviss was born in upstate New York and majored in science at Cornell University. He took a law degree at Columbia University but never worked as an attorney. Instead, in 1876 he joined the staff of The New York Sun newspaper, working as a journalist until 1892 under editor Charles Dana.

Serviss showed a talent for explaining scientific details in a way that made them clear to the ordinary reader, leading Andrew Carnegie to invite him to deliver The Urania Lectures in 1894 on astronomy, cosmology, geology, and related matters. With Carnegie's financial backing, these lectures were illustrated with magic lantern slides and other effects to show eclipses, presumed lunar landscapes, and much else. Serviss toured the United States for over two years delivering these lectures, then settled down to become a popular speaker in the New York area. He also wrote a syndicated newspaper column devoted to astronomy and other sciences and wrote frequently for the leading magazines of the day.

Serviss' favorite topic was astronomy, and of the fifteen books he wrote, eight are devoted to it. He unquestionably was more widely read by the public on that topic than anyone prior to his time. He worked with Max and Dave Fleischer on The Einstein Theory of Relativity (1923), a short silent film released in connection with one of Serviss' books. He also wrote six works of fiction in his lifetime, all of which would today be classified as science fiction. Five of these were novels, and one was a short story.[1]

In his private life, Serviss was an enthusiastic mountain climber. He described his reaching the summit of the Matterhorn at the age of 43 as part of an effort "to get as far away from terrestrial gravity as possible."[2] His son was the Olympic high jumper Garrett Serviss.

Garrett P. Serviss
Garrett Putnam Serviss
Garrett Serviss in November 1925
BornMarch 24, 1851
New York State
DiedMay 25, 1929 (aged 78)
Alma materCornell University
Occupationjournalist, astronomer, author


Cavalier 1911 07
Scientific Popularizations
  • Astronomy Through an Opera Glass, 1888
  • Pleasures of the Telescope, 1901
  • Other Worlds: Their Nature, Possibilities and Habitability in the Light of the Latest Discoveries, 1901
  • The Moon, 1907
  • Astronomy With The Naked Eye, 1908
  • Curiosities of the Sky, 1909
  • Round the Year with the Stars, 1910
  • Astronomy in a Nutshell, 1912
Science Fiction


  1. ^ A. Langley Searles, "Introduction to the 1947 edition of Edison's Conquest of Mars", available online at Project Gutenberg.
  2. ^ As quoted by A. Langley Searles, "Preface" to the 1974 edition of A Columbus of Space.
  3. ^ Garrett P. Serviss (1911). The Second Deluge. pp. 274 pages.

External links

1898 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1898.

Apogee Books

Apogee Books is an imprint of Canadian publishing house Collector's Guide Publishing. The Apogee imprint began with "Apollo 8 The NASA Mission Reports" in November 1998 at the request of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon. The first publication by Apogee was printed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first manned flight around the moon. A limited edition print run of this Apollo 8 book led to Aldrin suggesting that the imprint continue with further anniversary publications.

In March 1999 Apogee published the book Apollo 9 - The NASA Mission Reports. Since that time Apogee has been the winner of the Space Frontier Foundation's media award and has published almost 100 books on space flight. Almost all of the Apogee titles were packaged with CDROMs or DVDs which included what was, at the time, the first digital release of seminal NASA footage, including the first commercial release of the uncut television broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. Notable contributors to the Apogee series include Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Buzz Aldrin, Harrison Schmitt, William Pogue, Wernher von Braun, David Lasser, Sy Liebergot, Guenter Wendt, Robert Zubrin, Wally Schirra, David R. Scott, Rick Tumlinson and Winston Scott. Apogee Books has performed contracted work with or for, Lockheed, Boeing, Energia, NASA, Imax, Space Frontier Foundation, The Mars Society and The National Space Society.

An offshoot of Apogee Books, publishing science fiction, began in 2005. Apogee Science Fiction specializes in space-related historical science fiction. By 2007 titles had been published by Hugo Gernsback, Garrett P. Serviss, Wernher von Braun, and George Griffith.

Beyond the Wall of Sleep (short story)

"Beyond the Wall of Sleep" is a science fiction short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft, written in 1919 and first published in the amateur publication Pine Cones in October 1919.


Carcosa is a fictional city in the Ambrose Bierce short story "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" (1886). In Bierce's story, the ancient and mysterious city is barely described, and is viewed only in hindsight (after its destruction) by a character who once lived there. Its name may be derived from the medieval city of Carcassonne in southern France, whose Latin name was "Carcaso".

American writers Robert W. Chambers and H.P. Lovecraft borrowed the term Carcosa for their stories, inspiring generations of authors to similarly use Carcosa in their own works.

Collector's Guide Publishing

Collector's Guide Publishing (CGP) is a Canadian publisher based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

The company's first publication was Robert Godwin's Illustrated Collector's Guide to Led Zeppelin released in 1987. Owner Godwin also founded the independent record label Griffin Music in 1989. CGP would supply books for music collectors to the Griffin label for inclusion in box sets with accompanying compact discs. CD/Book packages included sets by Hawkwind, Motörhead, Wishbone Ash and Olivia Newton-John. In 1998 Godwin started an imprint called Apogee Books specifically for publishing space flight related books. This came about due to a request by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin for Godwin to create a book to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 8. Having established a reputation for including compact discs in the back of their music books CGP also elected to include compact discs in their space flight books. The Apogee Books compact discs included hours of NASA film footage and exclusive interviews with astronauts as well as the first appearance of digitally stitched virtual panoramas of the lunar surface photography. By 2007 Collector's Guide Publishing had approximately 100 books in print including science fiction, guides for music collectors, toy collectors and book collectors as well as an extensive range of space flight books under the Apogee imprint. Authors published by CGP include Sy Liebergot, Frederick I. Ordway III, Martin Popoff, Wernher von Braun, Winston Scott, Walter Schirra, Guenter Wendt, David Lasser, Garrett P. Serviss, William R. Pogue, Gerard O'Neill, Rick Tumlinson and Robert Zubrin.

Edison's Conquest of Mars

Edison's Conquest of Mars is an 1898 science fiction novel by American astronomer and writer Garrett P. Serviss. It was written as a sequel to Fighters from Mars, an unauthorized and heavily altered version of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds. It has a place in the history of science fiction for its early employment of themes and motifs that later became staples of the genre.The book features Thomas Edison as the primary character, though neither Edison nor H. G. Wells were involved in its creation. Set after the devastating Martian attack in the previous story, the novel depicts Edison leading a group of scientists to develop ships and weapons, including a disintegration ray, for the defence of Earth. Edison and company fight the aliens in space and on Mars, eventually causing a flood that defeats the enemy and forces an end to hostilities. Serviss wrote himself into the story as a professor whom Edison consults; also appearing are scientists such as Edward Emerson Barnard, Lord Kelvin, Wilhelm Röntgen, and Silvanus P. Thompson, and heads of state such as Queen Victoria, U.S. President William McKinley, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Emperor Mutsuhito.Serviss' first attempt at fiction, the book was published serially in the New York Journal. Serviss went on to write other science fiction stories, arguably making him the first American to write science fiction professionally. An early example of what would later be called space opera, Edison's Conquest of Mars was also a particularly literal "Edisonade". The book contains some notable "firsts" in science fiction: alien abductions, spacesuits (called "air-tight suits": see Spacesuits in fiction), aliens building the Pyramids, space battles, oxygen pills, asteroid mining and disintegrator rays.


"Edisonade" is a term, coined in 1993 by John Clute in his and Peter Nicholls' The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, for fictional stories about a brilliant young inventor and his inventions, many of which would now be classified as science fiction. This subgenre started in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and had its apex of popularity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Other related terms for fiction of this type include scientific romances. The term is an eponym, named after famous inventor Thomas Edison, formed in the same way the term "Robinsonade" was formed from Robinson Crusoe.

Fictional currency

A fictional currency is some form of currency defined, or alluded to, in works of fiction. The names of units of such currency are sometimes based on extant or historic currencies (e.g. "Altairian dollars" or "Earth yen") while other names, such as "Kalganids" in Asimov's Foundation series, may be wholly invented. A particularly common type, especially in science fiction, is electronically managed "credits". In some works of fiction, exchange media other than money are used. These are not currency as such, but rather nonstandard media of exchange used to avoid the difficulties of ensuring "double coincidence of wants" in a barter system.

Fighters from Mars

Fighters From Mars consists of two unauthorized edited versions of The War of the Worlds serial that appeared in the Cosmopolitan Magazine between April and December 1897.

The first version appeared in the New York Evening Journal between December 5, 1897 and January 11, 1898, and was entitled Fighters From Mars, or The War of the Worlds. The second version appeared in the Boston Post between January 8, 1898 and February 1898, and was entitled Fighters from Mars, or The War of the Worlds in and near Boston.

These versions change the settings to the local areas where the newspapers were on sale, and also edited out most of the passages containing science, science details pertaining to ordinary people and problematic actions by the narrator. Even though they are considered unauthorized it does seem that Wells may have inadvertently given the go ahead to the versions, as can be seen from a letter that was published in the magazine The Critic in March 1898. Where Wells states: "Yet it is possible that this affair is not so much downright wickedness as a terrible mistake."

In each paper the sequel 'Edison's Conquest of Mars' by Garrett P. Serviss was published after Fighters From Mars had finished.

Garrett Serviss

Garrett Serviss is the name of:

Garrett P. Serviss (1851–1929), astronomer and early science fiction writer

Garrett Serviss (athlete) (1881–1907), American high jumper, son of Garrett P. Serviss

Garrett Serviss (athlete)

Garrett Putnam Serviss, Jr. (January 1881 – December 23, 1907) was an American athlete who mostly completed in the high jump. He competed for the United States in the 1904 Summer Olympics held in St Louis, United States in the high jump where he won the silver medal. Serviss graduated from Cornell University in 1905. His father was science fiction writer Garrett P. Serviss.

Leon Barritt

Leon Barritt (1852–1938) was an American illustrator, cartoonist, journalist, and amateur astronomer. He produced a famous cartoon satirizing Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, co-invented with Garrett P. Serviss the Barritt–Serviss Star and Planet Finder, a popular star chart sold into the 1950s, and, after losing his artistic ability to paralysis, founded The Monthly Evening Sky Map magazine. Born in Saugerties, New York, he began as a news agent in his home town before moving to Boston to work as an engraver. After a year in Minnesota, he returned to New York in 1884, where he became cartoonist for the New York Press.

Moon Maiden

Moon Maiden may refer to:

Moon Maiden (comics), DC Comics superhero

The Moon Maiden, a 1978 novel by Garrett P. Serviss

The Moon Maiden, an opera by Rutland Boughton

Moon Maiden, a 1679 depiction of and nickname for the lunar mountain Promontorium Heraclides


Serviss is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Garrett Serviss (athlete) (1881–1907), American high jumper

Garrett P. Serviss (1851–1929), American astronomer and writer

Tom Serviss (born 1948), Canadian ice hockey player

Sky Pirate

A sky pirate is a speculative fiction stock character who conducts piracy from an aircraft or airship.

Sky Pirate may also refer to:

The Sky Pirate, a novel by Garrett P. Serviss published in 1909 in the periodical Scrapbook

The Sky Pirate, a 1914 American short comedy film directed by and starring Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle

The Sky Pirate, a DC Comics villain and enemy of the Green Lantern, who first appeared in the 1947 comic Green Lantern Vol 1 #27

Sky Pirates, a 1986 Australian adventure film written and produced by John D. Lamond, and directed by Colin Eggleston, also titled Dakota Harris

Sky Pirates!, a 1995 novel written by Dave Stone and based on the television series Doctor Who

Sky Pirates of Callisto, a 1973 novel written by Lin Carter, the third in his Callisto series

The Last of the Sky Pirates, a 2002 novel by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, the fifth volume of The Edge Chronicles and the first of the Rook Saga trilogy

Douglas XTB2D Skypirate, an experimental military aircraft

Sky pirate, a short story written by Kalvin Lewis.

The Einstein Theory of Relativity

The Einstein Theory of Relativity (1923) is a silent short film directed by Dave Fleischer and released by Fleischer Studios.

The Moon Maiden

The Moon Maiden is a science fiction novel by Garrett P. Serviss. It was first published in book form in 1978 by William L. Crawford, without imprint, in an edition of 500 copies. The novel originally appeared in the magazine Argosy in 1915.

The Sky Pirate (novel)

The Sky Pirate by science fiction writer Garrett P. Serviss was published in 1909 in the periodical Scrapbook. Owned by Frank Munsey, it was given further periodical publication by being syndicated out to newspapers around America, which in those days included short stories and serialized fiction. However, it has never been published in book form until Pulpville Press published it in 2018.

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