The 1906 Novel That Predicted the Future

By

…what makes “The Doomsman” fascinating is its vision of an abandoned New York City as “a wilderness of brick and mortar”—a land where the Financial District is ruled by owls, and where the Flatiron Building is prized primarily by archers for its fine sight lines. Broadway, or what is left of it amid gaping sinkholes, has become the Palace Road, which leads to Citadel Square—the old Madison Square.

The New Yorker looks at Van Tassel Sutphen’s The Doomsman, a novel published in 1906 that predicts a post-apocalyptic New York.


P.E. Garcia is an Editor-at-Large for the Rumpus and a contributor to HTMLGiant. They currently live in Philadelphia, where they were recently accidentally elected to be Judge of Elections. Find them on Twitter: @AvantGarcia. More from this author →