Rosny elder J.-H. – The Navigators of Infinity
Rosny elder J.-H. – Navigators of the Infinite (followed by Astronauts): The Stellarium! A spaceship and a discovery that allows three men, to discover Mars. A long trip. On arrival, a planet they will explore and discover the inhabitants, beings of different natures. The Tripedes, a peaceful race, resembles men most. The Zoomorphes, with the shapes of prehistoric animals of all sizes, are composed of a mineral matter. They invade little by little the territories of the Tripedes. And finally, the etherals, aerial beings composed of radiation. Will it be possible to communicate with them?
It is with the Tripedes that the Terrans will find the most contact, thanks to their means of communication Morse style signals and their immense intelligence: “Their faces even, despite their six eyes and the absence of noses, their faces of which the skin was bare, I suggested something of a counterpart to our species … “The three Terrans will do their best, thanks to their scientific knowledge, to help the Tripedes to stop the destructive progression of the Zoomorphs, which gradually destroys a civilization resigned and not inclined to initiative.
The narrator falls in love with one of the female creatures, Grace, the implicit leader’s daughter. After a second trip (chapter The Astronauts), accompanied this time by the sister of one of the heroes whose narrator is also in love, the three astronauts will return to Earth with the leader of the Tripedes and his daughter Grace, who will conceive on Earth, « a child “, a simple emanation of their moments of tenderness and the desire of the mother.
Composed as the logbook of their scientific and especially humanistic experiments on Mars, this novel dating from 1925 is worthy of a Jules Verne, one of the masterpieces of Rosny Elder where for the first time, the writer uses the term “Astronautics” and imagines a rapprochement between a terrestrial male and an extraterrestrial female. He puts the communication at the center of his books at the other, the risk of one race’s disappearance because of the impossibility of understanding the other (see Death of the Earth, Xipéhuz).
Often published without second part, “The Astronauts”, we offer this book in its full version.