Sunday, 5 February 2017

Shout-Out: City of Endless Night by Milo Hastings

Written in 1919, City of Endless Night has recently been reprinted by Dover.  It's a public domain novel and also available for free through Project Gutenberg. I've read a fair number of dystopian novels, so I was delighted when I learned of this one. Though, given the current descent into dystopia I'm observing in the US, I may not read this for a while (I need things that don't remind me of the current state of the world).

In Berlin of 2041, millions of people live underground. The city is in a state of perpetual war with the rest of the world, its besieged population locked beneath an impenetrable dome. Strictly rationed food is available only to workers, Christianity is banned, and breeding is governed by eugenics. But a ray of hope descends into the underworld when a young American chemist manages to penetrate the subterranean society in an attempt to rally the demoralized citizens and spark a revolution.

Written toward the end of World War I and published in 1919, this gripping dystopian novel offers remarkably prescient views of Germany's resurgence and the rise of fascism. City of Endless Night's many anticipations of Nazi ideology include rigid governmental control of the press, promotion of eugenics, and the embrace of the concept of a master race. A landmark of science fiction, this pioneering novel was the precursor of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and other visionary tales.

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