Off on a Comet

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Among Jules Verne's works is this cautionary tale about a day when the Earth is nearly struck by a comet only to have a portion of Europe break off and be flung into space. A number of people, mostly on island outposts and sailing vessels, find themselves hurtling into the icy depths of space and the small piece of home on which they find themselves is rapidly cooling as it moves away from the sun. Through a stroke of luck the main characters locate a volcano and a huge cavern in its side that can provide them with the life-giving heat they need. But they soon discover a professor who, as it turns out, knew about the close encounter and is happy with the results. This two-part story follows the unwitting space farers as they journey both outbound, and then as they come back for an eventual collision with their home planet. The available texts for this story did not include any of the magnificent illustrations. That has been remedied and more than 100 of the original art piece have been restored.

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