AN INTER-PLANETARY RUPTURE (1906) – Written by Frank L Packard. This work of Science Fiction is set in the far-off year 3102 A.D. Since the year 2532 all of the Earth has been united under one single government, which is headquartered in America’s Washington, D.C. (Yet this was written by a Canadian.)
The global parliamentary body was called the Assembly of the World and met in an enormous billion-dollar building called the Edifice of Deliberations. Former sovereign nations of the Earth are represented there like States or Provinces were in countries during the past.
The executive body of the world government is called the Supreme Council of Earth and meets in the same building as the Assembly but in the opposite wing. This Supreme Council consists of 12 members who are appointed based on their brilliance and accomplishments in global law and governance.
In an interesting touch the flag of the United Earth is red and white: a blood-red field with a white dove in the center.
To the people of the 32nd Century space travel is as easy as train or ship travel to the people of 1906. Multiple inhabited planets interact with each other and periodic wars are as common between these planets as wars between nations were in the past.
An asteroid called Mizar has been under Earth’s political jurisdiction since the Treaty of 2970. The people living on Mizar declare their independence from the Earth and strongly request that the people of the planet Mercury annex the asteroid. Mercury’s government hungers for Mizar because of its strategic orbital path.
Diplomacy fails to resolve the situation and war breaks out between Earth and Mercury, which had belligerently demanded that Earth’s forces leave Mizar. Earth’s space ships are withdrawn from their positions in orbit around our Solar System’s other planets. This is necessitated by the fact that – though small compared to Earth – Mercury has colonized many more planets and asteroids and has a much larger space fleet.
Eventually Mercury attacks the Earth, with both planet’s space fleets meeting in battle. The Mercurians fight their way past the Terran forces and land on our planet.
Though the Mercurian forces establish this beach-head the Earthlings ultimately defeat the land army, albeit in a colossal campaign with a VERY high body count. All of this has taken 3 months, at which point both of the warring planets make peace with each other. Mercury agrees to the status quo before the war.
Overall this is pleasant and quaint but that’s about it. The story nicely conveys the way in which the 32nd Century acts of planets parallel the acts of nations prior to global unification.
On a very specific level the parliamentary debates at the start of the story are clearly based on the circumstances surrounding the U.S. annexing the Philippines after the Spanish-American War of 1898. The Earth’s political figures even engage in the same debate about annexation that gripped America’s Senate over the issue.
In the grand tradition of science fiction this tale used a far-future setting to comment upon fairly recent real-world events. +++
FOR TEN MORE EXAMPLES OF ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2014/03/03/ten-neglected-examples-of-ancient-science-fiction/
FOR WASHINGTON IRVING’S 1809 depiction of an invasion from the moon click here: https://glitternight.com/2014/05/05/ancient-science-fiction-the-men-of-the-moon-1809-by-washington-irving/
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