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 An early Science Fiction fantasy.

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Laserskater

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PostSubject: An early Science Fiction fantasy.   Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:09 pm

I like Science Fiction and I found an early rarity from internet. Everyone remembers Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein, but she wrote other books too. I liked very much her awesome futuristic Novel "The Last Man" (1826) which is telling about years 2070-2100.

Mary Shelley’s The Last Man is a tragic Science Fiction novel which describes the rise and fall of the fortunes of a circle of friends, set against the backdrop of a merciless plague which is inexorably exterminating humanity.

The first half of the novel is primarily a romantic-era drama. It begins circa 2073 when a revolution will turn England as a republic. The main character Lionel Verney begins life as a destitute orphan, son of a former favorite of the royal court whose extravagances led to his disgrace. During a vindictive attempt to pilfer from the Earl of Windsor’s forest, Verney is captured but shown mercy by the Earl Adrian, Kings son, who in fact had come in search of him. Verney becomes fast friends with Adrian and other people of royal court and England's political leaders. A charismatic and bold Lord Raymond (whose example in Real Life is actually Lord Byron, Shelley's boyfriend) is seeking ways to restore monarchy to England and place himself at its prime minister through a succesful election.

Later Raymond travels to Greece to lead a new military campaign against the Turks. Christianity and Islam are struggling their eternal battle in this novel too. Shelley was clearly a very intelligent and rational woman. She was a pasifist and a feminist and she well understood the tactics of religious demagogues in all religions. During the siege of Constantinople, a plague begins to encroach inexorably upon the western world. The latter part of the novel is actually very powerful. Scenes of horrors increase...

An interesting astronomical detail is this happening from year 2093:
"A strange story was brought to us from the East, to which little credit would have been given, had not the fact been attested by a multitude of witnesses, in various parts of the world. On the twenty-first of June, it was said that an hour before noon, a black sun arose: an orb, the size of that luminary, but dark, defined, whose beams were shadows, ascended from the west; in about an hour it had reached the meridian, and eclipsed the bright parent of day. Night fell upon every country, night, sudden, rayless, entire. The stars came out, shedding their ineffectual glimmerings on the light-widowed earth. But soon the dim orb passed from over the sun, and lingered down the eastern heaven. As it descended, its dusky rays crossed the brilliant ones of the sun, and deadened or distorted them. The shadows of things assumed strange and ghastly shapes. The wild animals in the woods took fright at the unknown shapes figured on the ground. They fled they knew not whither; and the citizens were filled with greater dread, at the convulsion which "shook lions into civil streets;"--birds, strong-winged eagles, suddenly blinded, fell in the market-places, while owls and bats shewed themselves welcoming the early night. Gradually the object of fear sank beneath the horizon, and to the last shot up shadowy beams into the otherwise radiant air. Such was the tale sent us from Asia, from the eastern extremity of Europe, and from Africa as far west as the Golden Coast."

I found this news from year 2002:
"According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2002 EM7, which went near Earth 2002, could smack into Earth in 2093."
http://articles.cnn.com/2002-03-19/tech/asteroid.blindside_1_gareth-williams-astronomers-earth?_s=PM:TECH
Did Mary knew that somehow???? Very Happy

Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Man#Publication_history_and_reception

The whole book is here:
http://www.rc.umd.edu/editions/mws/lastman/
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PostSubject: Re: An early Science Fiction fantasy.   Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:53 pm

Wow. The book sounds interesting.

As for that news from 2002, does it mean it really mean it could send the earth instantly in to the future? And that far?
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Laserskater

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PostSubject: Re: An early Science Fiction fantasy.   Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:52 am

I think that it is an interesting coincidence that there really will be at least a very close by-pass of the asteroid in 2093. The very same year, Mary Shelley used in her book as the year of the rising "Black Sun".
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