Steven's Reviews > Paris in the Twentieth Century

Paris in the Twentieth Century by Jules Verne
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's review
Jun 04, 09

Read in June, 2009

I saw this book referenced in Wired for War, where he was talking about the predictive capacity of science fiction. This book by Jules Verne predicted glass skyscrapers, cities brightly lit at night, and vehicles powered by internal combustion. He got some things right with technology, some things wrong (didn't foresee the typewriter) and some things right about human nature (the technology wouldn't make implicitly make people happy, and that the economy could begin to control people's lives, and that artists would have a tough time in a purely utilitarian economy) but got some things wrong about human nature too (war would go away, which he thought was a bad thing because being a soldier is an "honorable profession").

It's an interesting bit of speculation, though the "plot" felt a bit shoehorned to fit his intentions. Granted this was never published because the publisher thought it was too outlandish, so maybe it needed some more editing, but we have what we have.

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