A number of science fiction novels were published in the 19th century which hold up today and can genuinely be considered as good literature: Walter Besant’s The Inner House, Joseph Nicholson’s Thoth, and H.G. Wells’ Time Machine. But the good novels are far outnumbered by the bad ones. The borders and matter of the science fiction genre were not consolidated during the 19th century, nor was a standard of professionalism in the genre set, and a number of bad writers produced wretched science fiction during that century.

Nonetheless, there is one novel which outstrips all others in its combination of unreadability, cliché, and thematic foulness: An Entirely New Feature of a Thrilling Novel! Entitled the Social War of the Year 1900, or Conspirators and Lovers. A Lesson for Saints and Sinners.