The Tale of the Next Great War 1871-1914: Fictions of Future Warfare and of Battles Still-to-come by I. F. Clarke
This selection of short stories offers a return journey through the future as it used to be. Time speeds backwards to the 1870s, to the alpha point of modern futuristic fiction, when a new college of prophets and predictors first began to describe the new machines, the new societies, and the new wars that would follow in the next decade or the next century. The imaginary wars in this collection of sixteen stories are powerful reminiscences of dominant expectations as these were perceived and projected during a fateful period of European history. They are venerable echoes from the last age of innocence, before the military technologies of the First World War demonstrated in the most brutal ways that the unexpected can make nonsense of assumptions about the future.