Saturday, 19 November 2016

Unsanitary Conditions And A Long List

In "A Dusk Of Idols," an Earth ship stops at the planet Chandala where the ruling class uses epidemics to control the population. The ship's surgeon and a passenger who is a famous society doctor discuss the situation on Chandala and I could not help thinking that Dr McCoy, from the Enterprise, would have belonged here but the author, of "A Dusk Of Idols," pointed out that McCoy did not even exist in his creator's mind yet when the story was written.
-copied from here.

I was reminded of this James Blish story when reading SM Stirling's account of the unsanitary conditions in ancient Babylon:

"The street was narrow... An irregular trickle of sewage ran down the middle..." (On The Oceans Of Eternity, pp. 116-117)

Blish imagined a society in which such conditions exist not through ignorance but as a deliberate policy of population control.

We compare Stirling with Poul Anderson because Stirling has perfected alternative histories which were one of Anderson's many sf sub-genres. For comparisons of Blish with Anderson, see:

Flandry And Blish
Two Masters Of All The Genres
Event Police
The Other Blog About A Single SF Writer
Anderson And Blish
Past And Future
Anderson-Blish Interaction
Some More Comparisons
Between Galaxies
Comparisons With James Blish
Aliens And Gods II
Why Empires III
Origins Of Science
Everything Is Connected
Boxed Sets
Two Unaging Men
Cadet Loftus And Ensign Flandry
The Devil Speaks II
Gods Dead Or Withdrawn?
Galactic SF II
Judgment And Doomsday II
Thermonuclear Warfare And James Blish

- or just search the blog for "James Blish" because this list is becoming too long.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And in Stirling's Nantucket books we see King Kashtiliash of Babylon taking steps to improve public sanitation after learning of the dangers of careless treatment of sewage. And taking drastic steps to prevent an outbreak of smallpox from becoming a devastating epidemic.