Friday, 3 March 2017

Future Nostalgia

Sometimes I realize that I am doing something that I will feel nostalgia for in the future and have that feeling in advance. We value sf for several reasons, including its visions of the future, then feel nostalgia for dated decades-old futuristic fictions. Contrast the inorganic intelligences spreading through the galaxy at sub-light speeds in Poul Anderson's Genesis with the cartoon aliens in his "Honorable Enemies":

big green humanoids;
small blue humanoids;
a tall golden humanoid.

We can still enjoy the humanoids without believing that they are plausible extrapolations or anticipations. Sf readers look back to Wells' nineteenth century and forward to our twenty first century with its "further visions," to adapt a chapter heading from The Time Machine.

Hellblazer, no 64, has an evocative panel of John Constantine walking under an archway with the caption, "I can hear the old days calling..." That panel prompted this post. I wanted to copy the panel to illustrate the post but could not find it on the Internet.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I disagree with your comments about the "cartoon aliens" seen in Anderson's story "Honorable Enemies." I do not think it is unreasonable or unlikely that some, even many non human intelligent races will also have humanoid forms. For the simple reason that I think evolution on many planets may well parallel what happened on our Terra. That is, evolution freeing forelimbs in some species to become arms and hands, a head with eyes, mouth, breathing orifices, etc., on top of a torso.

And I don't expect all non human intelligent races to have humanoid forms. Some may well be centauroids, like the Wodenites. Or even be flying races like the Diomedeans or Ythrians.

Frankly, fascinating reading tho GENESIS is, the inorganic intelligences we see in that book are not my ideal!