New Science Fiction Novel Written by Vineland Founder in 1876 Released

VINELAND - A handwritten copy of Charles K Landis’ science fiction manuscript titled A Trip to Mars was discovered last year by the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society’s Curator Patricia  A. Martinelli. She found it while inventorying the Landis family files.
The story was written after Mr. Landis had undergone a series of personal tragedies, which included the loss of his first-born son,  his arrest on murder charges, and divorce from his wife, Clara.
“We see this as his way to escape from his personal problems,” said Martinelli. “Mr. Landis wrote a lot, but this rare book is unique among all his writings.”
Martinelli contacted Dr. Thomas Kinsella, director of Stockton University’s South Jersey Culture and History Center, about publishing the manuscript. According to her, “He was delighted to bring such an unusual piece of South Jersey’s past to the public for the first time.”
The book is a story about two travelers who use secret technology to visit Mars. Once they arrive on the red planet, they meet a society very similar to Earth’s. But it’s a society periodically attacked by monsters from another part of the same planet.
Martinelli said, "A Trip to Mars is filled with social commentary typical of other stories of the period. Written about ten years after Jules Verne first launched his space travelers to the moon, but before H.G. Wells and other authors sent their heroes into space, Landis’ work is a classical example of the early days of the science fiction genre.”
The book is available from The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society for $9.95 a copy. For further information or to order, all 856.691.1111 or email All profits from book sales will benefit the Society’s museum collections fund.
“If you’re disappointed that you didn’t make the short list of those to become a Martian colonist, or otherwise feeling alienated, you can still escape in the pages of “A Trip to Mars, “written by Charles K. Landis in 1876,” said Martinelli.

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