Three Hundred Years Hence

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Hay, William Delisle. Three Hundred Years Hence, Or, A Voice from Posterity. Described in I. F. Clarke, Pattern of Expectation (London: Newman and Co., 1881)[1]. Anthologized I. F. Clarke, I.F. ed. British Future Fiction 1700-1914. 8 vols, Pickering & Chatto, London 2001. Not to be confused with Mary Griffith's book by the same title.

Discussed in John J. Pierce's manuscript "Imagination and Evolution, a Conceptual History of Science Fiction" (ch. 2, p. 15): set in "a Confederate States of Australasia – a high-tech and seemingly progressive society of underground wonder cities powered by a 'Basilistic Force,'" so relevant here for a mechanized underworld; cf. and contrast E. M. Fosters's "The Machine Stops" and its numerous descendants.

CAUTION: Pierce notes, "Australasia no longer includes any Asiatic peoples – they have all been exterminated," so be prepared for a genocidal eutopia; cf. and contrast "The Airlords of Han." Note also this from Review of British Future Fiction 1700-1914 by Alan Sandison, SRFA Review #254-55 (Sept.-Dec. 2001):

Bulwer Lytton offers qualified approval for the idea of progress, but he is also uneasy about what might come in its train. William Delisle Hay has absolutely no qualms, and the inclusion of Three Hundred Years Hence in this anthology furnishes us with a usefully extreme version of such enthusiasm. Hay provides a catalogue of prototypes - from, it would appear, the combine harvester to the jet engine to demonstrate the benefits of progress; but his professorial narrator does not balk at extending the idea to include the extermination of the yellow races and the black in the interests of world harmony. Hay takes no care to distance himself from this soulless pedant and does nothing to diminish the brutal self-confidence which, in the imperial spirit of the age, permeates the tale. (Sandison, p. 46)

JJPierce, RDE, 27Mar18, RDE, finishing, 2Sep19