The River

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scifi: Fiction as strange as truth

I've been on a science fiction kick lately. I'm particularly interested in the social commentary type of scifi produced in the sixties and seventies. It's prophetic stuff. The authors I've been reading saw -- and foresaw -- what was happening and what would likely happen. Last night, while reading "The Sheep Look Up" by British author John Brunner, I ran across this:

We need something to break us out of this – this isolationism we’ve drifted into. I don’t mean that in the standard sense; I mean more isolationism in time, as it were. We’re divorced from reality, in the same way the Romans went on thinking of themselves as invulnerable and unchallengeable long after it ceased to be true. The most awful warnings are staring us in the face – the stagnant Mediterranean above all, dead like the Great Lakes – yet we’re so proud of being the richest, the most powerful, the whatever, that we won’t face facts. We won’t admit that we’re short of water, we’re short of timber, we’re short of –“

"Food," Thorne said positively.

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