The one thing this most prophetic of Jules Verne's great science-fiction classics has almost nothing to do with the fortune that the begum left to science! That just supplied the money by means of which two opposing geniuses set up their "ideal" cities in the back lands of Oregon. This, then, is the novel wherein Verne explored the wonders of utopian communities and of the power of science to create or destroy.
For one of those cities was a community of light and ease, of the dream of men for leisure and loveliness. Whereas the other, the mighty city of steel, embodied the opposite dream of men for power and conquest.
In The Begum's Fortune, Verne's imagination was at its peak, foreseeing the problems of the century to come with its conflict of democracy versus dictatorship, of technology versus art -- even the space satellite is forseen here!
Original title: Les Cinq Cents Millions de la Bťgum
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction→ Political→ Dystopia/Utopia
- Also published as "The Bigum's Millions"