Greg, Percy (1836–1889)

Percy Greg was an English poet, novelist, and historian who wrote a number of science fiction tales, including Across the Zodiac: The Story of a Wrecked Record (1880). This was possibly the first story to involve a powered spaceship (the craft in Jules Verne's early Moon yarn having being shot out of a huge cannon). Greg describes a propulsion system based on "apergy" – an antigravity-like force. Arriving on a Lowellian Mars, the protagonist finds a race of technically advanced humanoids, one of whom he marries (qualifying the book perhaps for another SF first) though it all ends unhappily when his martian bride is killed.