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The World as It Shall Be
Émile Souvestre; Margaret Clarke, trans.; I.F Clarke, ed.

Early Classics of Science Fiction

2004 • 284 pp. 91 illus. 6 x 9"
Science Fiction / Fiction Classics / Literary Criticism - French

$29.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6615-7

Trans. from the French

The first future dystopia in modern European literature, now available in English.

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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Reviews / Endorsements

The World as It Shall Be is a kind of Missing Link in literary engaging book whose text and illustrations are irresistibly funny. ... a jewel in the crown of science fiction.” —Paul Alkon, Leo S. Bing Professor of English, University of Southern California

“This novel is an exceptional find—an engaging and often hilarious satire. Souvestre’s catalog of predictions is stunning—everything from designer drinking waters to photo passports, air conditioning, and the cult of celebrity.”Gary K. Wolfe, author of The Known and the Unknown

French novelist ÉMILE 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.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:52:29 -0500