The World as It Shall Be

The World as It Shall Be

by Emile Souvestre

The first future dystopia in modern European literature, now available in English.See more details below


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

Editorial Reviews

Gerald Jonas
The World as it Shall Be, by Emile Souvestre, is a historical curiosity that deserves to be better known. This is the first complete English edition of ''Le Monde Tel Qu'Il Sera,'' a satirical look into the future first published in Paris in 1845-46.

Through a series of biting vignettes, accompanied by his own illustrations, Souvestre (1806-54) scores points against the naive utopians of his own day by recounting the follies of the self-absorbed citizens of the Republic of United Interests in the year 3000.
The New York Times

Library Journal
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 19th century, magically to reawaken in the year 3000, a time when predatory capitalism, brutal self-interest, impersonal bureaucracy, and a craven celebrity culture have utterly triumphed over human feeling, compassion, and community. Each chapter somewhat mechanically presents an overview of a different aspect of future life, e.g., government, law, economics, religion, art, and child rearing. While steam power and the newly invented telegraph still dominate communication, work, and travel, the author amusingly anticipates, among many things, submarines, department stores, cable news, and even branded bottled water. With comic illustrations and a helpful introduction and notes from noted sf historian I.F. Clarke, the novel itself offers a clear critique of the seemingly mindless ideology of a necessarily benevolent progress as well as a rather moralistic and, at times, obscure satire of 1840s France. For most academic libraries and public libraries where interest warrants.-Roger A. Berger, Everett Community Coll., WA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Wesleyan University Press
Publication date:
Early Classics of Science Fiction
Edition description:
Trans. from the French
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.94(d)

What People are saying about this

Paul Alkon
“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.”
Gary K. Wolfe
“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.”

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