(1896-1956) German journalist and author of popular fiction for Young Adult readers, two of whose astronautical novels were published in Hugo Gernsback's Science Wonder Quarterly (see Wonder Stories Quarterly). These were Der Schuß ins All: Ein Roman von morgen (1924 Münchner Illustrierte Presse; 1925; trans Francis Currier Fall 1929 Science Wonder Quarterly as "The Shot into Infinity"; book form also as The Shot into Infinity 1975) and its sequel, Der Stein vom Mond: Kosmicher Roman (1926 trans Francis Currier, Spring 1930 Science Wonder Quarterly as "The Stone from the Moon"), which features an advanced Space Station adjacent to a giant mirror serving to focus solar energy to Earth. Gail was a member of the German Interplanetary Society, and acquainted with Hermann Oberth and other early German researchers into the possibility of space flight; the sequel is comparatively harum-scarum, but Der Schuß ins All – in the course of proselytizing for the Interplanetary Society's version of the future – achieves a technical realism unusual for the time. Hans Hardts Mondfahrt: Eines abenteuerliche Erzählung (1928; trans anon as By Rocket to the Moon: The Story of Hans Hardt's Miraculous Flight 1930) is also a juvenile, and features the discovery of Atlantis on the Moon. [JC]
see also: Germany; Spaceships.
Otto Willi Gail
born Gunzenhausen, Bavaria: 18 July 1896
died Munich, Germany: 29 March 1956
nonfiction (highly selected)
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