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Literature / The Future Eve

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"Let us try to obtain from science an equation of love. It will save thousands and thousands of lives."

"Now, I am going to show you, seriously, the organisms of the new electric human creature - The Future Eve - which, aided by the artificiality which has been in vogue for a long time, seems to meet in full the secret wishes of our race."
Thomas Edison (as written by Villiers de l'Isle-Adam)
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The Future Eve (original title: L'Ève future. Also translated as Tomorrow's Eve and The Eve of the Future) is a French science fiction novel written by Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam in 1886.

The plot starts off with a fictionalised Thomas Edison (renamed "Professor X" in some editions) being visited by Lord Ewald - an old friend of his - who has ended up in a very dysfunctional relationship with his fiancée, Alicia. Edison's solution? Turn Hadaly - the Fembot he is working on - into a copy of Ewald's fiancée and have him marry her instead, with everybody else none the wiser.

Along the way, we are introduced to some other amazing things, including a movie with both colour and sound (years before either of those things actually existed), a secret, underground aviary with mechanical birds who can sing and recite poetry, and a woman who can achieve Astral Projection using a mystical ring. We also find out why exactly Edison is so keen on helping his friend, and Edison's children make a cameo or two.

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The story created and codified several robot tropes. It is notable for popularising the term "android" (or rather, "andraiad") in the English language. In 1896, it was adapted into a movie in its' native country, making it the first film to feature a robot. It is also believed to have inspired the 1927 novel/silent film Metropolis, which it shares quite a few concepts with. The Anime Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence also references this story a few times. Hadaly herself would go on to appear in the Massive Multiplayera Crossover The Empire of Corpses.


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