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An Icelander on the Moon

The Story of the World's First Science Fiction Book Speaker: Bettina Forget 13. 06. 2014 (Friday) | 20:00

Who wrote the first fiction book? Is it Isaac Asimov? H. G. Wells? Jules Verne?

Actually, the first ever science fiction book is titled "Somnium" and was written 400 years ago by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler. It describes a fantastic voyage to the Moon, its inhabitants, its landscape, and the Solar System’s celestial motion.

A little-known fact is that the book's main characters are Icelandic, and that much of the story takes place in Iceland. Artist Bettina Forget has created a series of prints and paintings based on Somnium, and she will spend the month of June in Ólafsfjörður gathering research for her project of a sequel to this iconic book. During her stay in Listhùs she will give an artist's talk about how the first science fiction book came to be, present examples of her work based on the book, and outline the new project that she is working on.


Bettina Forget is a visual artist and gallery owner living and working in Montreal, Canada. Born in Germany, she has studied art at Central St-Martins School of Art in London, England, at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, and at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Forget’s paintings and print work focuses on the subject of astronomy, establishing a link between art and science, and her most recent video work explores semantic tension and personal narrative. Her works have been exhibited internationally, and her works are in collections in Singapore, Great Britain, Germany, Nicaragua, Australia, the USA, and Canada.

  • Introduction

  • somnium (Part 1)

  • somnium (Part 2)

  • My Works at Listhus

  • Q & A

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