Jules Gabriel Verne ( 8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwright.
Verne was born in the seaport of Nantes, where he was trained to follow in his father's footsteps as a lawyer, but quit the profession early in life to write for magazines and the stage. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaires, a widely popular series of scrupulously researched adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).
Verne is generally considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe, where he has had a wide influence on the literary avant-garde and on surrealism. His reputation is markedly different in Anglophone regions, where he has often been labeled a writer of genre fiction or children's books, largely because of the highly abridged and altered translations in which his novels are often reprinted.
Verne has been the second most-translated author in the world since 1979, ranking between Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare. He has sometimes been called the "Father of Science Fiction", a title that has also been given to H. G. Wells and Hugo Gernsback.
Verne's novels have had a wide influence on both literary and scientific works; writers known to have been influenced by Verne include Marcel Aymé, Roland Barthes, René Barjavel, Michel Butor, Blaise Cendrars, Paul Claudel, Jean Cocteau, François Mauriac, Raymond Roussel, Claude Roy, Antoine Saint-Exupéry, and Jean-Paul Sartre, while scientists and explorers who acknowledged Verne's inspiration have included Richard E. Byrd, Yuri Gagarin, Simon Lake, Hubert Lyautey, Guglielmo Marconi, Fridtjof Nansen, Wernher von Braun, and Jack Parsons. He is credited with helping inspire the steampunk genre, a literary and social movement that glamorizes science fiction based on 19th-century technology.
Ray Bradbury summed up Verne's influence on literature and science the world over by saying: "We are all, in one way or another, the children of Jules Verne."