Ignis: The Central Fire
IGNIS: THE CENTRAL FIRE
by Comte Didier de Chousy
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Dimitri Rastorgoueff
You will have recognized the pseudo-human race conceived by Lord Hotairwell: the Atmophytes-steam-men-for one cannot call facsimiles of humans so closely resembling their creators animals or machines. They are men of iron and copper, bodies in which steam has been substituted for blood, in which electricity animates mechanisms so refined that their gestures are less reminiscent of products of power than manifestations of life.
Ignis (1883) is about the industrial exploitation of Earth's central fire by a multinational cartel. It also contains fanciful digressions into biological engineering, Utopian city planning, the possibility of brain control by means of electrical stimulation and the potential exhaustion of fossil fuels.
Proving again that science fiction writers are harbingers of the future, it features the first depiction of the revolt of machines-steam-powered non-humanoid robots-that have become intelligent, all penned at a time before the automobile was even invented!
- Ignis (1883)
Introduction, Afterword and Notes by Brian Stableford.