Thursday, 2 February 2017

Future Ice Ages

It is not easy to keep up blogging when British television shows programs on a timeless treasure like Julian of Norwich and a topical trouble like The Nazis: A Warning From History. (It was when contemplating the Eternal in Norwich Cathedral that I thought of trying to combine three different works on time travel. See here.)

Perhaps there is only time tonight to list three fictional future Ice Ages:

The Winter Of The World by Poul Anderson;
Winterworld by Chuck Dixon;
"...the temporary arctic chill caused by the failure of the Gulf Stream..." on p. 979 of Jerusalem (London, 2016) by Alan Moore.

Now it is time to watch some more Smallville before turning in.

18 comments:

  1. Paul:
    *The Lost Fleet* series by Jack Campbell (actual name John G. Hemry) had a brief mention of "the ice century of the last millennium." Britain got "very cold" after, for unspecified reasons, the Gulf Stream "lost a lot of push." Oddly, it caused the rest of the world to get warmer, "but then England has always been a bit contrary."

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  2. Kaor, Paul!

    Poul Anderson's THE WINTER OF THE WORLD was a very good read, and I've read it at least twice. The story is set thousands of years from now after an Ice Age brought down our current civilization. By then new civilizations and nations had risen and fallen and rose again. And what keeps WINTER from being a routine SF novel was how the ice age enabled a small, isolated population to CHANGE.

    THE WINTER OF THE WORLD is not the only Anderson novel to feature an ice age. We see how, in his book GENESIS how fateful were the choices made on how to handle an ice age.

    Another very interesting book set in the near future of the novel when it was published is FALLEN ANGELS (1991), by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn. It starts as a grim, dystopian novel of how wrong choices and bad decisions needlessly worsened and prolonged an Ice Age.

    Sean

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    1. Sean,
      I have not read FALLEN ANGELS. A tripartite collaboration is unusual.
      Paul.

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      A book with three authors IS very unusual, I agree. But any book which has Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle among its co-authors is almost certain to be well worth reading. We even see rather thinly disguised cameos of prominent SF writers and fans in the book. I hope you will soon obtain and read a copy.

      Sean

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    3. Sean,
      They also have sf authors in LUCIFER'S HAMMER.
      Paul.

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    4. Kaor, Paul!

      Dang! I either missed that when I read LUCIFER'S HAMMER or forgot it. And we see SF writers in Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's novel of alien invasion, FOOTFALL. They even up advising the US President!

      Sean

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    5. Sean,
      I meant FOOTFALL! The two novels are conceptually linked but they are different works.
      Paul.

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    6. Kaor, Paul!

      Now I understand better. And I think I see what you mean by how HAMMER/FOOTFALL are conceptually linked. They both share one important similarity despite being otherwise very different books.

      Sean

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    7. Sean,
      It is more than that. Apparently, Niven & Pournelle submitted the idea for FOOTFALL, in which aliens hit Earth with an asteroid. The publisher said, "Tell me more about that asteroid," so they wrote LUCIFER'S HAMMER first.
      Paul.

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    8. Kaor, Paul!

      VERY interesting, that LUCIFER'S HAMMER was a kind of spin off of FOOTFALL. Yes, it was the asteroid which conceptually linked the two books.

      One thing I remember about LUCIFER'S HAMMER was how we see a major character in the book talking about Asimov's FOUNDATION boos, Trantor, and the Mule to his girl friend. A neat touch I really appreciated!

      Sean

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    9. Sean:
      Something I especially liked in *Fallen Angels* was the explanation that one of the characters first became interested in science fiction by reading Andre Norton's *Star Man's Son* (alternate title *Daybreak: 2250 AD*). I liked that because *Daybreak: 2250 AD* was the first science fiction _I_ read — well, at least the first that impressed me enough that I remembered the author's name — other than *Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea*. I was ten or thereabouts at the time.

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    10. Kaor, DAVID!

      Alas, I don't clearly remember which science fiction I read, or at least was the first whose author's name I remembered. For me that still remains Anderson's AGENT OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE.

      But I THINK I may have read Norton's STAR MAN'S SON. And I have read others of her works.

      Sean

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  3. Kaor, Paul!

    I should have added to my previous note comments I forgot to make. First, I too have read a translation of Dame Julian of Norwich's REVELATIONS OF DIVINE LOVE. A truly fine example of English Catholic devotional thought and mysticism.

    Next, I was puzzled by you saying the Nazis is a TOPICAL trouble. Hitler has been dead for going on 72 years, after all. And any self-avowed disciples of Hitler belong to fringe groups too insignificant to be taken seriously.

    Sean

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    1. Sean,
      Unfortunately it is topical. Such parties are growing in Europe. They have been stopped in Britain by consistent campaigning.
      Paul.

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I'm still not sure you are right. If you mean the rise of populist parties of right and left in Europe, I would put that down at least partly to frustration at how "respectable" politicians of left and right have been obstinately refusing to take seriously the concerns and anxieties of their people. That inevitably means many people will drift to parties at least claiming to address those concerns, fears, anxieties.

      All the same, I find it hard to imagine anyone seriously trying to revive NATIONAL SOCIALISM, with its mix of racism, nationalism, and socialism. Complete with study of MEIN KAMPF and other Nazi works.

      Sean

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    3. Kaor, Paul!

      I have to concede that. Human beings are so VARIED that some will be seduced even by the Nazi twaddle!

      Sean

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    4. Kaor, Paul!

      I forgot to add that I have a copy of MEIN KAMPF. But I've never yet been able to work up the gumption to actually read it. But I was impressed at how Winston Churchill, in his history of WW II, discussed how he had Hitler's book soon after it was published. And we all know how Churchill was one of the few non Germans to take National Socialism and the threat it posed seriously before it rose to power.

      Sean

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