"It was [H.G. Wells'] adolescent fiction, his imaginative stories, that live forever - and yet are not acknowledged in literature classes as being great literature. So to hell with the academics!"
- Greg Bear
||Burn the Ship
||Utilize parts of the ship as fuel for forward movement.
|And, having paid his passenger what he considered a high compliment, he was going away, when Mr. Fogg said, "The vessel now belongs to me?"
"Certainly, from the keel to the truck of the masts—all the wood, that is."
"Very well. Have the interior seats, bunks, and frames pulled down, and burn them."
It was necessary to have dry wood to keep the steam up to the adequate pressure, and on that day the poop, cabins, bunks, and the spare deck were sacrificed. On the next day, the 19th of December, the masts, rafts, and spars were burned; the crew worked lustily, keeping up the fires. Passepartout hewed, cut, and sawed away with all his might. There was a perfect rage for demolition.
The railings, fittings, the greater part of the deck, and top sides disappeared on the 20th, and the Henrietta was now only a flat hulk. But on this day they sighted the Irish coast and Fastnet Light. By ten in the evening they were passing Queenstown. Phileas Fogg had only twenty-four hours more in which to get to London; that length of time was necessary to reach Liverpool, with all steam on.
|From Around the World in 80 days,
by Jules Verne.
Published by Unknown in 1868
Additional resources -
This technique was actually seriously suggested
But here the story starts to get complicated. Unknown to the VfR—or to anybody else—at least three other groups were hard at work. F. A. Tsander, in Moscow, headed one of these. He was an aeronautical engineer who had written extensively—and imaginatively—on rockets and space travel, and in one of his publications had suggested that an astronaut might stretch his fuel supply by imitating Phileas Fogg. When a fuel tank was emptied, the astronaut could simply grind it up and add the powdered aluminum thus obtaining to the remaining fuel, whose heating value would be correspondingly enhanced! This updated emulation of the hero of Around the World in Eighty Days, who, when he ran out of coal, burned up part of his ship in order to keep the rest of it moving, not unnaturally remained on paper, and Tsander’s experimental work was in a less imaginative vein. He started work in 1929, first with gasoline and gaseous air, and then, in 1931, with gasoline and liquid oxygen.
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