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The Chase of the Golden Meteor
The Chase of the Golden Meteor (French: La Chasse au météore) is a novel by Jules Verne. It was one of the last novels written by the prolific French hard science fiction pioneer. The book, however, is seen as less an early example of hard science fiction than a social satire lampooning greed, monomania and vanity. Verne first wrote La Chasse au météore in 1901 and then rewrote it before his death, but it was only published in 1908, three years after the author's death, one of seven such posthumous novels.
It concerns the rivalry between two amateur astronomers in the same small American town who spot a new meteor and attempt to claim the credit for themselves. The meteor turns out to be made of gold and thus extremely valuable. Another eccentric amateur scientist, this time an inventor, creates a device which will cause it to fall where he chooses.
The book was extensively edited by Verne's son, Michel Verne, who is known to have introduced the character of the inventor, emphasised the romantic sub plot of this novel and expanded it from 17 to 21 chapters, among other changes.The future world depicted in the book includes two political predictions which failed to materialise in the century since its publication: firstly, the United States comes to be composed of 51 states and accordingly, its flag has 51 stars, as opposed to the 45 states that existed in 1905 when Verne died; secondly, Greenland becomes an independent, fully sovereign nation state.
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