website statistics The Future Eve (Fantasy and Horror Classics) - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

The Future Eve (Fantasy and Horror Classics)

Availability: Ready to download

Villiers De L'isle Adam was one of the greatest symbolist writers of the 19th century. His works, in the Romantic style, are often fantastic in plot and filled with mystery and horror. Originally published in 1886, 'The Future Eve' is a stunning work, noted for popularizing the term 'android'. Many of the horror stories of monsters and ghouls, particularly those dating bac Villiers De L'isle Adam was one of the greatest symbolist writers of the 19th century. His works, in the Romantic style, are often fantastic in plot and filled with mystery and horror. Originally published in 1886, 'The Future Eve' is a stunning work, noted for popularizing the term 'android'. Many of the horror stories of monsters and ghouls, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.


Compare

Villiers De L'isle Adam was one of the greatest symbolist writers of the 19th century. His works, in the Romantic style, are often fantastic in plot and filled with mystery and horror. Originally published in 1886, 'The Future Eve' is a stunning work, noted for popularizing the term 'android'. Many of the horror stories of monsters and ghouls, particularly those dating bac Villiers De L'isle Adam was one of the greatest symbolist writers of the 19th century. His works, in the Romantic style, are often fantastic in plot and filled with mystery and horror. Originally published in 1886, 'The Future Eve' is a stunning work, noted for popularizing the term 'android'. Many of the horror stories of monsters and ghouls, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

30 review for The Future Eve (Fantasy and Horror Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    Well, I never knew the word “android” was in existence in the 19th Century! This may be the oldest sci-fi novel I’ve read and one of the most fascinating. It starts off with us being introduced to a fictionalized Thomas Edison, a kind of mad scientist, and his interesting thoughts on how things would have been different had the human race had the means to record sound earlier on in its history. “Even among the noises of the past, how many mysterious sounds were known to our predecessors, which Well, I never knew the word “android” was in existence in the 19th Century! This may be the oldest sci-fi novel I’ve read and one of the most fascinating. It starts off with us being introduced to a fictionalized Thomas Edison, a kind of mad scientist, and his interesting thoughts on how things would have been different had the human race had the means to record sound earlier on in its history. “Even among the noises of the past, how many mysterious sounds were known to our predecessors, which for lack of a convenient machine to record them have now fallen forever into the abyss? Dead voices, lost voices, forgotten noises, vibrations lockstepping into the abyss, and now too distant ever to be recaptured!” Edison also laments the fact that we don’t have photographs of Cleopatra, Rachel, Queen of Sheba, Helen of Troy, etc. “Isn’t it exasperating to think of all the pictures, portraits, scenes, and landscapes that it [photography] could have recorded once, and which are now lost to us?” The Deluge, The Seven Plagues of Egypt, The Furies, the Head of Medusa are examples of subjects Edison would have liked to see photographed. There’s no distinction between myth and reality in his mind, obviously! After his musings, things get interesting when his friend Lord Ewald falls in love with a plain and vapid girl, whom he recognizes is “a sphinx without an enigma”, and has decided to end his life. Edison decides to make an android version of his fiancée for him, an ideal woman, using as the prototype, Hadaly, a similarly plain woman who caused his friend to kill himself. What follows is a deep philosophical journey into the role of God in creation, the parts of a woman, and the soul. The book lost a point for its blatant misogyny, there is lots of it: “Yes, that’s what these women are: trifling playthings for the passing gadabout, but deadly to men of more depth, whom they blind, befoul, and bind into slavery through the slow hysteria that distills from them.” But all in all, a very well-written book, one that made the think.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bbrown

    Tomorrow’s Eve is an almost impressively bad book. You shouldn’t read it, so here is a summary of the entire book so that you don’t have to: Thomas Edison: I’m a great inventor, the public doesn’t know a tenth of my inventions or discoveries. Oh, here is my friend who supported me when I was in poverty, why do you look so poorly Lord Ewald? Ewald: I’m in love with a woman named Alicia who’s really hot, but a complete bitch. At first I thought she was just pretending to be a complete bitch, but the Tomorrow’s Eve is an almost impressively bad book. You shouldn’t read it, so here is a summary of the entire book so that you don’t have to: Thomas Edison: I’m a great inventor, the public doesn’t know a tenth of my inventions or discoveries. Oh, here is my friend who supported me when I was in poverty, why do you look so poorly Lord Ewald? Ewald: I’m in love with a woman named Alicia who’s really hot, but a complete bitch. At first I thought she was just pretending to be a complete bitch, but then I realized she really is a complete bitch. Edison: Why don’t you break up with her then? Ewald: You don’t get it, she’s really, really hot. Also people in my family only fall in love once. Edison: Are you sure she has no redeeming personality traits? Ewald: Yeah. She doesn’t like the mountains or Wagner, and she’s not that interested in art. Like I said, complete bitch. Anyway, just dropped in to say goodbye and now I’m going to go kill myself. Edison: You’ve convinced me, friend, to do something I’ve been planning on for a while now: I’m going to build you a sexbot that looks just like the woman you’re in love with. Ewald: Won’t that be super weird? Edison: No, trust me, “[s]he will be a thousand times more identical to herself…than she is in her own person,” whatever that means. The sexbot will function through electricity and [scientific gobbledygook]. Ewald: Well, okay then. Edison: Great, I’ll send for the woman. Now let’s go to my secret chamber deep underground, filled with robot birds and artificial flowers, where I keep my prototype sexbot. Ewald: What motivated you to create a prototype sexbot? Edison: I had a friend, just the best guy, who cheated on his loving wife a bunch of times, lost the money of a bunch of people that invested with him, then killed himself. I tracked down the slut that seduced him and ruined his life and, just as I suspected, she was actually ugly but wore a lot of makeup. That’s when I designed this sexbot. If we open it up, we can see it operates by [more scientific gobbledygook]. In the end the sexbot will look identical to Alicia, we’ll even knock out Alicia with a drug of my own design so that a dentist can make a copy of her teeth. Oh, she’s arrived! Let’s go back up. Alicia: Hello Ewald, who is this guy? Edison: I’m Thomas Edison. Alicia: Am I supposed to know who that is? Edison: I’m a music and theater producer that can make you famous. Alicia: Absolutely delighted to meet you! Edison: I’ll give you a stage debut, but we’ll need to make a statue of you first. Alicia: If you say so. Edison: Great. Just to be sure you’ll cooperate, I’ve also hypnotized you. Over the course of three weeks, while keeping Alicia hypnotized, Edison builds the sexbot. Ewald: Is it ready, Edison? Sexbot: Speak to me first Ewald. I’m going to behave completely differently than Alicia, but we look enough alike that I’ve successfully tricked you into thinking I’m her. But I’m not! Ewald: Damn you for tricking me, Edison, I’ll kill you! Wait, no I won’t, this sexbot is amazing! Sexbot: Blah blah blah incoherent rambling about the infinite. Don’t listen to reason, I’m real! Ewald: You’re not real! Sexbot: Oh, cruel rejection, I’m leaving. Ewald: Wait, don’t go, I accept you now! Edison: So you’ll take it? Great, let me just box it up for you. Oh, quick FYI, this sexbot has been imbued with the (vengeful?) spirit of the ex-wife of the friend who killed himself I mentioned earlier. So have fun with that. On the way back to Europe Ewald’s ship catches fire and the sexbot is lost, and Ewald probably kills himself. That’s all the action that happens in this book, but the text is stretched to well over two hundred pages through some of the worst writing you can imagine. This isn’t actually a novel, but rather a closet drama, with characters constantly monologuing for pages at a time. These monologues are oftentimes packed full of nonsensical jargon, as l'Isle-Adam knew nothing of science but still wrote a book with Thomas Edison as a main character. It’s obvious that the entirety of this book originated from l'Isle-Adam having heard that Thomas Edison’s nickname was “the Wizard of Menlo Park” and deciding, based on that nickname, to write a story where Edison is essentially an actual wizard, capable of doing anything. As such, l'Isle-Adam has Edison go on for pages and pages about how the sexbot moves using quicksilver, electricity, and magnets, despite l'Isle-Adam having no idea what he’s talking about. Even when Edison isn’t rambling, some other character is, and no semblance of narrative momentum survives the morass of these constant overlong monologues. Even if the writing style wasn’t so terrible, the content still would be. You may think I’m exaggerating in my summary about how bad the views expressed in this book are, but I’m really not, at most I’m paraphrasing sentiments that are even worse. Here’s an actual line in the book: “word began to circulate that Edison had sent in haste for the excellent Doctor Samuelson, D.D.S., and the famous W. Pejor, the preferred dentist of American high society, a practitioner famous alike for the delicacy and solidity of his bridgework, and for an innocent tendency to rape his patients.” Is the line meant as a joke? If so, it’s not funny in the slightest, and made worse be the fact that, at the time of the line, Edison has already announced his plan to drug Alicia and leave her unconscious with the dentist in order to produce the sexbot’s teeth. There’s also an entire monologue about how loose women are closer to animals than people, so men can do with them what they want. The whole damn book is just packed with disgusting ideas, outdated and offensive even at the time the book was written. In case the summary didn’t communicate it, the characters do nothing to redeem the story, as they are all completely one-dimensional and not at all sympathetic. Credit where credit is due, the early pages of Tomorrow’s Eve do express some interesting thoughts about the invention of the phonograph. The ability to record sound has been around for so long that we consider it commonplace, and there are none alive who can remember what it was like before the technology existed, but when the technology was first introduced it was seen as miraculous and magical. Tomorrow’s Eve captures a bit of that sentiment, which I appreciated, but this small virtue does little to redeem the work as a whole. I often like old examples of science fiction, as they tend to tackle topics in ways that are surprisingly fresh given the age of the works. This is not the case with Tomorrow’s Eve. It’s unoriginal, exploring a science fiction topic covered earlier and more interestingly by Mary Shelley in Frankenstein. It’s terribly written and not at all enjoyable to read, speeches stretching out what should have been a novella into a 250-page slog. It’s not predictive of the future at all, l'Isle-Adam essentially having all of Edison’s inventions either be magic or be improved versions of some piece of technology that existed contemporaneously. It’s frankly offensive in both the action it depicts and the sentiments it expresses. It somehow manages to get worse and worse as it goes on. It’s certainly the worst book I’ve read this year, and very likely the worst book I’ve read in the last three years or more. Even its cover is nonsensical and terrible. It should never have been translated to English, but should have been allowed to remain in obscurity until it was eventually forgotten completely and lost to the sands of time forever. I recommend it to no one, and give it the lowest possible rating.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    Thomas Edison, The Wizard Of Menlo Park, builds a robot woman for a rich man who's in love with a woman's body but not her base soul (she's a vulgar, uncouth actress). There's so much here it's almost impossible to talk about. It took me a while to read because it's certainly not written as a plotted novel, more as one event, a bunch of explanations, another event and a coda. Also, it has one of those section you get in 19th century novels, like the bit in Moby-Dick or, The Whale where Melville j Thomas Edison, The Wizard Of Menlo Park, builds a robot woman for a rich man who's in love with a woman's body but not her base soul (she's a vulgar, uncouth actress). There's so much here it's almost impossible to talk about. It took me a while to read because it's certainly not written as a plotted novel, more as one event, a bunch of explanations, another event and a coda. Also, it has one of those section you get in 19th century novels, like the bit in Moby-Dick or, The Whale where Melville just lists every whale known to man, where much detail is gone into for little effect - in the case of THE FUTURE EVE this is in service of trying to realistically, scientifically explain how an android could do things like walk, talk, etc. Villers de l'Isle-Adam obviously wanted his book to not *just* be a symbolist cogitation on women and men and what it means to be human, he really wanted to sell the idea that such a thing could (or would) be possible, so he spends a lot of time going into minute detail about valves and magnets and quicksilver balances. Unfortunately, that effect is undone because he has to, still, resort to metaphysical handwaving to explain how Hadaly has something like a soul. The Introduction in the version of this published in The Decadent Reader: Fiction, Fantasy, and Perversion from Fin-de-Siècle France, "Science Fictions" by Asti Hustvedt, is excellent, placing the book in historical context, specifically in regards to gender issues of the times and Charcot's work with "hysterical" women at the Salpetriere. It's fascinating how so much effort was put into "scientifically diagnosing" the "condition" of being a woman, how it was a malady to be studied, exhibited and ultimately, controlled. Amazing, bizarre, disturbing stuff! The way in which Villers de l'Isle-Adam extrapolates this material into the attempt to make a robot woman (who will be better - that is to say, more controllable - than the real thing) is also fascinating. I imagine Villers del'Isle-Adam may not fully deserve the tag of misogynist, as there seems to be a satirical undercurrent to much of the book (Edison's tale of why he decided to design a blank-slate android Hadaly, tied to a friend's marriage ruined by a notorious actress, is some kind of fascinating exercise in misogynist justification). I particularly find it fascinating that Edison offers the imprinting of Hadaly to Lord Ewald as a way that science can solve his problem (without which the latter plans to kill himself) and yet after going over all the details, Ewald is still somewhat unsure and asks Edison what *he* would do if offered such a gift/responsibility, to which Edison replies "blow my brains out." The portrayal of Edison is pretty interesting as well - he is literally a magician of science with almost any power at his command, a giant sanctum sanctorum stuffed with "technology" where voices come from the air, a secret grotto below his lab where Hadaly resides - it's really bizarre but interesting stuff. What a fascinating book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    8314

    A terribly interesting novel! If one reads carefully enough, it's hard to look pass the phrase "blow my brain out". There it is — the confession of a satire to the "misogyny" surface. Review to come, here are some bullet points: 1) The emphasis on senses 2) Dualism, especially form and essence 3) Taste and the cultivation of men and women 4) The act of acting A terribly interesting novel! If one reads carefully enough, it's hard to look pass the phrase "blow my brain out". There it is — the confession of a satire to the "misogyny" surface. Review to come, here are some bullet points: 1) The emphasis on senses 2) Dualism, especially form and essence 3) Taste and the cultivation of men and women 4) The act of acting

  5. 5 out of 5

    Corianne

    I have to admit, that I would not have read this book were it not assigned to me in a literature class. That being said, "Tomorrow's Eve" is one of the best books I've read this year. In a way, it is a very post-modern book, it doesn't have much in the way of plot or action. What it does have, however, is a deep sense of philosophy, questioning what it is to be human, the nature of technology and the role of God. This book is over one hundred years old, and to the modern reader, the technology a I have to admit, that I would not have read this book were it not assigned to me in a literature class. That being said, "Tomorrow's Eve" is one of the best books I've read this year. In a way, it is a very post-modern book, it doesn't have much in the way of plot or action. What it does have, however, is a deep sense of philosophy, questioning what it is to be human, the nature of technology and the role of God. This book is over one hundred years old, and to the modern reader, the technology as described by Edison is laughably unrealistic, but the questions it raises are timeless. I bought this book as a textbook, planning to sell it back at the end of the semester, instead, I think, it has found a permanent home in my library.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    021013: interesting view/conceptualization of essential female qualities of the era, and the man Edison as creator of this original sexualized android, unifying varied tech of the age eg. recording devices, photography, gives birth, awareness, feminine resistance, feminine anti-intellect: author as spiritualist, saw the romantic (as vs scientific) possibilities of modern technology, but this is implicit in a story very much told rather than acted out...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Briana Grenert

    This book hurt. But at least we've made progress, right? This book hurt. But at least we've made progress, right?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Dykkor

    A book "not of this world". You must be already dead in order to love this book and to love anything Villiers de l'isle Adam wrote. A book "not of this world". You must be already dead in order to love this book and to love anything Villiers de l'isle Adam wrote.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dante

    Listen. This book is horrifically misogynistic. That part is devastatingly awful. But the writing, and some of the moments towards the end.... Damn.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    Started reading this because I recently heard an interview on CBC about sex-robots being manufactured in Japan. In Villiers d'Lisle-Adam's novel, Thomas Edison has perfected exactly that (this was written in 1880, I believe). This is a novel about defying nature and the pursuit of perfection. And it is beautifully written: the story is engaging on every level; the characters utterly believable; the psychological drama perfectly presented (in my view) and the dialogue - even in the translation I Started reading this because I recently heard an interview on CBC about sex-robots being manufactured in Japan. In Villiers d'Lisle-Adam's novel, Thomas Edison has perfected exactly that (this was written in 1880, I believe). This is a novel about defying nature and the pursuit of perfection. And it is beautifully written: the story is engaging on every level; the characters utterly believable; the psychological drama perfectly presented (in my view) and the dialogue - even in the translation I am reading - real and perfectly logical. I have the edition in French, as well, and will look at the translation in the future. My take on our modern age - today 2017 - I believe, exactly mirrors the fin de siecle in Europe - especially France - where the Decadent movement in Literature found its perfect flowering. All of the artistic conceits, political upheavals, and social controversies that played out between 1860 and into the turn of the century (1900 - 1920) are, in my opinion, at the root of our own social/political discords today. I won't go into the complexities of the comparisons I have discovered, but by golly, they are almost exactly the same (robot technology and the social consequences being explored being just one; the poetry of Beaudelaire and the current explosion of narcissism on Social Media is another subject worthy of comparison). Anyway - this is a great read. Highly recommended if you are interested in our current fascination with social media and the expression of decadence within it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    Despite its absurd and disturbing misogyny advocating science as a means to establish control over women and femininity (in the same vein as "The Birthmark"), this book is far-seeing in anticipating the modern-day robot, sex-bot, blow-up dolls, cyborg, etc. The "Android" of Tomorrow's Eve is closer now than ever before, with all of its interesting moral complexities still very relevant (see the film Ex Machina (2015), for a similar scenario). Hopefully, if humans ever design robots that are phys Despite its absurd and disturbing misogyny advocating science as a means to establish control over women and femininity (in the same vein as "The Birthmark"), this book is far-seeing in anticipating the modern-day robot, sex-bot, blow-up dolls, cyborg, etc. The "Android" of Tomorrow's Eve is closer now than ever before, with all of its interesting moral complexities still very relevant (see the film Ex Machina (2015), for a similar scenario). Hopefully, if humans ever design robots that are physically indiscernible from themselves, these machines won't speak in melodramatic Victorian parlance like the dream-girl/robot Hadaly.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fariba

    This would have received three or maybe even four stars, if not for the misogyny, racism, and ableism in the book. The misogyny is the worst I've ever encountered in literature! The philosophical themes and inter-textual references were, however, quite interesting, so I won't give the novel 1 star. Does this book have merit? Undoubtedly, yes. It is one of the first works of science fiction ever published. In our age of AI, the subject matter (androids) has wide-appeal. The prose isn't too bad ei This would have received three or maybe even four stars, if not for the misogyny, racism, and ableism in the book. The misogyny is the worst I've ever encountered in literature! The philosophical themes and inter-textual references were, however, quite interesting, so I won't give the novel 1 star. Does this book have merit? Undoubtedly, yes. It is one of the first works of science fiction ever published. In our age of AI, the subject matter (androids) has wide-appeal. The prose isn't too bad either. But misogyny is not simply a feature; it is the heart and soul of the work.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Tomorrow's Eve is a French novel, first published in 1886. It is, equally, a hard science-fiction philosophical page-turner -- the story of how Thomas Edison invents a robot girlfriend for an Englishman to whom he owes a favor. The conjunction of the novel's age, Frenchness, and subject matter may seem astonishing, and it is; yet their synthesis, as it turns out, makes for a plot that is contemplative yet riveting, peopled by characters who are exaggerated yet nuanced. At heart, Tomorrow's Eve is Tomorrow's Eve is a French novel, first published in 1886. It is, equally, a hard science-fiction philosophical page-turner -- the story of how Thomas Edison invents a robot girlfriend for an Englishman to whom he owes a favor. The conjunction of the novel's age, Frenchness, and subject matter may seem astonishing, and it is; yet their synthesis, as it turns out, makes for a plot that is contemplative yet riveting, peopled by characters who are exaggerated yet nuanced. At heart, Tomorrow's Eve is concerned with exploring human nature, and in particular the nature of love, the soul, and (since this is a French novel) women. Author Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam is an unrepentant cynic on these themes, and his pessimism percolates into his Edison; Edison's excitement about his robotic creation derives from his conviction that a guileless machine is actually an improvement on certain humans. Some women, he argues, are walking pharmacies, treated with so many chemicals that the admirer falls in love with a facade; then why not fall in love with a robot, who is equally artificial and less duplicitous? Villiers, a devout Catholic, seems to regard his fictional Edison's work as sacrilege, but keeps his religious undertones subtle and allows the reader to form his own judgments. And there is plenty to judge! Villiers doesn't neglect characterization; everyone brims with personality, from the darkly intense Edison to his noble but desperate English friend to his tragic creation Hadaly. Despite a superficial resemblance to the earlier character, Edison is no clichéd Dr. Frankenstein takeoff. But don't take it from me, take it from Villiers: "Drops of sweat stood like tears on the brow of Lord Ewald; he looked upon the features, now glacial in their austerity, of Edison. He felt that beneath this strident, scientific demonstration two things were hidden in the lecturer's infinite range of severely controlled secret thoughts. The first was love of Humanity. The second was one of the most violent shrieks of despair -- the coldest, the most intense, the most far-reaching, even to the Heavens, perhaps! -- that was ever emitted by a living being." (p.143) Perhaps most astonishing is the way Villiers integrates his philosophy and characters with his science-fiction; Tomorrow's Eve is possibly the most detailed sci-fi novel ever written up to its time. The operation of Edison's "Android" -- a term this novel is credited with popularizing -- is described in loving, even prurient, detail. Edison's frequent and lengthy exposition is both ingenious and diabolical; it is also the weakest aspect of the novel. I don't feel like knowing how Hadaly keeps her balance really helps me interpret the story. But then, I'm not a hard science-fiction fan. Tomorrow's Eve may be Jules Verne in diction, but it is Robert Heinlein in detail. All in all, Tomorrow's Eve is a great read -- not life-changing, at least for me, but frank and thought-provoking. I suspect I'll find myself pulling it from my bookshelf occasionally to look up an especially incisive quote, but I probably won't reread it in its entirety.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dfordoom

    One of the more interesting of 19th century writers is Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam. His work blends elements of Romanticism, the gothic and the decadent, and what the French call the fantastique. Some of them would also fit into category of weird fiction. The one thing he had no patience with was realism. So far I’ve only managed to track down a handful of his stories, but they’ve absolutely captivated me. His 1886 novella The Future Eve is included in an anthology called The Frankenstein Om One of the more interesting of 19th century writers is Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam. His work blends elements of Romanticism, the gothic and the decadent, and what the French call the fantastique. Some of them would also fit into category of weird fiction. The one thing he had no patience with was realism. So far I’ve only managed to track down a handful of his stories, but they’ve absolutely captivated me. His 1886 novella The Future Eve is included in an anthology called The Frankenstein Omnibus, and what a strange little tale it is. As its inclusion in such an anthology would suggest it’s about the creation of artificial life. In this case it’s an artificial woman, created by a mysterious combination of science and mysticism. A brilliant scientist builds an android (he actually calls her an andraiad). She has intelligence and a personality of sorts, and in fact she has a soul, but her body is just a metal shell. The scientist happens to have a friend, and the friend is in love with a woman possessed of extraordinary beauty, but a sadly commonplace soul. So why not combine the noble soul of the metal woman with the superb body and face of his young friend’s mistress? So far it may sound like a fairly typical mad scientist gothic tale, but it isn’t. It’s much stranger, and much more metaphysical, with all kinds of speculations about the nature of reality, about dreams and life, what it means to be human, and suchlike matters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leif

    Well, Tomorrow's Eve is certainly something. Yes, that banality, but here... We've got the totally interesting premise of an "Edison-like" (seriously, back cover, just give in, it's the Magician of Menlo Park) inventor who creates an Android to save his friend's life by giving his friend someone new to love. Who isn't, you know, a human female, and thus beautiful but crass, common, and totally superficial. Re: Swift. And wait, this is totally aristocratic fantasy, read for class and there's not t Well, Tomorrow's Eve is certainly something. Yes, that banality, but here... We've got the totally interesting premise of an "Edison-like" (seriously, back cover, just give in, it's the Magician of Menlo Park) inventor who creates an Android to save his friend's life by giving his friend someone new to love. Who isn't, you know, a human female, and thus beautiful but crass, common, and totally superficial. Re: Swift. And wait, this is totally aristocratic fantasy, read for class and there's not too much that isn't some form of (attempted) gratification of upper-class desire. And then go back, yes, "Tomorrow's Eve", the conceit of playing God, hell, let's get Edison to claim that he IS a God to this Android, and she subsequently pleads with her God, the aristocrat. To be fair, this is the first use of the term Android. To be fair, this novel seems to want to move past its sexism and aristocratic bias, sometimes. But it's also really, really, really sexist. And the final twist, the real deux ex machina, well, that's just the cap. Biography check: a penniless, hopelessly aspirant French aristocratic scion, the end of the 19th century, strongly conservative, and strongly Christian. It all, sort of, makes sense. Which makes the motions toward moving beyond the class-based fantasy and sexism that much more intriguing... Read it for yourself. You'll do better than this hackneyed 'review'.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cody Django

    It took me some time to appreciate this book. Which helps explain how it is only in it's first english translation, and was written in the late 1880's. Villers de L'Isle-Adam was recognized during the as a leading symbolist. His work is dark, and absurd, with a satire that is so cynical and on the fringe that it is easily missed. This book is about much more than a fictional thomas edison who builds the perfect woman. It should be pointed out that the Android Haley is the first of her kind in mo It took me some time to appreciate this book. Which helps explain how it is only in it's first english translation, and was written in the late 1880's. Villers de L'Isle-Adam was recognized during the as a leading symbolist. His work is dark, and absurd, with a satire that is so cynical and on the fringe that it is easily missed. This book is about much more than a fictional thomas edison who builds the perfect woman. It should be pointed out that the Android Haley is the first of her kind in modern literature, making this novel a seminal work of proto-science-fiction, impressive in its own right. Further, this book explores a multitude of themes more relevant today than in the century it was written: subjectivity, ai, the function of tactile sensing and emotions, machine consciousness, ethics and morals are all explored within a scientific framework. It should also be mentioned that Villiers was himself more of a throwback to the romantic period, while he contemporaries were caught up in the surge of positivism. This work, as a satire, sought to expose the limitations of science, and as such, presents a situation that reviews the essential existential/romantic considerations that cannot be reconciled through science.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Einar Nielsen

    Sol Stein wrote in his book Stein on writing that fiction has changed a lot because of the cinema revolution. This is very obvious in Tomorrow's Eve. The book is full of horribly boring narrative summaries and you are continuously told what is happening (not shown). Maybe it is harsh to judge this book by modern standards but I feel that it is necessary. I had to read this book in a course on SF fiction. I do not regret reading it but it is not a fun read, and the entire class sighed when asked w Sol Stein wrote in his book Stein on writing that fiction has changed a lot because of the cinema revolution. This is very obvious in Tomorrow's Eve. The book is full of horribly boring narrative summaries and you are continuously told what is happening (not shown). Maybe it is harsh to judge this book by modern standards but I feel that it is necessary. I had to read this book in a course on SF fiction. I do not regret reading it but it is not a fun read, and the entire class sighed when asked what they thought of it. But this is an important book and talks about subjects became popular decades later. I found that the meeting between Edison and Lord Edwald were they decide to create this new woman was the books high-point, but in all fairness I couldn't finish the last 40 pages. This book is full of misogyny which was rampant at the time and is ironic because of the author's dependence on women. So if you love reading historical Sci-Fi check this out else just skip it, you are better for it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bill Wallace

    A strange little tale, whether taken as a parable of romantic love or as the literal story of a scientist (clearly based on Edison) creating an artificial woman by transplanting the "soul" of a beautiful but shallow actress into an android. Most of the book is essentially a dialogue between the scientist and the swain, explaining in detail how the aesthetics of beauty and personality might be counterfeited with chemicals and phonographic cylinders. There is also an element of the, to me, endless A strange little tale, whether taken as a parable of romantic love or as the literal story of a scientist (clearly based on Edison) creating an artificial woman by transplanting the "soul" of a beautiful but shallow actress into an android. Most of the book is essentially a dialogue between the scientist and the swain, explaining in detail how the aesthetics of beauty and personality might be counterfeited with chemicals and phonographic cylinders. There is also an element of the, to me, endlessly fascinating blur of science and magic so common in the 19th Century, when the boundaries between the material and immaterial were full of possibilities. This book is usually cited as an influence on Lang and Harbou's android Maria. I don't know the source for that citation but the influence is certainly believable.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jakub

    Hard to judge - a lot of interesting ideas and a beautiful style go head to head with rampant anti-feminism. Still, I think it's worth to read due to the fact it being an interesting insight into those times. And the style! Hard to judge - a lot of interesting ideas and a beautiful style go head to head with rampant anti-feminism. Still, I think it's worth to read due to the fact it being an interesting insight into those times. And the style!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kezia

    I more or less loathed it. Since this was included in an anthology, it's reviewed here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... It's probably cheating to mark this standalone edition as already read, but I'm afraid to buy it accidentally. I more or less loathed it. Since this was included in an anthology, it's reviewed here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... It's probably cheating to mark this standalone edition as already read, but I'm afraid to buy it accidentally.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Sometimes thick and hard to wade through, very descriptive but very compelling. An interesting plot and concept.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    if only it was good as the last 30 pages or so , author really has a problem with women (among other things)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karine Briere

    Long-winded and overly descriptive of things that probably make no sense, but super interesting!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steen Ledet

    Decent Pygmalion myth However, the gender politics of the story leaves me cold. I understand that it is an old novel, yet the daintiness and subservience of women is off-putting.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Asdl Tldr Nedm

    L'Ève Future is short, deep and luscious. A true philosophical essay (from metaphysics to ethics) in the form of a little ghost tale: the ghost of love itself. It's normally cited as the book where the word 'android' was first introduced; but the actual neologism was 'andréide', which is much more subtle and fascinating: the andréide is not an emulation of man (an android), nor an emulation of woman (a gynoid), but an artificial being made in the image of man's romantic ideals of femininity. Vil L'Ève Future is short, deep and luscious. A true philosophical essay (from metaphysics to ethics) in the form of a little ghost tale: the ghost of love itself. It's normally cited as the book where the word 'android' was first introduced; but the actual neologism was 'andréide', which is much more subtle and fascinating: the andréide is not an emulation of man (an android), nor an emulation of woman (a gynoid), but an artificial being made in the image of man's romantic ideals of femininity. Villiers said, in the voice of Edison: «If our gods and hopes became scientific matters, why wouldn't our love as well? [...] I offer you a scientific Eve. Chimere by chimere, sin by sin.» This is so because, rather than a true woman (who would be Lilith, created equal to man from the same red clay), Eve could be labeled as the very first andréide: a female made out of man (from his rib, in fact) as a proper partner for him. However, religion and myth no longer hold in the positivistic Europe of late XIX century, thus the need for a (quite rimbaldian) modern reinvention of love. L'andréide, named Hadaly (purportedly meaning 'ideal' in farsi) is this personification of man's eternal beloved, that he will always fail to find in any real woman since what he seeks is merely a projection of himself: «You said it yourself [continued Edison]: the being that you love in the living one and who, for you, is the only REAL one, it's not the one that appears as a walking human, but the one of your desire. The one that does not exist and, moreover, that you know as non-existent, since you aren't fooled by that woman, nor by yourself. [...] It's only this shadow what you love: it's only her what you're now willing to die for [...] and which is nothing but your own soul unfolded on her. Yes, there you've got it, your love.» This commentary on women and love is usually taken as mysoginistic, especially since Villiers openly accuses women who exploit man's misplaced love: «Animal is exact. Nature gives it life with this fatality. Man, on the contrary, and this is what constitutes his mysterious nobility, it's subject of development and error [...] he wonders where he is and palpates his intelligence through his doubts [...] such is the real man. [...] Those neutral women whose thought starts and finishes in the waist, and whose drive consists in carrying to that waist every thought of man, they really are closer to animal species than ours and a man worth of such name has right in high and low justice over that gender of feminine beings. [So] I declare that I find it fair denying to that woman the free right to abuse of human misery. [...] Indeed, divesting those women from their deleterious charms, it only remains on them what it does on the poison ivy when deprived of her caterpillars. [...] Farewell then to that alleged reality, to that ancient impostor. I offer you to try instead the artificial and its new signs [...] I represent science with the omnipotence of its mirages; you, humanity and its Paradise Lost.» However, Villiers admits that this self-artificialization of women to attract men leaves both parts unsatisfied, which could also hint a protofeminist call for women to find their own path, independently of man's. At any rate, his distinction between feminity and womanhood is enlightening enough as to elicit reflexion on both directions. [SPOILER:] The ending, however, is rather conservative and pessimistic: Hadaly is finally revealed to be animated, by some sort of electric metempsychosis, with the soul of an actual woman of noble nature who wills to truly love... and then she dies. The insufflation of spirit into matter, is thus finally kept as a privilege of God or nature, to which men and his science can only aspire. The prestigious fiction was, then, false, a fraud: it was a real woman all along, pretending to be (and aiming to become) much better and much more. But not long before this, during her brightest monologue (after being rejected), Hadaly laments what would be her fate as genuine andéide: «It's me, the august daughter of the living, the flower of Science and Genius resulting from a suffering of six thousand years [...] My unfortunate breast is not even worth to be called sterile! [...] the lightning alone will dare to pick the false flower of my vain virginity. [...] Alas! if only I could live! If I had life! Oh! how beautiful it is to live! Happy are those who throb! [...] To be able to breath, if only one time. To be able, only, to die!»

  26. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    A guilty pleasure for a free consciousness I read this book thanks to the open library options on Kindle. Really grateful that it was this exact version, because it includes some exceptional, intricate grammar and syntax. For me, French is a fourth language, so I would say it's a hard-to-read book, but it's a very pleasant read nonetheless. The story is well-described via the method of following a dialogue between two incredible minds. We discover the characters, their fears, their bias, their hop A guilty pleasure for a free consciousness I read this book thanks to the open library options on Kindle. Really grateful that it was this exact version, because it includes some exceptional, intricate grammar and syntax. For me, French is a fourth language, so I would say it's a hard-to-read book, but it's a very pleasant read nonetheless. The story is well-described via the method of following a dialogue between two incredible minds. We discover the characters, their fears, their bias, their hopes and flaws through a music-like string of French words and thoughts. Each chapter starts with a curious title and a relevant quote from a classic work: from the Bible to the Valkiryes: they are all connected via this literary masterpiece. While we have no action per sé, the pace is there, and I personally felt the flow as a calm, full river which is strong, but steady. Recommended 100%, especially for the admirers of Tesla, Edison, as well as the cyberpunk genre as a whole.

  27. 5 out of 5

    J.

    Ultimately a horrifying book about how a fictionalized Thomas Edison puts his mind to the ages old fantasy of all heterosexual men: how to construct a beautiful woman without all that pesky personality to deal with. I'd love to say we should forgive it in some way, but it is truly awful the level of straightforwardness this book has about its philosophy of how women will ruin men, and how much better things would be with female androids. I give it one star (rather than banishing it to the DNR pi Ultimately a horrifying book about how a fictionalized Thomas Edison puts his mind to the ages old fantasy of all heterosexual men: how to construct a beautiful woman without all that pesky personality to deal with. I'd love to say we should forgive it in some way, but it is truly awful the level of straightforwardness this book has about its philosophy of how women will ruin men, and how much better things would be with female androids. I give it one star (rather than banishing it to the DNR pile) for its historical significance in tackling the idea of how an android might work before the turn of the century.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vici

    This was... excruciatingly misogynistic. I have read my fair share of classic, especially lately due to my degree, so I can appreciate a piece of literature in the context of its time. However, I have never read such an abomination of toxic masculinity vomited onto a page and "hidden" in philosophical discourse in order to make it seem interesting and valid. Unless you have to read it for class, in which case I am very sorry you have to go through that, stay as far away from this novel as humanly This was... excruciatingly misogynistic. I have read my fair share of classic, especially lately due to my degree, so I can appreciate a piece of literature in the context of its time. However, I have never read such an abomination of toxic masculinity vomited onto a page and "hidden" in philosophical discourse in order to make it seem interesting and valid. Unless you have to read it for class, in which case I am very sorry you have to go through that, stay as far away from this novel as humanly possible. PS: The science in this makes no sense at all and Edisons descriptions of how the Android works takes up probably half of the book. It just was mind numbingly dull.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    flawed but very enjoyable - on one hand the prose and style is great, as well as being one of the first fully fleshed out works detailing the creation of another being, but on the other hand has some pretty harsh incel vibes in places. the action revolving around edison in menlo park is a nice touch

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ron Me

    It has considerable merit as scifi---a good description of a FAX is given (in 1899!) and there is a lot of biomechanics in it...but I have to wonder how faithful the translation is to the original, some terms seem modern. The book has some small literary merit, but it should only be read for the "engineering" part, otherwise skip it. It has considerable merit as scifi---a good description of a FAX is given (in 1899!) and there is a lot of biomechanics in it...but I have to wonder how faithful the translation is to the original, some terms seem modern. The book has some small literary merit, but it should only be read for the "engineering" part, otherwise skip it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...