Wednesday, 31 October 2012
technology, including medical technology, would continue to improve;
people would live longer and age less;
work would become easier and working hours less;
the economy would remain peaceful and prosperous throughout the many decades of a large population's extended lifespans.
Poul Anderson always recognised more sharply than Niven that life is not always easy and comfortable.
"The Ethics of Madness" comes from a time when the Known Space history was new and, like Anderson's History of Technic Civilisation, was a worthy successor to Robert Heinlein's seminal Future History. The idea of setting several short stories and novels with or without continuing characters within successive periods of a projected history of the future several centuries or more in length was a genuine innovation. It is fitting that two major sf writers, Anderson and Niven, have presented versions of the future different from each others' and from that of their inspirer, Heinlein.