Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas, newly and expertly translated by William Butcher for Oxford World's Classics, belongs to a different class of publishing operation. It carries over a hundred pages of Introduction and illuminating scholarly apparatus, and does much to mitigate the damage done by earlier combinations of inadequate translations and presentational and media vulgarisation. I half regret the accurate but untraditional pluralising of "Sea' in the title. In fact, not only is the novel innovative in Nemo's wandering encompassing the whole globe, but the Nautilus swims a single world ocean, even discovering a watery tunnel between the Red and Mediterranean seas and diving beneath the ice to find the south polar continent. It is interesting to compare Verne's concepts and available sources with Kim Stanley Robinson's researches, experiences and attitudes 130 years later in Antarctica: both novel and imaginative classics of their centuries, each in its own way and to varying degrees idealistic and extrapolative, yet neither definitively or exclusively SF.

K V Bailey, in Vector 200, June 1998