A Journey in Other Worlds. a Romance of the Future


A Journey in Other Worlds. a Romance of the Future [Reading] ➶ A Journey in Other Worlds. a Romance of the Future By John Jacob Astor – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains This work has been in Other Kindle Ï selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps as A Journey PDF/EPUB or most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world , and other notations in the work This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity Journey in Other MOBI ð individual or corporate has a copyright on the body of the workAs a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

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  • Hardcover
  • 512 pages
  • A Journey in Other Worlds. a Romance of the Future
  • John Jacob Astor
  • 15 December 2017
  • 1298532310

About the Author: John Jacob Astor

John Jacob Astor IV, in Other Kindle Ï American businessman, real estate builder, investor, inventor, writer, lieutenant colonel in the Spanish American War, and a prominent member of the Astor family Died on the Titanic s maiden voyage.



10 thoughts on “A Journey in Other Worlds. a Romance of the Future

  1. Sarah Stegall Sarah Stegall says:

    I think John Jacob Astor IV would have been fascinated by the machine that killed him One hundred years ago, the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic after being struck by an iceberg Many people know that Astor was one of the victims, but most do not know that he was also the world s wealthiest science fiction author Astor, the fourth of his name, inherited great wealth but also created plenty of his own His real estate ventures include the building of the Astoria Hotel the world s most l I think John Jacob Astor IV would have been fascinated by the machine that killed him One hundred years ago, the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic after being struck by an iceberg Many people know that Astor was one of the victims, but most do not know that he was also the world s wealthiest science fiction author Astor, the fourth of his name, inherited great wealth but also created plenty of his own His real estate ventures include the building of the Astoria Hotel the world s most luxurious hotel , which became the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, one of the most famous in the world Astor patented several inventions and helped develop a turbine engine As an inventor, he would certainly have been impressed by the reciprocating steam engines of the ship he died on, not to mention the Parsons turbine that drove the propeller There is no record of his touring the ship, but had he asked for one, he d have gotten the red carpet treatment I can imagine JJ as he was called deep in conversation with Titanic s designer, Thomas Andrews, in a haze of cigar smoke and whiskey.Such a scene could come right out of the pages of Astor s novel, A Journey in Other Worlds, which purports to be a story of interplanetary exploration in the year 2000, but which readslike a catalog of future technological achievements As with many 19th century scientific romances , the emphasis is on the ideas, not the story or the characters A large percentage of the novel consists of members of the white male elite standing around telling one another things they would normally know anyway, in classic As you know, Bob dialogue When they aren t telling one another the diameter of Jupiter, they make speeches to faceless crowds or recite the history of the white race up to the year 2000, all of it in the most glowing, optimistic terms an educated imperialist can devise.The plot, such as it is, is simple having begun the process of tilting the Earth on its axis to abeneficial angle, the masters of technology look around them for new challenges They decide to travel to other planets to see if they are worth colonizing exploiting Far from the classic sense of wonder , our explorers view the entire solar system as a warehouse of riches to be looted Space travel is made easy with the use of apergy, the opposite force to gravity, a concept introduced by Percy Greg in his novel Across the Zodiac 1880 The nominal hero, Ayrault, accepts bids for a spacecraft specially outfitted with curtains and carpets that can be rolled up so as not to obstruct the view from the floor windows Ayrault is careful to include gutters around the roof of the spacecraft in order to catch the rain on Jupiter, and to procure sufficient supplies of rattlesnake venom to ward off disease Finally he and President Bearwarden and Dr Cortlandt an exceptionally long winded Government expert ensure that they are properly armed They found that, in addition to their medicine chest, they would have to make room for the following articles, and also manysix shot guns three double barrel 12 bores, three magazine 10 bores , three rifles, three revolvers a large supply of ammunition explosive and solid balls , hunting knives, fishing tackle, compass, sextant, geometrical instruments, canned food for forty days, appliance for renewing air, clothing, rubber boots, apergetic apparatus, protection wires, aneroid barometer, and kodaks The high level of firepower packed aboard the Callisto may speak as much to the origins of the Astor fortune in the fur trade, as to the expectation of hunting opportunities on the largest planet in the solar system During their journey the Callisto passes Mars, and Ayrault carefully photographs its surface, thereby anticipating the Mariner IV mission 71 years later Arriving on Jupiter, the trio crack a window to see if the air is okay, then venture out to explore Astor sees the denizens of Jupiter pretty much as a dinosaur park, with flying lizards, enormous snakes and vampire bats Their instruments of science are the guns, so as soon as they see something interesting, they shoot it to smithereens On passing a growth of most luxuriant vegetation, they saw a half dozen sacklike objects, and drawing nearer noticed that the tops began to swell, and at the same time became lighter in colour Just as the doctor was about to investigate one of them with his duck shot, the enormously inflated tops of the creatures collapsed with a loud report, and the entire group soared away Emphasis mine Having now established that they are on safari, rather than in an exploration team, the trio continue on, talking as they go, to discover that Jupiter holds gratifyingly vast reserves of exploitable resources such as gold, coal and oil During their travels, they continue to congratulate themselves on being the heirs of such an advanced race, all the while naming various features of the landscape I really wish Astor had commissioned a map of Jupiter I d have dearly loved to see the Harlem River, Sylvialand, or the Twentieth Century Archipelago on Jupiter The trio declare Jupiter to be a paradise, eminently fit for colonization by the huddled masses of benighted Europe And here, for the first time, Astor introduces a new theme religion Mars is already past its prime, and Venus scarcely habitable, but in Jupiter we have a new promised land From here on, the theme of religion, specifically Protestant Christianity, becomesandprominent Having established the profit potential of Jupiter to their satisfaction, the trio spontaneously decide to proceed to Saturn, where we may find even stranger things than here They note the habiltability in passing of Ganymede and Europa, Iapetus, Hyperion and Titan, explore the rings which, unsurprisingly, turn out to comprise rocks and sand , and land on the second largest planet in the solar system They discover that it is cold enough to require changing into their winter garments Arming themselves as before, they trudge off across the barren ground and shoot a couple of white birds Almost immediately, a distracting low hum surrounds them, disorienting them until they discover the ground strewn with rubies and emeralds the size of eggs When they go to record their thoughts, however, they discover their pencils and other instruments taken over by invisible spirits An old man with a white beard appears out of thin air, and begins explaining things.From here on in, most of the exploration of Saturn reveals a planet full of disembodied spirits, who like nothingthan to discuss Christian theology Like everyone else in the book, the spirit discourses on air pressure, geological deformation of strata, or tide levels at the drop of a hat, rather like one of the omniscient characters in a Dan Brown novel The spirit, who used to be a bishop, explains that continuity and balance of Nature will be restored with Christ s second coming, and delivers several sermons worthy of a Presbyterian pulpit Seeing no difficulty in reconciling Darwin and Moses, he cheerfully predicts the perfectability of Mankind through evolution The explorers are not quite convinced of this, as Cortland regrets that he was not born a thousand years later, and Ayrault laments that I should rather never have lived, for life in itself is unsatisfying , an odd thing to say for a man who has set foot on two planets beyond Earth for the first time in history President Bearwarden, however, neatly encapsulates the ethos of his Astor s time The utilitarianism of the twentieth century, by which I livewould be out of place in space, unless we can colonize the other planets, and improve their arrangements and axes The next day, they shoot down a few flying dragons with buckshot When night falls, Ayrault goes out for a walk and encounters the ghost of an old college sweetheart After a short conversation, he returns to bed and dreams of an angel, who quotes the Bible to him It seems that God has designated the planet Saturn as a kind of waiting room for dead souls, where they wait to be reborn or returned, it s not clear which Therefore we are brought here, where God reveals Himself to usand , and the flight of the other souls those unhappy ones does not cease Further conversations with ghostly bishops and other phantoms enlarge on the themes of redemption, resurrection, and geological evolution Ayrault ducks into a hollow tree to get out of a storm, is struck by lightning, and undergoes an out of body return visit to Earth, where he undergoes a spiritual epiphany When he is restored to his companions, they return to Earth A Journey in Other Worlds is not really a story of exploration Rather, it is the story of an elite cadre of white men projected from the 19th century capitalism Astor so robustly celebrated, into a future in which all that has really changed are the shiny toys they play with On the political front, the countries of Europe have become socialist failures and have sold their colonies to the US Canada has joined the United States, which also controls the South American continent Spanish and Portuguese elements in Mexico and Central and South America show a constant tendency to die outAs this goes on, in the Western hemisphere the places left vacant are gradually filled by theprogressive Anglo Saxons Secretary Deepwaters intones that, while his little cadre of engineers is re tilting the Earth s axis, we shall have time meanwhile to absorb or run out all the inferior races.It s hard to read that sort of thing without wincing There is a nod to women s education, when scientist explorer Ayrault praises his girlfriend Sylvia for her resolve to complete her degree at Vassar She s not much of a feminist, but at least she s there and she has a name, which isthan can be said of most of the rest of the females in this book Characters with names like Bearwarden, Tubercle Girminy, and Deepwaters sit in comfortable rooms with cigars and brandy and congratulate themselves on their technological progress, which has made all of mankind happier and healthier It is almost impossible not to imagine a similar attitude prevailing in the First Class lounge of the Titanic, as the immigrant masses belowdecks ate their meager dinner.I could not help but wonder if Astor wrote this bookor less as a rebuttal to a now nearly forgotten novel of the day, Looking Backward 2000 1887, by Edward Bellamy At the time of its publication in 1887, Looking Backward was the third most popular novel in America, after Uncle Tom s Cabin and Ben Hur Bellamy s work is an almost Marxist view of the future, with an economy based on publicly owned means of production To a Republican capitalist like Astor, the novel must have seemed to be an attack on the political foundations of Western culture The two books nicely embody a dynamic tension that extends to science fiction written today the novel that focuseson social change Bellamy than technological change Astor Astor s novel never seems to really gel, however, as he freely mixes redemptionist philosophy, electrical engineering, Victorian romance, and the thrills of big game hunting In the end, his explorer Ayrault seems to actually reject the scientific principles of the book, longing to return to a hedonistic, thoughtless existence I have often longed in this life to be in the spirit, but never knew what longing was, till I experienced it as a spirit, to be oncein the flesh Astor s prose is often overwrought, but he does occasionally carve a gem out of the mass of ore he dumps on the reader The flowers of Jupiter sing The flowers have become singers by long practice Many of the plants and animals he imagines, if not strictly original, are vividly realized His ideas are bold if not innovative Astor anticipates the speed trap, with cameras placed at intersections to record drivers speeds, the New York subway system, maglev trains, biological warfare, and even television his kintograph These ideas, if not original with Astor, were certainly the cutting edge of science in 1894 He envisions dynamos running off Niagra Falls, the terraforming of Earth, and wind and solar power Ironically, he includes extensive descriptions of marine transports that make large liners like the Titanic obsolete In all these passages, his enthusiasm for science and his love of technological toys shines through with breezy excitement So great was his faith in the machines of man and the ideal of progress , that it may have gotten him killed As the Titanic listed forward and the crew scrambled to get passengers into lifeboats, he told Second Officer Charles Lightoller, We are safer here than in that little boat As the ship continued to sink, he changed his mind and assisted his pregnant wife into the lifeboat He was last seen standing on the deck, smoking a cigar He did not survive the sinking, and his body was recovered a week later He is buried in Trinity Cemetery, New York City At the time of his death, he may have been the wealthiest private individual in the world without question, he was the wealthiest science fiction author in the world, with a net worth in 2011 dollars of over 11 billion A Journey in Other Worlds does not really show us much we can relate to on a scientific or technological level much of Astor s science was outdated at the time he wrote it We can laugh at the overblown, purple prose and the naive simplicity of the unexamined assumptions underlying it, the unconscious assumptions about race and class There are ugly moments when racism and sexism inject themselves jarringly into the narrative But Astor, like any writer, was a product of his times, and though he could not know it, his era of manifest destiny and freewheeling, no holds barred capitalism would come to a close very soon He would not live to see the Great War he feared, but neither would he live to see the collapse of the society of privilege he took for granted As a founding member of the 1% even now being protested in Wall Street, he would have found a Journey to 2012 farstartling, challenging, and fascinating than any number of imaginary Jupiters

  2. Debbie Zapata Debbie Zapata says:

    What do you do if you are one of the wealthiest men in the world and you are bored with your normal day to day activities If you are John Jacob Astor, you write a book that will share your vision of what life will be like in far away year 2000 The Terrestrial Axis Straightening Company will be hard at work to correct the tilt of the Earth and therefore provide atemperate climate, and your three heroes will travel for six whole months in outer space, having grand adventures on both Jupite What do you do if you are one of the wealthiest men in the world and you are bored with your normal day to day activities If you are John Jacob Astor, you write a book that will share your vision of what life will be like in far away year 2000 The Terrestrial Axis Straightening Company will be hard at work to correct the tilt of the Earth and therefore provide atemperate climate, and your three heroes will travel for six whole months in outer space, having grand adventures on both Jupiter and Saturn before returning home.The book is a museum piece, but I was tickled with it The science is naturally either outdated or too bizarre to ever have been factual, and the attitudes of the heroes are not exactly pc according to modern day standards, but I can usually overlook that when reading the antiquated books I enjoy Someday I imagine people will be shocked at the attitudes revealed in our modern books, too.The fun for me here was the idea of this incredibly wealthy man sitting down to imagine What If..and then filling pages with his visions Astor would have been a completely fascinating dinner guest I would ask him How and Why and generally be totally nosy about the book The fact that he was a passenger on the Titanic and went down with theship adds poignancy to the storyI kept wondering if he would have written another book if he had survived

  3. Ira Therebel Ira Therebel says:

    Published in 1894 the book goes by the usual formula of those times Basically no story and a lot of description of technology or what they see in space Those books are never my favorites but I always have an interest to read what this person imagined the future to be like In this case I had some extra interest because this book was written by Astor, the riches guy who died on Titanic He was not a writer I guess being filthy rich gave him the opportunity to do this dream of his and publish a Published in 1894 the book goes by the usual formula of those times Basically no story and a lot of description of technology or what they see in space Those books are never my favorites but I always have an interest to read what this person imagined the future to be like In this case I had some extra interest because this book was written by Astor, the riches guy who died on Titanic He was not a writer I guess being filthy rich gave him the opportunity to do this dream of his and publish a book You know, no matter what the job is people always have that one hobby they didn t go for, be it writing or making music hits or designing clothes etc In our time it is a bit easier with internet and all, but back then he was lucky to be the rich guy and publish his book.One can feel the fact that he is not a writer through the reading As I said such books are usually not having a very eventful story But this book is absolutely tedious I had trouble reading it and it took me forever It was hard to concentrate so I was either jumping over lines or had to read them several times before it finally got into me The first part is basically the description of the future on Earth Which happens in the year 2000 No pretty much nothing described is true, but this is actually the part that wasor less interesting to read Just to see what this man imagined life to be like in our time or well 20 years ago Then they take off to the space to explore Jupiter and Saturn Jupiter is the planet that is basically in our far past now, dinosaurs, mammoths and giant turtles live there This is where I reread the passages because in a way I wanted to get the picture of what is on Jupiter even though it is so hard to read and imagine Characters, whose names I didn t even bother to remember as it was useless to know who is who, just discuss science and what they see around with each other Nothing is happening And then comes the last part, when they get to Saturn Now Saturn has spirits on it This part is a sort of philosophical and theological discussion and self discovery and going through it was especially horrible for me Not my topic, not something I care about being on Saturn or in outer space, dense writing and even my interest in what a wealthy man from over 100 years ago thought could help here.Now I am finally done It is still 2 stars because reading such an old book with ideas about the future is always exciting even if for a very tiny bit I am happy for him he got to write it and even that I got to read it, but I sure won t do it twice

  4. Perry Whitford Perry Whitford says:

    Welcome to the future Welcome to a world where the infallible progress of science and the boundless benevolence of American ingenuity will lead to the straightening of the Earth s axis, bringing about an endless spring for everyone Welcome to, er the year 2000 Well, that s the risk all science fiction writers run in predicting the future trying to look clever but ending up looking like a fool Astor, writing in 1894, does that a lot here Take the discovery of apergy , a force akin but Welcome to the future Welcome to a world where the infallible progress of science and the boundless benevolence of American ingenuity will lead to the straightening of the Earth s axis, bringing about an endless spring for everyone Welcome to, er the year 2000 Well, that s the risk all science fiction writers run in predicting the future trying to look clever but ending up looking like a fool Astor, writing in 1894, does that a lot here Take the discovery of apergy , a force akin but opposite to gravityMen had discovered and mastered the secret of apergy, and now, little lower than the angels, they could soar through space, leaving even planets and comets behind But the bogus energy force of apergy is the least of the problems with this book What made it such a slog to read was the slavish regard afforded to any and every use of science, alongside the fact that in place of decent dialogue the characters merely spout scientific facts to each other in the driest, most tiresome fashion Then, laughably incongruous even, considering the loftily learned tone of the author when they journey to Jupiter it turns out to be little different from Earth at the time of the dinosaurs, with vast rivers and valleys, inhabited by oversized lizards and insectsat home in a Ray Harryhausen movie than a serious work of extrapolated science.A Conan Doyle fantasy and a scientific lecture are all very well in themselves, but probably best not to merge the two if you want to retain an audience s attention As the pages clogged with an endless litany of boring facts, the voyage of discovery became littlethan a jolly hunting party Astor was one of the richest men in the world in his time, so it s credit to him that he cared enough about anything but indulging himself to be so informed and enad of science He truly believed human invention was coming close to faultlessness, and therefore close to God His faith was such that he couldn t wait to buy a ticket for the maiden voyage of the Titanticchokengtitiktitikchokengs he did correctly predict one aspect of 21st century life though speed camerasThe policemen on duty also have instantaneous kodaks mounted on tripods, which show the position of any carriage at half and quarter second intervals, by which it is easy to ascertain the exact speed.

  5. Geoff Geoff says:

    I could not finish the book, as I lost interest It started off exciting, and I liked that it tried to use hard science for the time period So I started off enjoying the book, but it jumped around, and the hard science explanations of this sci fi tale started to get tedious And this book started running longer than I would have liked So, after sitting on my shelf abandoned for months, I decided to give up It gets two stars as it is different, and that was an experience, so I was glad I tri I could not finish the book, as I lost interest It started off exciting, and I liked that it tried to use hard science for the time period So I started off enjoying the book, but it jumped around, and the hard science explanations of this sci fi tale started to get tedious And this book started running longer than I would have liked So, after sitting on my shelf abandoned for months, I decided to give up It gets two stars as it is different, and that was an experience, so I was glad I tried the book But unfortunately I could not finish it

  6. Rena Searles Rena Searles says:

    Had a real hard time staying awake through this one A futuristic fantasy of the first voyage into space and the exploration of Jupiter So much detail, both scientific and philosophical, was difficult to navigate the long stretches of explanations Some entertaining bits and comical visioning

  7. Pam Pam says:

    I really enjoy reading old futuristic stories and seeing what people got right and how they got things wrong and also reminding myself that all of our favorite hard scifi will one day sound as dated as this book does, and wondering what people will be able to infer about us from the values we project on our visions of the future.The perspective of this book is so very 19th century, rich, white, American, well educated It has manifest destiny written all over it All of the countries of the Ame I really enjoy reading old futuristic stories and seeing what people got right and how they got things wrong and also reminding myself that all of our favorite hard scifi will one day sound as dated as this book does, and wondering what people will be able to infer about us from the values we project on our visions of the future.The perspective of this book is so very 19th century, rich, white, American, well educated It has manifest destiny written all over it All of the countries of the Americas have become part of the United States, because of course, what else would they do Non white peoples outside of Europe have slowly died out making room for the white people yes, really , and next humanity will expand to other planets, perhaps even other stars They discover later that there are other intelligent people in the universe, but fear not, only humans have souls And though the protagonists undertake a mission to Jupiter, do not mistake it for a scientific mission, they are on safari.Despite all that, it s also interesting what he gets right Toward the beginning are a couple chapters of the history of the 20th century, which get a lot of the details wrong but the overall picture isn t all that far off For instance, he predicts a cold war between France and Germany leading to the rapid development and science and technology both sides create weapons so powerful that they could never be used, preventing what was apparently already referred to as the Great War The rapid advance in technology also led to many innovations like automobiles, freeways, and suburbs.The science is also dated, of course This is pre plate techtonics, and the reigning view of the way celestial bodies work is they start out molten like the sun, then gradually cool and shrink, with the shrinkage creating mountain ranges Smaller planets cool faster, so Mars is already dead The very large planets are still warm, which keeps them inhabitable despite being further from the sun Once the planets cool, life proceeds in nearly the same way as on Earth since Jupiter cooled enough to support life much later, it s in an earlier stage of evolution, corresponding to the Devonian period on Earth though not exactly, I don t think the devonian had dinosaurs with plants and animals recognizable from Earth s geological record Saturn is slightlyadvanced , as it s smaller than Jupiter Side note at this point I realized why landscapes of dinosaurs always have erupting volcanoes in the background not just because one may have killed them, but also because according to the pre plate techtonics theory of geology the earth was actuallyvolcanic back then, and has cooled and become less active over time So of course there were erupting volcanoes all over the place back then That covers parts 1 and 2 Part 3 veers away from the science into the metaphysical, and I didn t enjoy it very much Part of Christian doctrine is that once you die, all the good and bad that you ve done are tallied up and you can t change your condition with respect to God anyafter that I ve never liked that doctrine, and part 3 expounds on it at length

  8. Wreade1872 Wreade1872 says:

    Nope. can t do it, i can t give this 2 stars Part of me wants to, it has some interesting sci fi elements and alien critters but its just too awful.It s very dry and boring most of the time with an overly scientific style that also reacts very badly with the story, which is so unscientific When its not being mind numbingly boring the characterization seems to be from a really bad pulp.Then there s the religious stuff which manages to be both terrible on its own and still as dull as the scienc Nope. can t do it, i can t give this 2 stars Part of me wants to, it has some interesting sci fi elements and alien critters but its just too awful.It s very dry and boring most of the time with an overly scientific style that also reacts very badly with the story, which is so unscientific When its not being mind numbingly boring the characterization seems to be from a really bad pulp.Then there s the religious stuff which manages to be both terrible on its own and still as dull as the science It has been quite some time since i ve had such a painful reading experience, despite minor points of interest, such as one of the characters turning into Patrick Swayze Ghost , this is a truly terrible book.Go read A Honeymoon in Space by George Griffith instead

  9. Trish Trish says:

    Okay, so the first thing to say is that this needs to be treated as either fantasy, or science fiction dealing with exploration outside the Solar System despite the adventures supposedly being on Jupiter, Saturn and Mars The distance between Astor s imagination and scientific reality as we now know believe it to be is immense, and therefore the science needs to be taken in the same spirit as Jules Verne or HG Wells It is interesting to see what he thought the world would be like in 2000AD Okay, so the first thing to say is that this needs to be treated as either fantasy, or science fiction dealing with exploration outside the Solar System despite the adventures supposedly being on Jupiter, Saturn and Mars The distance between Astor s imagination and scientific reality as we now know believe it to be is immense, and therefore the science needs to be taken in the same spirit as Jules Verne or HG Wells It is interesting to see what he thought the world would be like in 2000AD.All in all, though, it was a bit of a struggle, and the last third to way too much into Christian theology without much story

  10. Marsha Marsha says:

    Rather odd Much less science in this fiction than, say, Jules Verne or H G Wells.

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