VIDEO: Sci-fi Written by Charles Landis is Discovered


VINELAND - Charles K. Landis, the founder of Vineland, wrote a book titled A Trip to Mars. Despite the novel being written over a hundred years ago, nobody knew it even existed, until now.
“We are just so excited about this book," said Patricia Martinelli, Curator at  Vineland Historic Society. "A Trip to Mars is an unpublished novel that we discovered in our holdings, written by the founder of Vineland, Charles K. Landis in 1876.”
“I think that Landis was a very well read very intelligent man," said Thomas Kinsella, Literature Professor at Stockton University. "And he knew about science, he knew about the current literacy landscape, and I think he just decided, this would be interesting."
Found in the vault at the Vineland Historical Society, the science fiction tale was hidden away for decades, without anyone knowing of its existence. Landis filled the tale with an adventure of space travel, making this story light years ahead of literature of the 1800’s.
“They use this technology to get to Mars where they discover, no big surprise here, a town that is very much like Vineland in a lot of ways," said Martinelli. "But it has some interesting twists and turns to the story where they fight off monsters who are attacking this settlement.”
With the help of Tom Kinsella and a few of his Stockton University students, A Trip to Mars is one step closer to being released to the public.
“I had to take a good hard look at it to think, is this really a 19th-century type script?  But it is, and you’ve got little handwritten pieces in ink where Landis has been correcting himself,” said Kinsella.
Lead by Tom Kinsella, the South Jersey Cultural and History Center at Stockton University has been working on publishing paperback titles of significant South Jersey history. Kinsella’s students are proofreading the book and preparing it for publication.
“It’s just got that classic, 19th century look to it, so that you really feel like you’re picking up a little piece of history,” said Martinelli.
A Trip to Mars will be available for the public in a matter of weeks.   South Jersey will soon be able to travel back in time with Landis, and embark on their own space adventure.

SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.