Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Dominion of the World: The Plutocratic Plot by Gustave Guitton and Gustave Le Rouge

The Dominion of the World: The Plutocratic Plot
aka The Billionaire's Conspiracy
by Gustave Guitton and Gustave Le Rouge
1899, Brian Stableford translation 2012

Image result for La Conspiration des Milliardaires

An example of high concept, poor performance.  American billionaire William Boltyn, seeking higher tariffs on Europe, enlists the aid of other rich American industrialists to build an invincible army.  Among them is a spiritualist and a Thomas Edison stand-in Hattison.  Hattison works on high speed trains and submarines, and later volumes involve an army of mediums and robots.

So I'm told.  There's sweet jack all in this installment.  The actual story is a timid love story about the mild courtship of Hattison's son and Boltyn's daughter.  When that gets too intense, there's some light comic relief in the form of a drunken butler.  And to bring the piece to a climax, a love triangle.

Hattison junior decides to marry a Frenchwoman and be more Frenchy.  Hattison Sr. gets mad and threatens to kill him, the end.  On to part two, which I will not be reading.  There might be psychics and robots eventually, but I could not read another page of this stuff.

There's a little bit of science fiction in the way of trains and submarines slightly advanced for their time, but other than the love story, we've mostly got musings about the difference between the American and French characters.  I'm biased, of course, but the Americans didn't get painted as too villainous, as opposed to the English, who are duplicitous colonists.  Americans are greedy, practical, inventive, and independent, while the French like art and having other people cook for them.

I can be forgiven for thinking this would be entertaining - I read Le Rouge's The Vampires of Mars, which was a lot more fun.  I will give Doctor Cornelius a try - it sounds like it has a Dr. Mabuse vibe to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment