The Napus, Leon Daudet
Leon Daudet

The Napus

In Paris, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, an old man suddenly vanishes without a trace: a new plague has reached France, and will soon grow to terrible proportions. The event is witnessed by a cytologist working at the Aristotle Institute, who is also a Polyplast--the result of an experiment in selective breeding intended to produce pacifists, but which has also had perverse results. As a result of his presence at the crucial event, the Polyplast becomes a privileged observer of the entire tragedy, of which he naturally sets out to write a personalized history, explaining how the new plague became the casus belli of yet another war in an endless series, fought with the aid of “Archimedes”: powerful, long-range weapons that would destroy the world in no time were it not for their habit of misfiring, and only killing tens of thousands of people instead of millions. The Napus, first published in 1927, remains one of the classics of absurdist science fiction.
282 printed pages
Original publication


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