What I find most amazing about Erewhon is that it is yet another example of satire not going far enough; it ends up being true. Read, especially, the part about machines becoming intelligent. Butler was a staunch evolutionist, but if his introduction to his second edition can be taken at face value, his contemporaries read those chapters as attempts to “reduce Mr. Darwin’s theories to an absurdity.” Today, we read those chapters as highly prophetic, prophesying not only the extent to which humans would become dependent on “machines” but also on their more and more rapid development.
“There is no security against the ultimate development of mechanical consciousness, in the fact of machines possessing little consciousness now. A mollusc has not much consciousness. Reflect upon the extraordinary advance which machines have made during the last few hundred years, and note how slowly the animal and vegetable kingdoms are advancing.”