READING THE MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION

September 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm 1 comment

While riding the train to work, my neighbor would read science fiction. Long retired now, he asked me if I would like science fiction books. I, of course, was more than enthusiastic and bags of books came my way and found a home in my study much to my wife’s displeasure. If you saw my study you would understand her fear for it is overflowing with books read and to be read.
Recently, I began reading these classic works. The authors include the likes of Lester Del Rey, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein and Ursula Le Guin to name a few. Most were published in the fifties and sixties costing as little as fifty cents.
The novel I would like to discuss is one I recently finished reading, The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein. This book was interesting in that it dealt with the future, a future which is already our past.
Heinlein published this novel in 1956 so it was probably written in the early fifties. The setting of the book is 1970 and the main character travels, via suspended animation, to the year 2000, both needing the author’s speculation of what life would be like in those years.
His take of the not too distant future of 1970 is most interesting. There is talk of a nuclear war with the United States being the target, but it is handled as no more than a minor inconvenience. The year of the war isn’t given and neither is the adversary. My thinking is that it could only be Russia who developed their bomb in 1947. Also, in 1970, robots are beginning to take over the mundane tasks in both domestic and commercial settings. When he gets to the year 2000 he finds society completely changed. The story deals with more of the social rather than the technological changes, but there is a scientist dabbling with time travel which plays an important part of the story for it allows travel into the past. However, this can only be accomplished with great risk for the scientist can set the length of time but cannot control whether the subject goes forward or backward in time.
What amazes me is how the author envisions both years, to compare reality to what he predicts. The world today is full of robot used by industry but nothing like the talking androids, human-like creatures, created by the minds of Asimov and Dick. Time will tell.
I enjoy reading ‘dated’ science fiction and see the author’s take on the future and compare it to what has come to pass.

Entry filed under: OBSERVATIONS & OPINIONS, READER'S OPPORTUNITIES, READERS AND WRITERS FORUM, Walt Trizna, WALT'S OBSERVATIONS. Tags: , , , , , , .

A WRITER’S VOICE THE FINAL STORM by JEFF SHAARA

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. weareus1projectSue P.  |  November 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    “…much to my wife’s displeasure.”

    I must wonder, how can so many books be a worry? Until actuaries catch on and start upping home owner insurance premiums for those of us with large personal libraries!
    I have always maintained a better-than-the-average-joe home library; but my first visit to my boyfriends’ home, where I now reside, left me drooling … only the kitchen and bathroom lack a book shelf; all other rooms have several bookshelves – ALL over burdened! Shelves bow toward the floor (I really must get around to flipping those); vertically organized books are topped by horizontally waiting books to be put in their places, and a pair of new, energetic kittens take care of getting the dust out of the lower shelves.

    One of the things we enjoy doing at night is to listen to the classics as we drift off to sleep, each night starting the audio a little further into the reading – so Thank You Kindly,Sir for the possibly unintended suggestion of ‘The Door Into Summer’ by Robert A. Heinlein – which I have just found an audio copy on YouTube. Six hours in length, this should carry us for a few nights.

    Do not be deceived, I too, much prefer the weight of a bound book in my hand, the smell of ink and old pages (yeah, yeah, the mold, whatever – as my children say) … but having a classic read to you at bedtime can be quite relaxing and soothing after a long day.

    Thank you once more, from a new blog follower and over active member of GoodReads,
    Sue

    Reply

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