Extrait de "Novels about the future" de Edward Shanks, publié dans la revue américaine The Living age vol.300 (1919), dans lequel il est question de H.-G. Wells, J.-H. Rosny aîné (qui se fait quelque peu malmener), etc... :
"In The Purple Cloud, Mr. M. P. Shiel describes the extinction of the race, save for an explorer who happily chanced to be at the North Pole and a Turkish girl-baby walled up in a cellar, by a poison-cloud of volcanic origin.
Mr. Shiel's book, which appeared many years ago in a magazine, and was promptly forgotten, is one of the best of its kind extant, and will bear examination a part from its kind, for it rises with its wealth of imagery and fantastic passion to the level of its extraordinary theme.
There is also a French book by M. Rosny, which is at least original if its details are rather too mechanically invented. Here the earth has become a desert (in complete contradiction of the latest geological theories), and the few survivors of mankind live in oases round the last springs, which are at the mercy of seismic disturbances and vanish one by one.
But a new form of life has appeared, a race which the author calls les ferro-magnétaux) which I visualize (they are not very clearly described) as a kind of animated rust, a sort of metallic alternative to protoplasm.
They are the race of the future, and they devour (by absorbing the blood in an obscure and unconvincing manner) humans who are so unwary as to sleep in the desert. When the last man finds that no water is left and that death is inevitable, he goes into the desert and offers himself as prey in order that his life may pass into that of the new race. This is a fine gesture, but the whole book is rather arid and devoid of poetry."