TR: France's love affair with science fiction goes back centuries with authors like Cyrano de Bergerac addressing an alien utopia in 1657's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon. This early story contains unheard of technologies including machines that can talk and solar energy converters. The tradition of the genre carried in the popular 19th century works of Jules Verne, who could forecast technology in an eerily accurate manner. Innovations like jukeboxes, the Internet, and a system of space travel similar to the Apollo Program all were predicted by Mr. Verne. The majority of these works were optimistic about the potential of technology to improve lives and further man's reach into the universe. But after World War I and its machine guns and mustard gas, the French populace turned pessimistic about what technology could provide mankind.