I hear via Kathryn that a new edition of Verne’s The Mysterious Island will be surfacing soon. My knowledge of Verne’s work is limited to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days, and I’d rather watch a movie adaptation (the 1956 Around the World in 80 Days David Niven, John Gielgud, and little-known actor Noel Coward) or read Alan Moore’s cracked take on Captain Nemo (and others, including that symbol of capital and individualism turned monstrous and destroyed by the common people, the Invisible Man; he is, of course, an invention of the other oft-cited grandfather of science fiction, H.G. Wells, and the Wells that I’ve read, stiff though it is, has been more enjoyable than the Verne). Bruce Sterling has written a pair of essays (1, 2) linking Verne to photographer, caricaturist, writer, and portraitist Felix Tournachon (also known as Nadar); the 1848 Paris Revolution; the Bohemian movement; and other interesting French things of the time, so I should probably give Verne another shot. The really fascinating thing about the new Mysterious Island is that the translation was largely prepared by a non-professional fan, Sidney Kravitz, a retired engineer from Dover, New Jersey. It’s as if AnimEigo decided to turn to fansub creators for its next project, only more so, this being a world of literature almost completely dominated by professional scholars and translators. I’ll probably give The Mysterious Island a looksee for just that reason. Long live the amateur enthusiast! None