First published in 1752, Micromegas is one of Voltaire's best-known works. It is a tale of mordant irony, and actually the original science-fiction short story. Arriving on Earth from the star Sirius, the gigantic explorer Micromégas discovers the people of Earth, so small compared to him that he first believes that no creature this size can hope to achieve any degree of intelligence; he will soon discover the ways and thoughts of these diminutive people, who clearly have an over-inflated idea of their own importance in the universe. Voltaire's extrapolations of sun-powered interstellar flight, alien civilizations, and the two moons of Mars, are designed to make us see ourselves in a new light and laugh at what we find.
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