by Sir Julius Vogel
First published in 1889, this is credited with being one of the world’s earliest science fiction novels – a futuristic story in which women rise to positions of power and citizens travel freely in aluminium ‘air-cruisers’.
Sir Joseph Vogel’s story is remarkable for the accuracy of his predictions for a world in the year 2000.
Heroine Hilda Fitzherbert is the 23-year-old Imperial Prime Minister, caught between a villainous Australian republican and Emperor Albert, the dashing young ruler of the Federated British Empire. The future of the world is at risk when an Anglo-American war breaks out.
Vogel wrote his story after stepping down as New Zealand’s Premier, a role in which he promoted the vision of a modern world where men and women would be social and political equals – many years before women got the right to vote.
His description of air travel and wireless communications seemed far-fetched when Anno Domini 2000 was first published.
Today, the book remains a fascination for those who want to compare its prophesies with the reality of modern society.
This edition includes a retrospective review of the book, including details of how it was received when published in 1889 and a summary of its predictions.
About the author
Sir Julius Vogel (1835-1899) was a visionary leader who was widely ridiculed when he wrote this book. Today, New Zealand’s speculative fiction awards are named after him, in his honour.
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