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The Year 5865

by Hippolyte Mettais
adapted by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

The Year 5865 was published in 1865. It is a remarkable novel, consisting of a first-person narrative related by a character living 4000 years hence, after various disasters have obliterated almost all the documents relating to the world with which we are familiar. In consequence, the narrator's knowledge of the reader's world is severely limited and densely clouded by myth.

Hippolyte Mettais' innovative literary method in attempting to interpolate didactic material into a melodrama provides an anticipatory echo of a future subgenre of popular fiction: the "lost race" story. But unlike H. Rider Haggard's She (1887), Abraham Merritt's Dwellers in the Mirage (1932) and other classics, here, it is not present-day explorers who find relics of an ancient civilization but futuristic explorers who find echoes of ours.

A remarkable pioneer of futuristic fantasy, The Year 5865 is a uniquely intriguing classic of the genre, long ripe for rediscovery.

Cover by Jean-Félix Lyon

Published by Black Coat Press in July 2012
ISBN: 978-1-61227-100-2

The Brian Stableford Website