Works – Speculative Science Fiction

1883, Robida, A. , La Guerre au Vingtième Siècle 

Albert Robida (1883) La Guerre au Vingtième Siècle A fantastical view of warfare in the 20C from the French illustrator Robida involving aircraft, tanks, chemical and biological weapons. Robida is said to have shown a penchant for satire even in his youth; by 1873, he had founded his own satirical journal, La Caricature. A decade later, he published the first of a trilogy of satirical, futuristic novels, The Twentieth Century (Le Vingtieme siecle), which portrayed everyday life in 1950s France. That book would be followed in 1887 by War in the Twentieth Century (La Guerre au Vingtieme siecle), and in ...
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1886, Verne, J. , Robur the Conqueror 

Jules Verne (1886) Robur the Conqueror [Robur-le-Conquérant] [aka. The Clipper of the Clouds] Although somewhat outside the scope of Invasion / Future War Literature the subject matter is highly relevant as a science-fiction writer's view on future warfare technology. It was followed by a sequel Master of the World (Maître du monde) in 1904. Summary [Wikipedia]: The story begins with strange lights and sounds, including blaring trumpet music, reported in the skies all over the world. The events are capped by the mysterious appearance of black flags with gold suns atop tall historic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty ...
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1904, Verne, J. , Master of the World 

Jules Verne (1904) Master of the World [Maître du monde]. A sequel to Robur the Conqueror. As a fantastical novel rather than a prediction of future war it, like Robur the Conqueror, is somewhat out of scope of this site but is included for completeness and comparison. Summary [Wikipedia]: A series of unexplained happenings occur across the eastern United States, caused by objects moving with such great speed that they are nearly invisible. The first-person narrator John Strock, 'Head inspector in the federal police department' in Washington, DC, travels to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to investigate and ...
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1905, Stables, W.G. , The Meteor Flag of England: The Story of a Coming Conflict 

William Gordon Stables (1905) The Meteor Flag of England: The Story of a Coming Conflict, J. Nisbet Set in the distant Near Future, a 1980 world where dreadnoughts can attain a speed of 300 knots, and where which Britain must defend herself against Invasions from both Russia and Germany [SFE] "A rousing tale of war. England, some eighty years hence [c1980], has to fight a combination of powers on sea and land. How she meets her foes and overcomes them is told in Dr. Stables' well-known vigorous style." ...
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1907, Griffith, G. , The world peril of 1910 

George Griffith (1907) The world peril of 1910, London,  F. V. White & Co. Ltd. CHAPTER I - A MOMENTOUS EXPERIMENT On the first day of July, 1908, a scene which was destined to become historic took place in the great Lecture Theatre in the Imperial College at Potsdam. It was just a year and a few days after the swimming race between John Castellan and the Englishman in Clifden Bay. There were four people present. The doors were locked and guarded by two sentries outside. The German Emperor, Count Herold von Steinitz, Chancellor of the Empire, Field-Marshal Count Friedrich ...
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1908, Giffard, P. , La Guerre Infernale 

Pierre Giffard (1908) La Guerre Infernale - illustrated by Albert Robida. La Guerre Infernale was an adventure novel for children, published as a serial, an edition appearing every Saturday. The 520 illustrations were created by Albert Robida. It described the second world war, years before it happened, describing an attack on London by the Germans and war between Japan and the United States. It was subsequently republished as a book. [Wikipedia] Still, some futuristic visions did dream big, like the colorfully illustrated 1908 French serial La Guerre Infernale, which anticipated the second World War more than the first with its ...
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1911, Griffith, G. , The Lord of Labour 

George Griffith (1911) The Lord of Labour. This book was published posthumously. So determined was Griffith that this book be published that he dictated part of it on his death bed. This future war novel features fantastical weapons. "In George Griffith's The Lord of Labour (written in 1906, published in 1911) the Germans invent a ray which can "demagnetize" metal in such a manner that it crumbles into dust on impact. The British fleet is manipulated into destroying itself when it fires its guns at the ray-wielding enemy fleet of wooden ships. But Anglo-Saxon ingenuity and civilization triumph as the ...
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1914, Wells, H.G. , The World Set Free 

H.G. Wells (1914) The World Set Free Preface: H. G. WELLS. EASTON GLEBE, DUNMOW, 1921. THE WORLD SET FREE was written in 1913 and published early in 1914, and it is the latest of a series of three fantasias of possibility, stories which all turn on the possible developments in the future of some contemporary force or group of forces. The World Set Free was written under the immediate shadow of the Great War. Every intelligent person in the world felt that disaster was impending and knew no way of averting it, but few of us realised in the earlier ...
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