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The Coming Race

The Coming Race by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
By: (1803-1873)

In "The Coming Race" by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, readers are taken on a thrilling adventure into a mysterious underground world inhabited by an advanced race of beings known as the Vril-ya. The protagonist, a traveler who stumbles upon this hidden society, is both fascinated and frightened by their superior technology and powerful use of a mysterious energy source called Vril.

Bulwer-Lytton masterfully crafts a story that blends elements of science fiction, fantasy, and social commentary. Through the eyes of the protagonist, readers are forced to confront questions about greed, power, and the potential consequences of unchecked technological advancement. The vivid descriptions of the Vril-ya's society and their capabilities are both intriguing and thought-provoking, leaving readers pondering the implications of a civilization that possesses such incredible power.

While the narrative can at times feel a bit dated in its portrayal of gender roles and race, overall "The Coming Race" is a captivating and immersive read that will leave readers pondering the mysteries of the unknown and the potential of human ingenuity. Bulwer-Lytton's vision of a hidden underground world is both thrilling and chilling, a reminder of the dangers and possibilities that lie beyond our own understanding.

Book Description:

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803-1873) was an English novelist, poet, playright, and politician. Lord Lytton was a florid, popular writer of his day, who coined such phrases as “the great unwashed”, “pursuit of the almighty dollar”, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, and the infamous incipit “It was a dark and stormy night.” Despite his popularity in his heyday, today his name is known as a byword for bad writing. San Jose State University holds an annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for bad writing in which contestants have to supply terrible openings of imaginary novels, inspired by his novel Paul Clifford, which opens with the famous words: “It was a dark and stormy night”.

The Coming Race drew heavily on his interest in the occult and contributed to the birth of the science fiction genre. Unquestionably, its story of a subterranean race of men waiting to reclaim the surface is one of the first science fiction novels. The novel centres on a young, independently wealthy traveler (the narrator), who accidentally finds his way into a subterranean world occupied by beings who seem to resemble angels, who call themselves Vril-ya. The hero soon discovers that they are descendants of an antediluvian civilisation who live in networks of subterranean caverns linked by tunnels. The narrator suggests that in time, the Vril-ya will run out of habitable spaces underground and will start claiming the surface of the earth, destroying mankind in the process, if necessary.

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Reviews (Rated: 2 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - February 25, 2016
Subject: The Coming Race
I found the narrator (Mary Roady) and story suited each other perfectly. Did my best but after 16 chapters I gave up waiting for something to happen.

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