LibriVox: Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxThe newest release over on LibriVox is a solo reading of an 1888 SF novel. It should be of interest to our regular SFF literati and pretty much anyone else interested in things going on in 20th century history and modern American politics. Edward Bellamy’s novel, Looking Backward: 2000-1887, describes: unregulated stock markets, the use (and abuse) of credit cards, the rise of big box stores like Costco, socialism, and music downloading. In fact, Bellamy’s novel reflects certain aspects of our world rather uncannily! In particular: the present of the United States of America and the past of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

In addition to the narrator, Anna Simon, this audio book was produced dedicated proof-listener Marian Martin. Thanks ladies!

LibriVox - Looking Backward 2000-1887 by Edward BellamyLooking Backward: 2000-1887
By Edward Bellamy; Read by Anna Simon
17 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 7 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: September 19, 2009
Looking Backward: 2000-1887 is a utopian novel by Edward Bellamy, first published in 1888. It was the third largest bestseller of its time, after Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The book tells the story of Julian West, a young American who, towards the end of the 19th century, falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes up more than a century later. He finds himself in the same location (Boston, Massachusetts) but in a totally changed world: It is the year 2000 and, while he was sleeping, the U.S.A. has been transformed into a socialist utopia. This book outlines Bellamy’s complex thoughts about improving the future, and is an indictment of industrial capitalism.

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 3 talks Utopias

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 3The latest issue of the Radio Times offers a peek at next week – On BBC Radio 3 in The Essay timeslot will be a “3 part examination of utopian visions of the future……” entitled The Future’s Not What It Used To Be… quite a number of SF classics are quoted in the Radio Times article, so this should be a worthy listen. Here’s the official description:

“As a child of the 1950s, Richard Foster thought that by now he would be wearing a silver jumpsuit and spending endless hours of leisure zooming around on a personal jet-propelled backpack – all in a world where poverty, sickness and religion had been banished by technology. So what went wrong?”

Part 1 – Broken Dreams
Broadcast: Mon. 4th August 23:00-23:15
Richard investigates two contrasting utopian worlds in novels from the 1880s: caring capitalism in Looking Backward by American author Edward Bellamy and communitarian socialism in William Morris’ News from Nowhere.

Part 2 – Trust Me, I’m A Scientist
Broadcast: Wed. 6th August 23:00-23:15
Richard looks at how, in the 1930s, when capitalism and communism appeared unable to deliver utopia, H.G. Wells in The Shape of Things to Come and Aldous Huxley in Brave New World asked the next big question: can science mend our broken dreams, or will they just become nightmares?

Part 3 – Be Afraid, be very Afraid
Broadcast: Thu. 7th August 23:00-23:15
Richard investigates the threat of nuclear and environmental holocaust, explored in novels such as Neville Shute’s On the Beach and John Christopher’s The Death of Grass. Is the appetite for apocalypse – religious or scientific – now fed by ecological concern and terrorism? Must we always live in fear, or is it a potent political tool?

[Thanks Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis