- FONTENELLE, Bernard Le Bovyer de
- (1657-1757)French man of letters whose work pointed forward to the Age of Reason; nephew of the dramatist Corneille. He wrote much, and one of his most important books became a seminal influence on PROTO SCIENCE FICTION: Entretiens sur la pluralite des mondes habites (1686; trans J.Glanvill as The Plurality of Worlds 1929). This is one of the earliest works ever written popularizing science, notably ASTRONOMY, for the layman, which it does by wittily presenting its speculations - many about the possibility of LIFE ON OTHER WORLDS - in the form of conversations after dinner between the author and a marquise. In 1697 he became permanent secretary of the the Academie des Sciences, a post he held for 44 years.PN
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.