Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review: Looking Backward 2000 - 1887

Usually when I'm reading science fiction that involves tire travel to the future, things do not go as well as I would like: alien invasions, catastrophic plagues, or massive natural disasters, so you can imagine how pleased I was to come across this little book (written in 1888) called Looking Backward: 2000 - 1887, by Edward Bellamy, where the future actually looks just fine (considering the "future" in the book is in the year 2000).

I actually came across this book while looking for another book; Mack Reynolds' Looking Back from the year 2000. which is part of my current project to read all 100 books in David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels.  While looking for the book in various library catalogues, i kept coming across the one from 1887 - which makes sense and the later book is a follow-up to the earlier one.

In the book (the original one), Julian West, a young man from Boston in 1887 is transported to the year 2000, where everything is actually going pretty well.  Yes the book is definitely a description of a socialist utopia, but as a socialist, I'm kind of okay with it, and to be fair, reading the book got me pretty excited to check out the 1974 follow up by Mac Reynolds.

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