Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Preview: When the Sleeper Wakes

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Yes, I know we've been giving H.G. Wells' 1899 novel of dystopian 22nd-century London away for free here at the Thrilling Wonder Stories site, but if you can't wait to see how it ends, or want an actual copy to hold in your own hands, or just have something against trees, here it is, available now at the Thrilling Wonder Store for only $7.

This is the first in our Thrilling Wonder Stories Origins Series, reprinting works from the early days of science fiction—so early, in fact, that they didn't even call it "science fiction" yet.

From the back cover:

From the author of The Time Machine comes a different kind of futuristic adventure. Near the end of the nineteenth century, Graham falls into an ageless trance. He awakens at the dawn of the twenty-second century. A Council rules the world. They began simply as trustees of a large financial estate, but their snowballing wealth and power, over the course of two centuries, rendered government by the people impotent, irrelevant, and ultimately extinct. But who owns this wealth? Graham finds, to his shock, that he does. The men who first took responsibility for him in his trance left him their fortunes, and he is now the master of the world!

But real power is only his if he can claim it. The Council controls the lives of the people, literally from cradle to grave. They keep the laboring classes trapped in an perpetual cycle of drudgery and dependence. They keep the upper classes satiated with entertainment and the Pleasure Cities. Not happy to have Graham conscious and potentially able to take this power into his own hands, the Council seeks to keep him isolated and ignorant. And a rebel group aims to capture him as a figurehead for their revolution, using the people’s veneration of the Sleeper as a savior to seize the Council’s power for their own. But when Graham, a democrat and liberal in his own time, learns the truth about the future world, he seeks to exercise his power for the people.

To truly be master of the world, Graham must first master his fate—become a leader of people, and defeat those who would sooner kill them than see them free. Timeless as its protagonist, When the Sleeper Wakes is a tale from a century ago about a century hence that enthralls today’s reader with its odyssey of prophetic vision and gripping adventure.

1 comment:

willrobinson said...

I ordered this book, as I've only read his more famous works: War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. This will be interesting! Thanks for publishing, and with original illustrations!