Monday, 14 March 2016
Now And Tomorrow
The day after tomorrow may be the same as today except for a single technological innovation, as in "Life-Line" by Robert Heinlein. Brain Wave begins with a global increase in intelligence which generates every conceivable technological innovation, then the transcendence of humanity.
CS Lewis' Ransom Trilogy comprises two contemporary interplanetary novels and one "day after tomorrow" novel. Thus, Lewis presents the unusual but wholly appropriate sequence of Mars, Venus and Earth.
Reading American sf comics in the 1950s, I divided sf into before or after the invention of spaceships. The earliest future histories begin before space travel. Heinlein's Future History begins with "Life-Line." An escape velocity rocket fuel is not developed until the end of the fourth story.
In Anderson's Psychotechnic History, the opening story is set on a devastated Earth but the second begins on a colonized Mars. Anderson's Technic History and Larry Niven's Known Space future history begin with the exploration of the Solar System whereas Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium future history begins with regular interstellar travel. So there is some progress.
Wells' Time Traveler tells his dinner guests that he traveled through tomorrow, as if it were another country, then further into futurity. Thus, twenty four hours later, he and they have lived through the day that he traveled through while he traveled through it. Extraordinary.