Sunday, 28 April 2013
There were at least three standard futuristic scenarios in science fiction:
post-nuclear war Earth.
Anderson's Maurai future history and Twilight World are two examples of the third scenario. In fact, the latter is set after a mixture of atomic and bacteriological warfare:
radio-active dust bombs;
blight bombs (p. 6).
In the five-part Prologue, the destruction has stopped because it has become impossible to continue it and the world is very slowly starting to recover with a large number of mutants in the population. The viewpoint character, Hugh Drummond, says:
"'...we can't go back to the old ways. We've got to start on a new track - a track of sanity.'" (p. 16)
In the 1960's, I was immature and uninformed enough to think that post-nuclear survival might be a great adventure, in that way similar to the space travel scenarios. It would mean the end of the society upheld by my elders and I did not regard such an ending as a bad thing. Of course, a nuclear winter would also mean the death of every blade of grass on Earth. Although that was not known then, I was certainly very superficial in thinking that there could be anything good in trying to survive after a nuclear exchange.
Anderson tried to imagine how people might survive and rebuild but not with any idea that this would be a good process to go through.