This slim collection of five short stories is a sample of the early output of this author. It shows that he had yet to develop his skills in accurate detail and character. The stories show the wide range of interest of Jules Verne for historical fiction as well as science fiction. Each story is briefly introduced by the editor. The first story involves the challenges of early aviation by balloon. The second story treats patriotism which remains a popular topic. In contemporary society many people feel there isn't enough time in the day, but a clockmaker in Verne's third story, finds that time has stopped. We wonder how global climate change might affect humanity but Dr. Ox, in the title story, performs an experiment on a town that takes it to the brink of war. Finally, in a twist of fate, attacking polar bears inadvertently save the crew of an ice-bound ship on the eastern coast of Greenland.
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