The Petitpaon Era
THE PETITPAON ERA
by Henri Austruy
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Jean-Félix Lyon
On that radiant spring morning, the African army, miraculously extracted from its slumber, emerged from the Grand Palais under the guidance of Abbé Mortol and Hermann Coffre in order to reestablish order in Paris and put an end to the regime that had permitted itself to raise its voice, in the name of wicked liberty.
Austruy could already have considered himself akin to Cassandra, having seen his awful warnings of The Petitpaon Era (1906), a scathing pacifistic anticipation, put so comprehensively in the shade by the actual world war that followed it within a decade of its representation of his fictitious one.
This collection features three other fantasy stories from remote epochs, abolished from human memory, including tales of the bizarre city of Miellune and the fantastic land of Humania, as well as a dire prediction of a global ecocatastrophe caused by soil erosion.
Henri Austry, born in 1871, was a Parisian attorney, a writer and the editor of La Nouvelle Revue from 1913 until his unrecorded death during the Nazi occupation of France. Virtually forgotten today, he was the author of several remarkable, humorous and imaginative works of science fiction in the vein of Robert Sheckley and R. A. Lafferty. His stories possess an idiosyncratic eccentricity that makes them highly unusual -- a quality worthy of interest and high praise in the field of imaginative literature. There is literally nothing else quite like them.