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The Iron Man & Other Visionary Fantasies

by Louis-Sébastien Mercier
adapted by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

The Iron Man is a fascinating cross-section of the works of Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814), a unique writer whose originality and enterprise has never yet been given the full credit that it deserves.

From an early contribution to the development of the literary vampire to a pair of revealing philosophical spectacles, from a world that seems to be the best of all possible worlds to interplanetary voyages, and the eponymous “Iron Man,” a precursor of superhero fiction, many of Mercier’s visionary fantasies are still fresh and original today, his exploratory zest not having been weighed down by the burden of subsequent sophistication.

We can best appreciate the full effect of the liberation that the device of dreaming gave to his literary imagination, turning him into a genuine precursor of surrealism who created a number of what were to become conventional tropes of supernatural fiction in original ways.

CONTENTS: [from Songes Philosophiques, 1768]
The Soul
Cupidity and Virtue
The Lunettes
A Fortunate World
Dreams of a Hermit
The Iron Man
The Last Day
The Towers
News from the Moon
I Am Dead
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford

Cover by Phil Cohen

Published by Black Coat Press in July 2018
ISBN: 978-1-61227-759-2

The Brian Stableford Website