During the late 1890s and early 1900s, a new type of fiction arose, shaped in part by the fantastic travel stories of the French novelist Jules Verne (1828-1905). Verne's "Five Weeks in a Balloon" (1863), A Journey to the Center of the Earth(1864), and Around the World in Eighty Days(1873), anticipated many 20th-century scientific and technological developments and had a significant impact on the evolution of the dime novel. A series of quasi-scientific fictional stories appeared around 1895 in Norman Munro's story paper Golden Hours. These stories feature heroes modeled on Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla who invent outlandish electronic machines that lead to many a dangerous adventure.
Inspired by Verne's fiction, a hot air balloon and a flying machine that's part Viking ship, part balloon provide the means of transport for adventure to far-away lands and unknown planets.