Travels and adventures around the solar system



Edited and Introduced by

Adam Roberts (2007)

Original illustrations by

P. Philippoteaux (1877)

A Note About the Text
Chapter I
The Count: “Here is my card” The Captain “And Mine”
Chapter II
In which we present a photographic record of the physical and moral qualities of Captain Servadac and his orderly Ben Zoof
Chapter III
In which Captain Servadac’s poetic inspiration is interrupted by an untoward accident
Chapter IV
Which allows the reader to generate an endless supply of questions and exclamations
Chapter V
In which we reveal certain modifications to the physical order without being able to explain their cause
Chapter VI
In which we ask the reader to accompany Captain Servadac in his first excursion across his new domain
Chapter VII
In which Ben Zoof believes the Governor General to be negligent in his duty towards him
Chapter VIII
In which Venus and Mercury threaten to become planetary obstacles
Chapter IX
In which Captain Servadac asks several questions and receives no answers
Chapter X
In which, with telescope and sounding-line, the search to discover any vestiges of the province of Algeria is undertaken
Chapter XI
In which Captain Servadac discovers a small island that, though it survived the catastrophe, is nothing more than a tomb
Chapter XII
In which Lieutenant Procope surrenders himself to the will of God
Chapter XIII
In which Colonel Murphy, Major Oliphant and Corporal Pim are questioned, and a projectile disappears beyond the horizon
Chapter XIV
Concerning a degree of international tension that leads to a geographical disappointment
Chapter XV
In which discussion uncovers an important truth
Chapter XVI
In which Captain Servadac holds in his hand all that remains of a vast continent
Chapter XVII
Which could without distortion be titled: more of the same
Chapter XVIII
Which tells in what manner the Governor of Gourbi Island was welcomed home, and what happened during his absence
Chapter XIX
In which Captain Servadac is acclaimed as Governor General of Gallia by the unanimous vote of everybody present
Chapter XX
Which only goes to show, that if you watch long enough, you’ll eventually see a fire on the horizon
Chapter XXI
In which will be seen how, one evening, the inhabitants of Gallia were most delightfully surprised
Chapter XXII
Which ends with a minor eventuality as curious as it is amusing
Chapter XXIII
Which details an event of the greatest significance, and one which causes excitement throughout the colony
Chapter XXIV
In which Captain Servadac and Lieutenant Procope comprehend the cosmic significance of this word
Chapter XXV
In which we meet the thirty-sixth inhabitant of the Gallia spheroid
Chapter XXVI
In which the reader is told what he has doubtless already worked out for himself
Chapter XXVII
Several variations on the old theme of comets, in the solar system and elsewhere
Chapter XXVIII
In which we see Palmyrin Rosette so delighted with his fate as to give us pause for thought
Chapter XXIX
In which Pupil Servadac receives a certain amount of abuse from Professor Palmyrin Rosette
Chapter XXX
In which Palmyrin Rosette finds the supplies of the colony to be insufficient for his needs
Chapter XXXI
In which Isaac has the opportunity to lend money at a greater than eighteen per cent return
Chapter XXXII
In which the professor and his students juggle with sextillions, quintillions and other multiples of billions
Chapter XXXIII
Concerning Jupiter, the “Great Disturber of Comets”
Chapter XXXIV
In which it is clearly established that it is better to trade on Earth than on Gallia
Chapter XXXV
In which the world of Gallia is launched, in imagination, into the infinite stretches of space
Chapter XXXVI
How January 1st is celebrated on Gallia, and in what manner the holiday was concluded
Chapter XXXVII
In which Captain Servadac and his companions do what must be done
Which shows that human beings are not designed to travel two hundred and twenty million leagues from the sun
Chapter XXXIX
In which is given the account of the first and last relations established between Palmyrin Rosette and Isaac Hakkabut
Chapter XL
In which Captain Servadac and Ben Zoof go away and come back again
Chapter XLI
Which considers the important question of how to return to the Earth, and includes Lieutenant Procope’s daring proposition
Chapter XLII
In which the Gallians make preparations to view their asteroid from a rather higher vantage point
Chapter XLIII
Including the minute-by-minute sensations and impressions of the passengers in the car
Chapter XLIV
Which, contrary to all the rules of Novel-writing, does not end with the marriage of the hero and heroine

Off on a Comet first published, as Hector Servadac, 1877 in Paris, France
This edition published 2007 by Solaris
an imprint of BL Publishing
Games Workshop Ltd,
Willow Road Nottingham,

This translation and introduction copyright © Adam Roberts 2007

The right of the author to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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Edited to HTML by Zvi Har’El
Copyright © Zvi Har’El
$Date: 2007/12/23 17:44:44 $