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The World as It Shall Be (Early Classics of Science Fiction) [Hardcover]

By Emile Souvestre (Author)
Our Price $ 25.46  
Retail Value $ 29.95  
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Item Number 93466  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   284
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2004
Publisher   Wesleyan
ISBN  0819566152  
EAN  9780819566157  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
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, Emile 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 Progres. This first English translation includes all of the original art.

Buy The World as It Shall Be (Early Classics of Science Fiction) by Emile Souvestre from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780819566157 & 0819566152

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More About Emile Souvestre

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [79254  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > General   [8498  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction   [104  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Tragic vision  Jan 19, 2010
I read this book a while ago so I don't really remember the details. But it's really good!

The story has the stereotypical structure of "traveller from the author's time visits the future". However, as the this site text says, it's definitely a dys- rather than an utopia, a dehumanised future where people are empty, bored, and consumerist, where babies are raised in factory-like creches.

Souvestre predicted several technologies with surprising accuracy, although as I said, I don't remember which specifically. Anyway so did Jules Verne. What sunk in more was his predictions of the spirit of the age, and his insight that material progress would not necessarily lead to greater happiness or quality of life.

As someone who has lived in several different countries already at the age of 26, I found this line striking: "Their vacant faces were like coins worn away by use, which had lost their imprint and only differed because they were made of different metals. Because they had come to regard the world as a great highway, they had lost all their sense of nationality: they no longer had a town, or a hearth; and, in consequence, they had no motherland."

It could apply to a lot of people - the professional expatriate down through the low-wage migrant worker to the refugee. It echoes the English saying "You can't go home again" and The Economist's recent essay on migration, adaptation, and nostalgia. We now find that there are things more important than the idea of home. I think this is what Souvestre predicted best about the future - that loss of identity linked to place, the rootlessness of the modern human (for better or for worse).

On the other hand, it's also somewhat humourous so it's not totally depressing.

Write your own review about The World as It Shall Be (Early Classics of Science Fiction)

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