Across the Zodiac

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Across The Zodiac
First editions
AuthorPercy Greg
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreScience fiction
PublisherTrübner & Co
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback)
PagesVol. 1: 302 pp.
Vol. 2: 294 pp.

Across the Zodiac: The Story of a Wrecked Record (1880) is a science fiction novel by Percy Greg, who has been credited as an originator of the sword and planet subgenre of science fiction.[1]


The book details the creation and use of apergy, a form of anti-gravitational energy, and details a flight to Mars in 1830. The planet is inhabited by diminutive beings; they are convinced that life does not exist elsewhere than on their world, and refuse to believe that the unnamed narrator is actually from Earth. (They think he is an unusually tall Martian from some remote place on their planet.)

The book's narrator names his spacecraft the Astronaut.

Novel concepts[edit]

The book contains what was probably the first alien language in any work of fiction.[2] His space ship design also featured a small garden, an early prediction of hydroponics.[3]: 69 


The same title was used for a later, similar book—Across the Zodiac: A Story of Adventure (1896) by Edwin Pallander (1869–1952) (the pseudonym of UK biologist, botanist and author Lancelot Francis Sanderson Bayly). Pallander copied some elements of Greg's plot; in his book, gravity is negated by a gyroscope.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Everett Bleiler, The Checklist of Fantastic Literature, Chicago, Shasta Publishers, 1948; p. 132.
  2. ^ Ekman, F: "The Martial Language of Percy Greg", Invented Languages Summer 2008, p. 11. Richard K. Harrison Archived 2008-09-08 at the Wayback Machine, 2008
  3. ^ Ash, Brian (1977). The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Harmony Books. ISBN 978-0-517-53174-7.
  4. ^ Jess Nevins, The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, Austin, TX, Monkeybrain Books, 2005.

External links[edit]