THE LUNARIAN PROFESSOR AND HIS REMARKABLE REVELATIONS CONCERNING THE EARTH, THE MOON AND MARS TOGETHER WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE CRUISE OF THE SALLY ANN (1909) – Written by James B Alexander back in the glory days of titles so long they might not fit in a 140 character limit.
The story is set in 1892, when James Alexander pretends that, while on a fishing trip he encountered a humanoid with a head like a globe, six limbs, large eyes and six wings. The being claims to be a “Lunarian,” a man from our moon.
He is a professor and informs Alexander that he and his fellow Lunarians travel from planet to planet by manipulating gravity. They live in vast underground caverns on the moon, caverns with a breathable atmosphere. Their mastery of gravity is the key to their advanced technology.
The professor’s people have been observing Earth for an untold amount of time. James Alexander even learns that in the distant past humans had to fight intelligently evolving reptiles for planetary supremacy. The cavemen won.
The Lunarians grow vegetation in hydroponic trays and dispose of their dead through a disintegration process that breaks the bodies down into their base elements, thus nothing gets wasted. Though their own culture is socialistic the Lunarians have no shyness about earning profits by selling their advanced technology to other inhabited planets.
The Lunarians have even developed methods of predicting the future. Alexander asks about Earth’s future and the professor from the moon is happy to lay it all out for the Earthling.
The moon being shows that by 1925 the United States of America will have adopted a free silver system and a single tax system. Women will have all the same rights as men and if a woman chooses to work outside the home she can leave her children at government-run care centers for the day. Marital laws have become loose and casual.
American Catholics will renounce the authority of the Pope and will break away from the Roman church. This has helped loosen societal attitudes toward marriage.
Though American cities will expand in size most citizens will live in enormous buildings that are like individual cities themselves, complete with stores, utilities, restaurants, hospitals, theaters, etc. The executive officers of each building will wield certain legal powers, like captains at sea.
By the year 2000 the British Empire will have lost India to Russia in a war, after which war was abolished. Violators are hauled before the Global Court. The United States of 2000 will consist of all of North America plus Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
The Presidency will be virtually a ceremonial position with most power residing with Congress. Aircraft of all sizes will fill the skies, most power will be produced through photo-electricity, and synthetic food & clothing will thrive.
The year 2100 will see the world divided among three great powers: The Great Union of Free States, consisting of the Americas plus the rest of the English-speaking world with Japan and Scandinavia thrown in as well (?) – The Russo-Asiatic Empire, consisting of Russia and the Ottoman Empire States plus all of Asia except Japan – and the Euro-African Confederacy, consisting of the rest of the world.
As the 22nd Century rolls along the three powers will gradually merge into a unified world government with a polyglot language for global use. Science will have made it possible to select the gender of a fetus, causing males to outnumber females 83 to 1.
Women will be allowed multiple husbands but that will not contain all of the subsequent tension, with out of control prostitution, sexually transmitted diseases and frequent murders among the increasingly violent male population.
By the end of the 22nd Century the Lunarians will feel compelled to intervene to save Earth. They will accomplish that by genetically engineering a third, neutral gender incapable of procreation. This third gender will be far more intelligent than males and females, less emotional and more capable of maintaining a stable society.
(The professor from the moon reveals to Alexander that “he” is really an “it” and is an example of the now-dominant third gender that the Lunarians themselves created long ago.)
The moon being’s sketch of the the future now leaps to around 10,000 A.D. by which point Earth culture will be beyond the understanding of the 20th Century human he is speaking to. The human body will have evolved to be short, huge-headed, bald and nearly toothless.
By 100,000 A.D. humans will be shorter still and will no longer have external ears and will no longer have any teeth or toes. They will, however, have two very long arms and stubby legs.
The digestive system will no longer exist and all humanity will feed itself via machines injecting nutrients into our bodies via the umbilical cord. That cord will no longer drop off after birth. Internal organs and skeletal structure will be nearly unrecognizable compared to now.
With Earth’s future laid out as far ahead as Alexander’s mind can handle the Lunarian switches to describing the current state of life on Mars. The Martians are passionate, emotionally volatile beings. Physically they are like twelve-feet by twelve-feet starfish and possess six ears, six eyes and coral-like skin.
Martians are semi-aquatic, traveling via two limbs underwater but rolling along on all five limbs on land. Mars is mostly swampland with some oceans and the legendary Canals of the Red Planet were built by the Lunarians at a steep price.
Over time the Martians failed to keep up the payments so the Lunarians foreclosed on the collateral: Mars’ two moons and two polar regions. They are now free to experiment at will on Phobos and Deimos as well as terraform Mars’ North Pole and South Pole. They may even alter the Martian orbit.
The Lunarian professor makes it clear that his race has not opened up trade with Earthlings because of our violent nature and warns that his people will intervene if we get close to discovering anti-gravity or other methods of travel to the moon.
Overall this is one enjoyably imaginative acid trip of a book which goes down a lot of roads that must have really surprised readers in 1909. In a way this work displayed more hardcore sci-fi concepts than H.G. Wells’ Things to Come. +++
FOR EIGHT ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES OF ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION CLICK HERE
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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