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News from Nowhere; or, An Epoch of Rest: Being Some Chapters from a Utopian Romance (1890)

by William Morris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8441725,673 (3.42)70
Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

William Morris is most famous for his textile design, but he was also a passionate and active socialist. News From Nowhere explores his socialist ideals in soft science-fiction. A man returns from a socialist meeting and falls into a sleep from which he wakes in a utopian, socialist future.

.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Tables Turned: Or, Nupkins Awakened by William Morris (CGlanovsky)
  2. 01
    Paris in the Twentieth Century by Jules Verne (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: A dystopian antithesis to Morris's utopia.
  3. 01
    The Iron Heel by Jack London (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Morris's novel could almost read like the future utopia from which London's fictional annotations are written.

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» See also 70 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A book that describes a socialist/communist Utopia in England - whats not to like? - Answer, William Morris' book published in 1890. The hero William Guest (yes very witty) falls asleep after a meeting of the socialist league - he might well have fallen asleep during the meeting of the socialist league, and dreams that he has woken up in some sort of future socialist utopia. To keep the reader guessing, for a short time Guest does not know where he is, but the sun is shinning and everybody that he meets acts kindly and considerately. He then embarks on a journey up the river Thames with his new friends learning from them the joys brought about by common ownership and the ditching of machines.

I found the book weakly thought through with it golden glow version of socialism based on handicrafts and the love of nature. Guest learns from an elderly boffin the history of the previous two hundred years as he continues his journey of discovery following the river Thames through sleepy villages that were once commuter hubs for the cockneys. Its all so facile and even worse than that; it is boring. This did not work for me on any level, probably it will be the worst read of the year - 2 stars. ( )
  baswood | Oct 3, 2023 |
Reason Read: Reading 1001 botm, September
Yea, this is another piece of propaganda touting the benefits of socialism. People are perfectly perfect, its capitalism that makes society bad, not people. I guess this is also considered science fiction which I disagree; fantasy yes, not science fiction. This man just has a dream where he is transported to a Utopia England set in the 21st century. I disagree, its a piece of propaganda and I totally disliked it. The author, William Morris is an artist, designer and socialist pioneer. ( )
  Kristelh | Sep 2, 2022 |
So this one did not start off on a good footing. The protagonist goes to bed on a dreary winter night and wakes up in a beautiful spring.
Thematically i get what the author is doing but just because your in a utopian future doesn't mean its always sunny in england.
In fact if you want to sell me on a utopia convince me when its raining, anyone can have a utopia in the sun :P .
Then right after arriving our hero goes down to the Thames, which has clear water in it. Again i get the intent, its no longer filled with sewage i guess.. but it is the Thames, its like a tidal estuary river... again utopian futures do not mean the rivers don't get muddy, its a river thats just how they are sometimes!

Anyway, its interesting enough when we get to the whys and hows of the utopia although its always a little vague and unconvincing. If this were an alien planet found in star-trek.. no problem, wouln't question how this society could function.. but with human nature being what it is.. its a stretch to say the least.
Also the climate here seems suspicously stable, my pessimism says one bad winter and they'd probably be eating each other ;) .

Once we're given all the info though it just keeps going, despite not really having any proper story to sustain things past the 'this is my utopia, there are many like it but this one is mine' stage. There's a sort of romance thrown in but its a good 50-100 pages longer than it needs to be.

I will say there is a sort of haunting quality to the ending but thats about it. ( )
  wreade1872 | Jul 25, 2022 |
Written in 1890 by William Morris, yes that William Morris, famous for designs on wallpaper, fabric and much, much, more.

You could describe this as sci-fi or as utopian (as opposed to dystopian) or even communist propaganda !

The basic premise is that a man goes to sleep in his room in 1890 in London and wakes up in the same room in the year 2000. In essence this is someone in the past speculating on life in the future. So there are no robots or flying cars because this was written in a pre-technical age.

He meets and becomes friends with people, his cover story is that he has come from a foreign land where they do things differently.

The future he describes is a socialist utopia where people are fit, healthy, well dressed but not in a formal way and most importantly they are happy. They are free to pursue their own interests and many of the tasks that support their society are shared and not related to money or profit.

The bit I found interesting was how the people in the future described the past. They mainly described it as the days of slavery. The time when people had no choice but to do dangerous and unhealthy work just to survive and all their Labour’s were To support a handful of wealthy people who lived in luxury while those that supported them had lived that were nasty, brutal and short.

Just before I read that part I had recently read that in the USA around 27% of workers get no annual holidays and a lot out the people who do get annual holidays choose to work through them instead. Slavery? People working to support a handful of rich people? Unfortunately, it sounded all too familiar to me and recent changes like the “gig economy” has served to enslave people even more and while the rich get richer the number of poor just continues to rise.

I’m not labouring a point here as this is pretty much the gist of the book. It is explored in some detail by elaborating on the day to day existence in the people in the future.

It’s well worth a read given that it was written over 120 years ago. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
he said i've been to the year 2102
not much has changed
but they abolished capitalism ( )
  BeeAfraid | Aug 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morris, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arata, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klett, ElizabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liebknecht, NatalieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Redmond, JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steinitz, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Up at the League, says a friend, there had been one night a brisk conversational discussion, as to what would happen on the morrow of the Revolution, finally shading off into a vigorous statement by various friends of their views on the fully-developed new society.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

William Morris is most famous for his textile design, but he was also a passionate and active socialist. News From Nowhere explores his socialist ideals in soft science-fiction. A man returns from a socialist meeting and falls into a sleep from which he wakes in a utopian, socialist future.


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