When the Sleeper Wakes - ebook
This book was written in 1899, and is one of the last science-fiction books Wells wrote before his turn towards social realism in his writing. In this dystopian novel, Graham falls into a coma-like sleep, a sleep that he wakes from some 203 years in the future. But times have changed. Due to the wise investments of a board of trustees, Graham’s money has compounded into the greatest fortune the world has ever seen, and the trustees have used it to virtually enslave the entire planet. But when he comes out of his trance he is horrified to discover that the money accumulated in his name is being used to maintain a hierarchal society in which most are poor, and more than a third of all people are enslaved. This struggle is the main focus of the larger part of the novel. The novel proposes that whatever is done officially for the good of society, individual ambition is unlikely to address the failure of capitalist structures to create a good standard of living for those whose work supports the system.