Balladeer's Blog

anatole franceTHROUGH THE HORN OR THE IVORY GATE (1905) – Written by Anatole France. In this story a Frenchman, the tale’s narrator, finds himself in the year 2270 A.D. The large buildings that used to fill Paris have been replaced by small cottages inhabited by people whose tastes run to fine art and statuary.

There is no more pollution and no more honking of automobile horns. No vehicles or horse-drawn carriages use the curving streets. Trains apparently no longer run through Paris as well. Instead, people travel via all manner of aircraft in the skies above.

The vessels move through motors and lighter than air technology. The shapes of the aircraft are based on birds and fish, and our narrator describes the sight of that traffic by saying the sky now «seemed to be a combination of heaven and ocean.»

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