The World as It Shall Be

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Wesleyan University Press, Nov 15, 2004 - Fiction - 248 pages
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It’s the year 3000, and children are raised by steam machines, Switzerland has been converted into a theme park, and there are no fewer than 684 kinds of mental illness. With eccentric, dark humor, Émile Souvestre portrays a society dominated by mechanization and greed. However comically exaggerated, the unmistakable echoes of real problems and possibilities in Souvestre’s satire make this book science fiction’s earliest warning against the dangers of mechanization in a society ruled by consumerism.

The World as It Shall Be was originally published in France in 1846—the first fully illustrated story in the history of future fiction. The satiric novel, with 87 charming illustrations, unfolds through the eyes of Maurice and Marthe, a young couple who are brought to the year 3000 by the spirit of the age, M. John Progrès. This first English translation includes all of the original art.

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The world as it shall be

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More than just a curiosity, this 1847 proto-sf French novel, here translated into English for the first time, may well be the first modern dystopia. A young, idealistic couple is put to sleep in the ... Read full review


The World as It Shall Be

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About the author (2004)

French novelist EMILE SOUVESTRE (1806-1854) was a well-known writer of his day. Noted British science fiction historian, I.F. CLARKE, and his wife MARGARET CLARKE have collaborated on various projects including The Last Man by Jean-Baptiste Cousin de Grainville (Wesleyan, 2002). He was Foundation Professor of English Studies at Strathclyde University, and she was Lecturer in English.

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