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Thomas, Chauncey

(1822-1898) US author of a technocratic Utopia, The Crystal Button; Or Adventures of Paul Prognosis in the Forty-Ninth Century (1891); the text was apparently drafted in the 1870s, and only submitted for publication after the success of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888), when it was edited by George Houghton (of Houghton, Mifflin and Company). The protagonist, seemingly brain-damaged in 1872, travels in a dream-state to the year 4872, where he learns of the benign turn the world has taken. There has been no war for a thousand years. The main Power Source is electricity, great advances in Technology, Transportation and Communication. A benevolent World States leases property to citizens. Atlantis has risen again; the highly civilized inhabitants of Mars pass on their wisdom; but a Comet causes the End of the World, though Prognosis himself luckily reawakens in 1872 to tell the tale. This author should not be confused with Chauncey Thomas (1872-1941), who was responsible for an sf story, "The Lost Art" (August 1902 Argosy). [JC]

Chauncey Thomas

born Maxfield, Maine: 1 May 1822

died Roxbury, Massachusetts: 8 November 1898



Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 17:59 pm on 15 August 2022.