||Of all the authors who followed in the footsteps of Jules
Verne, the most important was Albert Robida (1848-1926), a writer-artist
who also became the founding father of science fiction illustration. Robida
wrote and illustrated his own scientific anticipations, such as The Adventures
of Saturnin Farandoul (1879), his masterpiece, The Twentieth Century (1883),
and La Vie Électrique (1890).
The Clock of the Centuries, originally published in 1902, is notable
as the first full-length literary account of time in reverse. In it,
time starts running backwards, the dead come back to life and human
society is thrown into utter chaos. It is more ambitious and adventurous
in its speculative range and verve than its modern-day successors, Philip
K. Dick's 1967 Counter-Clock World and Brian W. Aldiss's Cryptozoic.
This volume also includes Robida's novella Yesterday Now (1890), in
which an 1890 scientist brings the Sun King Louis XIV and his court
into the future for the Paris Universal Exposition.
Cover by Yoz
Published by Black Coat Press in 2008