October 21st, 2012


Halloween Countdown, Day 21

Let's kick it old-school style with a classic work of apocalyptic science fiction. This is 2012, after all! Apocalypses are in.

Text of the Day: Omega: The Last Days of the World (1894) by Camille Flammarion (1842-1925).

Excerpt: On the Sunday evening before, one might have seen from the car of a balloon all Paris abroad upon the boulevards and public squares, circulating slowly and as if in despair, without interest in anything. The gay aerial ships no longer cleaved the air; aeroplanes and aviators had all ceased to circulate. The aerial stations upon the summits of the towers and buildings were empty and deserted. The course of human life seemed arrested, and anxiety was depicted upon every face. Strangers addressed each other without hesitation; and but one question fell from pale and trembling lips: "Is it then true?" The most deadly pestilence would have carried far less terror to the heart than the astronomical prediction on every tongue; it would have made fewer victims, for already, from some unknown cause, the death-rate was increasing. At every instant one felt the electric shock of a terrible fear.

Listen to a Free Unabridged Reading: Here at Librivox.

Read the Complete Work: Here.

To complement the chilling text, here are some properly apocalyptic Parisian skies (with a few gargoyles thrown in for good measure).

Notre-Dame de Paris - 1

The Great Notre-Dame de Paris
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    "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," R.E.M.
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