The Frenetic People
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THE FRENETIC PEOPLE
by Ernest Pérochon
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Yoz
"Humankind can no longer be saved by anything but a return to prescientific barbarity."
In 1925, Ernest Pérochon, a winner of the prestigious Goncourt literary award, penned The Frenetic People, a prescient warning against unchecked technology. The novel takes place in our 30th century, the 5th century of the new Universal Era, after a bacteriological war with Asia. Boundless energy is provided by the controlled disintegration of matter. The secrets of the atom have been uncovered. Cities stretch along the meridians of the globe, forming a planet-wide grid. But another, even more cruel war starts between rival meridians, using new weapons that mutate men and turn them into monsters... Shall Earth survive?
Pérochon suggests that the desire for impossible justice, honor and liberty has always been the motive compelling people to slaughter one another, and that mindless courage has always provided them with the psychological means. That supposition makes The Frenetic People distinctive in the tradition of utopian literature, posing a moral and pragmatic question with respect to the desirability and practicality of such lofty goals. It is an important work which remains well worth reading today.
Les Hommes Frénétiques [The Frenetic People] (Plon, 1925)
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford.