Jules Verne wrote and published over 100 novels, short stories, nonfiction books, essays, and plays-some posthumously. He was born on a small river island in Nantes, France, on February 8th, 1828. His parents, Pierre Verne and Sophie Allotte de La Fuye, sent Jules to Paris in 1848 to follow in his father's footsteps and become a lawyer. Instead, he developed a love of all things literary and fashioned himself into a prolific and versatile writer. His first novel, Five Weeks in a Balloon, was published in 1863 by publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel and launched Verne's popular career with the Voyages Extraordinaires series of adventure novels, many of which established key elements of the science fiction genre. He was an instant success in France and other parts of Europe and would become a respected literary giant around the world later in the twentieth century. Verne died on March 24th, 1905, in Amiens, France. Verne's most famous works include Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872). Verne is one of the most translated authors in the world, second only to William Shakespeare, and still holds the prestigious title, the Father of Science Fiction.