e-artnow presents to you this meticulously edited and formatted SF collection, jam-packed with the dystopian worlds, intergalactic action-adventures, and the greatest Sci-Fi classics: E. M. Forster: The Machine Stops Richard Jefferies: After London Richard Stockham: Perchance to Dream Irving E. Cox: The Guardians Philip F. Nowlan: Armageddon–2419 A.D… George Griffith: The Angel of the Revolution… Percy Greg: Across the Zodiac David Lindsay: A Voyage to Arcturus Edward E. Hale: The Brick Moon Stanley G. Weinbaum: A Martian Odyssey… Abraham Merritt The Moon Pool… Edgar Wallace: The Green Rust… H. Beam Piper: Terro-Human Future History… Garrett P. Serviss: The Sky Pirate… Philip K. Dick: Second Variety… Jules Verne: Journey to the Center of the Earth H. G. Wells: The Time Machine Edgar Allan Poe: A Descent into the Maelstrom… Mary Shelley: Frankenstein… Edwin A. Abbott: Flatland Jack London: Iron Heel… R. L. Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde George MacDonald: Lilith H. Rider Haggard: King Solomon's Mines She William H. Hodgson: The Night Land… Edward Bellamy: Looking Backward… Mark Twain: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Arthur Conan Doyle: The Lost World… Edgar Rice Burroughs Pellucidar Series Caspak Series Francis Bacon: New Atlantis C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne: The Lost Continent Margaret Cavendish: The Blazing World Jonathan Swift: Gulliver's Travels William Morris: News from Nowhere Samuel Butler: Erewhon Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Coming Race James F. Cooper: The Monikins Charlotte P. Gilman: Herland Ayn Rand: Anthem Owen Gregory: Meccania the Super-State Hugh Benson: Lord of the World Fred M. White: The Doom of London Ignatius Donnelly: Caesar's Column Ernest Bramah: The Secret of the League Milo Hastings: City of Endless Night Arthur D. Vinton: Looking Further Backward Robert Cromie: The Crack of Doom Gertrude Bennett: The Heads of Cerberus E. E. Smith: Triplanetary… Murray Leinster: Murder Madness… Fritz Leiber: The Big Time… Andre Norton: The Time Traders… Pursuit A Traveler in Time Gulliver of Mars A Journey in Other Worlds…
Living as we do in the closing year of the twentieth century, enjoying the blessings of a social order at once so simple and logical that it seems but the triumph of common sense, it is no doubt difficult for those whose studies have not been largely historical to realize that the present organization of society is, in its completeness, less than a century old. No historical fact is, however, better established than that till nearly the end of the nineteenth century it was the general belief that the ancient industrial system, with all its shocking social consequences, was destined to last, with possibly a little patching, to the end of time. How strange and wellnigh incredible does it seem that so prodigious a moral and material transformation as has taken place since then could have been accomplished in so brief an interval! The readiness with which men accustom themselves, as matters of course, to improvements in their condition, which, when anticipated, seemed to leave nothing more to be desired, could not be more strikingly illustrated. What reflection could be better calculated to moderate the enthusiasm of reformers who count for their reward on the lively gratitude of future ages!

The object of this volume is to assist persons who, while desiring to gain a more definite idea of the social contrasts between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, are daunted by the formal aspect of the histories which treat the subject. Warned by a teacher's experience that learning is accounted a weariness to the flesh, the author has sought to alleviate the instructive quality of the book by casting it in the form of a romantic narrative, which he would be glad to fancy not wholly devoid of interest on its own account.

The reader, to whom modern social institutions and their underlying principles are matters of course, may at times find Dr. Leete's explanations of them rather trite—but it must be remembered that to Dr. Leete's guest they were not matters of course, and that this book is written for the express purpose of inducing the reader to forget for the nonce that they are so to him. One word more. The almost universal theme of the writers and orators who have celebrated this bimillennial epoch has been the future rather than the past, not the advance that has been made, but the progress that shall be made, ever onward and upward, till the race shall achieve its ineffable destiny. This is well, wholly well, but it seems to me that nowhere can we find more solid ground for daring anticipations of human development during the next one thousand years, than by "Looking Backward" upon the progress of the last one hundred.

That this volume may be so fortunate as to find readers whose interest in the subject shall incline them to overlook the deficiencies of the treatment is the hope in which the author steps aside and leaves Mr. Julian West to speak for himself.

Musaicum Books presents to you this unique SF collection, designed and formatted to the highest digital standards and adjusted for readability on all devices. Contents: Ayn Rand: Anthem Jack London: Iron Heel H. G. Wells: The Time Machine The First Men in the Moon When The Sleeper Wakes Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Coming Race Hugh Benson: Lord of the World Edward Bellamy: Looking Backward: 2000–1887 Equality Mary Shelley: The Last Man Edgar Allan Poe: The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion Owen Gregory: Meccania the Super-State Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels William Hope Hodgson: The Night Land Fred M. White: The Doom of London Series The Four White Days The Four Days' Night The Dust of Death A Bubble Burst The Invisible Force The River of Death Ignatius Donnelly: Caesar's Column Ernest Bramah: The Secret of the League (aka What Might Have Been) Milo Hastings: City of Endless Night Arthur Dudley Vinton: Looking Further Backward Gertrude Barrows Bennett (aka Francis Stevens): The Heads of Cerberus E. M. Forster: The Machine Stops Richard Jefferies: After London Samuel Butler: Erewhon Edwin A. Abbott: Flatland Anthony Trollope: The Fixed Period Fritz Leiber: The Night of the Long Knives Richard Stockham: Perchance to Dream Irving E. Cox: The Guardians Cleveland Moffett: The Conquest of America Richard Jefferies: After London William Dean Howells: A Traveler from Altruria Through the Eye of the Needle Philip Francis Nowlan: Armageddon–2419 A.D. The Airlords of Han (Sequel) Anonymous: The Great Romance Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain: Sultana's Dream George Griffith: The Angel of the Revolution The Syren of the Skies (Sequel)
"Looking Backward: 2000–1887: Julian West, a young American, towards the end of the 19th century falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes up 113 years later. He finds himself in the same location (Boston, Massachusetts), but in a totally changed world: It is the year 2000, and while he was sleeping, the United States has been transformed into a socialist utopia. The young man readily finds a guide, Doctor Leete, who shows him around and explains all the advances of this new age, including drastically reduced working hours for people performing menial jobs and almost instantaneous, Internet-like delivery of goods. The two start working on improving the future with the experiences from the past and the presence. "Equality" is a sequel to Looking Backward and it expands on the theories first explored in it. The story takes up immediately after the events of Looking Backward with the main characters Julian West, Doctor Leete, and his daughter Edith. Julian continues to learn more about the world of the year 2000. His citizenship in the new America is recognized, and he goes to the bank to obtain his own account, or "credit card," from which he can draw his equal share of the national product. He learns that women are free to compete in many of the same trades as men. Handwriting has been virtually replaced by phonograph records, and jewelry is no longer used, since jewels are now worthless. Julian is amazed by a television-like device, called the electroscope. World communication is simplified, since everyone now speaks a universal language in addition to their native tongue. Not only are there motor cars, but also private air cars. Everyone is now vegetarian, and the thought of eating meat is looked upon with revulsion.
The hand of the clock fastened up on the white wall of the conference room, just over the framed card bearing the words "Stand up for Jesus," and between two other similar cards, respectively bearing the sentences "Come unto Me," and "The Wonderful, the Counsellor," pointed to ten minutes of nine. As was usual at this period of Newville prayer-meetings, a prolonged pause had supervened. The regular standbyes had all taken their usual part, and for any one to speak or pray would have been about as irregular as for one of the regulars to fail in doing so. For the attendants at Newville prayer-meetings were strictly divided into the two classes of speakers and listeners, and, except during revivals or times of special interest, the distinction was scrupulously observed.

Deacon Tuttle had spoken and prayed, Deacon Miller had prayed and spoken, Brother Hunt had amplified a point in last Sunday's sermon, Brother Taylor had called attention to a recent death in the village as a warning to sinners, and Sister Morris had prayed twice, the second time it must be admitted, with a certain perceptible petulance of tone, as if willing to have it understood that she was doing more than ought to be expected of her. But while it was extremely improbable that any others of the twenty or thirty persons assembled would feel called on to break the silence, though it stretched to the crack of doom, yet, on the other hand, to close the meeting before the mill bell had struck nine would have been regarded as a dangerous innovation. Accordingly, it only remained to wait in decorous silence during the remaining ten minutes.
Looking Backward was a small book, and I was not able to get into it all I wished to say on the subject. Since it was published what was left out of it has loomed up as so much more important than what it contained that I have been constrained to write another book. I have taken the date of Looking Backward, the year 2000, as that of Equality, and have utilized the framework of the former story as a starting point for this which I now offer. In order that those who have not read Looking Backward may be at no disadvantage, an outline of the essential features of that story is subjoined:

In the year 1887 Julian West was a rich young man living in Boston. He was soon to be married to a young lady of wealthy family named Edith Bartlett, and meanwhile lived alone with his man-servant Sawyer in the family mansion. Being a sufferer from insomnia, he had caused a chamber to be built of stone beneath the foundation of the house, which he used for a sleeping room. When even the silence and seclusion of this retreat failed to bring slumber, he sometimes called in a professional mesmerizer to put him into a hypnotic sleep, from which Sawyer knew how to arouse him at a fixed time. This habit, as well as the existence of the underground chamber, were secrets known only to Sawyer and the hypnotist who rendered his services. On the night of May 30, 1887, West sent for the latter, and was put to sleep as usual. The hypnotist had previously informed his patron that he was intending to leave the city permanently the same evening, and referred him to other practitioners. That night the house of Julian West took fire and was wholly destroyed. Remains identified as those of Sawyer were found and, though no vestige of West appeared, it was assumed that he of course had also perished.

One hundred and thirteen years later, in September, A. D. 2000, Dr. Leete, a physician of Boston, on the retired list, was conducting excavations in his garden for the foundations of a private laboratory, when the workers came on a mass of masonry covered with ashes and charcoal. On opening it, a vault, luxuriously fitted up in the style of a nineteenth-century bedchamber, was found, and on the bed the body of a young man looking as if he had just lain down to sleep. Although great trees had been growing above the vault, the unaccountable preservation of the youth's body tempted Dr. Leete to attempt resuscitation, and to his own astonishment his efforts proved successful. The sleeper returned to life, and after a short time to the full vigor of youth which his appearance had indicated. His shock on learning what had befallen him was so great as to have endangered his sanity but for the medical skill of Dr. Leete, and the not less sympathetic ministrations of the other members of the household, the doctor's wife, and Edith the beautiful daughter. Presently, however, the young man forgot to wonder at what had happened to himself in his astonishment on learning of the social transformation through which the world had passed while he lay sleeping. Step by step, almost as to a child, his hosts explained to him, who had known no other way of living except the struggle for existence, what were the simple principles of national co-operation for the promotion of the general welfare on which the new civilization rested. He learned that there were no longer any who were or could be richer or poorer than others, but that all were economic equals. He learned that no one any longer worked for another, either by compulsion or for hire, but that all alike were in the service of the nation working for the common fund, which all equally shared, and that even necessary personal attendance, as of the physician, was rendered as to the state like that of the military surgeon. All these wonders, it was explained, had very simply come about as the results of replacing private capitalism by public capitalism, and organizing the machinery of production and distribution, like the political government, as business of general concern to be carried on for the public benefit instead of private gain.

But, though it was not long before the young stranger's first astonishment at the institutions of the new world had passed into enthusiastic admiration and he was ready to admit that the race had for the first time learned how to live, he presently began to repine at a fate which had introduced him to the new world, only to leave him oppressed by a sense of hopeless loneliness which all the kindness of his new friends could not relieve, feeling, as he must, that it was dictated by pity only. Then it was that he first learned that his experience had been a yet more marvelous one than he had supposed. Edith Leete was no other than the great-granddaughter of Edith Bartlett, his betrothed, who, after long mourning her lost lover, had at last allowed herself to be consoled. The story of the tragical bereavement which had shadowed her early life was a family tradition, and among the family heirlooms were letters from Julian West, together with a photograph which represented so handsome a youth that Edith was illogically inclined to quarrel with her great-grandmother for ever marrying anybody else. As for the young man's picture, she kept it on her dressing table. Of course, it followed that the identity of the tenant of the subterranean chamber had been fully known to his rescuers from the moment of the discovery; but Edith, for reasons of her own, had insisted that he should not know who she was till she saw fit to tell him. When, at the proper time, she had seen fit to do this, there was no further question of loneliness for the young man, for how could destiny more unmistakably have indicated that two persons were meant for each other?

His cup of happiness now being full, he had an experience in which it seemed to be dashed from his lips. As he lay on his bed in Dr. Leete's house he was oppressed by a hideous nightmare. It seemed to him that he opened his eyes to find himself on his bed in the underground chamber where the mesmerizer had put him to sleep. Sawyer was just completing the passes used to break the hypnotic influence. He called for the morning paper, and read on the date line May 31, 1887. Then he knew that all this wonderful matter about the year 2000, its happy, care-free world of brothers and the fair girl he had met there were but fragments of a dream. His brain in a whirl, he went forth into the city. He saw everything with new eyes, contrasting it with what he had seen in the Boston of the year 2000. The frenzied folly of the competitive industrial system, the inhuman contrasts of luxury and woe--pride and abjectness--the boundless squalor, wretchedness, and madness of the whole scheme of things which met his eye at every turn, outraged his reason and made his heart sick. He felt like a sane man shut up by accident in a madhouse. After a day of this wandering he found himself at nightfall in a company of his former companions, who rallied him on his distraught appearance. He told them of his dream and what it had taught him of the possibilities of a juster, nobler, wiser social system. He reasoned with them, showing how easy it would be, laying aside the suicidal folly of competition, by means of fraternal co-operation, to make the actual world as blessed as that he had dreamed of. At first they derided him, but, seeing his earnestness, grew angry, and denounced him as a pestilent fellow, an anarchist, an enemy of society, and drove him from them. Then it was that, in an agony of weeping, he awoke, this time awaking really, not falsely, and found himself in his bed in Dr. Leete's house, with the morning sun of the twentieth century shining in his eyes. Looking from the window of his room, he saw Edith in the garden gathering flowers for the breakfast table, and hastened to descend to her and relate his experience. At this point we will leave him to continue the narrative for himself.

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