The Future Fire

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An independently produced, short-lived pamphlet series published in the early twentieth century covering the speculative topics of "technology, imagination, and investigation". The Future Fire was printed on a cheap press, hand-corrected and circulated free of cost in what were apparently very large numbers. Very few issues survive, however, and those that do are eagerly collected by a small number of eccentric ephemerists. It is believed that only ten or so issues were ever produced, those surviving numbered 1905.01, 1905.04, 1906.05, and 1906.06.

The editor of the pamphlet, who also wrote much of the non-fiction content, wrote under the pseudonym Angjel, but is thought to have been a Russian inventor living in exile in Dublin (although copies of the magazine also circulated in London and New York literary clubs). Very few of the authors and reviewers who appeared in the pages are names that we are now able to trace (although it would be tempting to identify a certain "Herbert W." who signed a book review in issue 1906.06).

The contents of the surviving issues are as follows:


edit Issue 1905.01

(A single example survives; private collection.)

edit Fiction:

edit Non-fiction:

  • 'Future Fire Manifesto', Angjel
  • 'The life-preservative Properties of Ice', Kinsella
  • "'The Man-machine", a convesation with Kelvin Reading, 19th Lord Wantage'
Lordwantage

Lord Wantage in his steam-powered wheelchair (1904)

(Lord Wantage was a prominent English intellectual of the day, who took the opportunity of this interview to propound his theory that humans were on the verge of a revolutionary evolution whereby they would eventually merge entirely with the motor-car. The first step, he opined, was the incorporation into the body of an internal combustion engine, which would not only provide locomotion [rendering our legs superfluous], but also act as a failsafe should our hearts or lungs cease to pump of their own accord. Wantage reported that he already spent all his time in a steam-powered wheelchair, allowing him to read, write, and "work science" without wasting energy on walking.)

edit Reviews:

  • Darwin, C. The Various Contrivances by which Orchids are Fertilised by Insects. (Seán Finnbar)
  • Goodenough, T, The Great Eye: the great 'I' (Angjel)
  • Kern, Margaret, The Rustle of His Robe (Angjel)
  • Machen, Arthur, The Hill of Dreams (Angjel)
  • Myers, Frederic, Human Personality and the Survival of Bodily Death (Angjel)
  • Nelson, J. Harry, Poisoned Wine (Angjel)
  • Plymouth, Avi, Future Morality (Angjel)

edit Issue 1905.02

Lost.

edit Issue 1905.03

Lost.

(A single page, found in a first-edition of Kafka, seems to be written in Angjel's style and slightly stilted English: it is speculated that it may be a leaf from this pamphlet. It appears to be the latter part of a discussion of the medieval Whispers of Wickedness apocalyptic.)

edit Issue 1905.04

(The best preserved issue: six examples survive, three in one private collection.)

edit Fiction:

  • 'Foundation of a City', by "The Knowledge"
  • 'Visit from an angry Chinee', by Julius Marion
  • 'A lost Message, found by Means of Ectoplasma', by Grenville Thiel

edit Non-fiction:

  • 'Far from home: speculations on instantaneous communication', Angjel
  • 'Sophisticated supernatural phænomena', Fische

edit Reviews:

  • Aubert, Rigor Mortis (anonymous)
  • Berrifield, H., Addressing the Dead Correctly (anonymous)
  • Gatacrap, Louis Pope The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars (Angjel)
  • Mitchell, Peter H. H., Inevitable conclusions (Angjel)
  • Ozaki, Theodora, Bag of Rice (Attol)
  • Robert, Alexander, A century of dreams (Angjel)

edit Issue 1906.05

(Three examples.)

edit Fiction:

  • 'The twentieth century in retrospective', by Clifford Dott
  • 'The Gate', by Ivan Halil

edit Non-fiction:

  • 'The language of Beasts', Angjel
  • 'Remembering Junior', Angjel

edit Reviews:

  • Hook, Hardy, The Science behind Popular Fiction (Attol)
  • Howard, R. F., Attack (anonymous)
  • Llewellyn Richard, First words (Sylvia Barchatz)
  • Lodge, Oliver, Other Worlds (Angjel)
  • Maxwell, J. Clerk, Electricity and Magnetism.(anonymous)

edit Issue 1906.06

(Two examples.)

edit Fiction:

  • 'Flash Back', by M "Wolf" Hackney
  • 'Into a volcano', by Helen
  • 'The sequence of the Apocalypse: beginning from the end', by Ismiel d'Arber

edit Non-fiction:

  • 'Verisimilitude: the future of fraud', Angjel
  • 'Another Army: private enterprises', Angjel

edit Reviews:

  • Brewer, Charles, the Cosmic Bible (Angjel)
  • Delphi, Christopher, Sharp shooting with futuristic weaponry (Attol)
  • Douglas, Ellsworth, Pharaoh's Broker (anonymous)
  • Julevno, Nouveau traité d'astrologie pratique (Jehosaphat)
  • Martin, Rudolf, Berlin-Bagdad (Herbert W.)
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