Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Major Turning Points In My Teens

Learning that:

Dominic Flandry was a series character;
the Merseians existed in van Rijn's period;
the Buddha was not a strange god but a compassionate man;
the Norse gods will die;
the founding of Rome connected back to the siege of Troy;
astronauts, robots and aliens existed not only in comic strips but also in novels addressed to adults;
Heinlein's Orphans Of The Sky was set inside an entirely artificial environment;
also, Orphans... was Volume V of the "Future History";
the future moves, i.e., the opening installment of the Future History was set in 1952;
space travel was beginning.

I did not yet suspect how many of these turning points would impact on the works of Poul Anderson or, of course, that, in the twenty first century - the science fictional future -, I would regularly discuss Anderson's works on a worldwide computer network.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I should assume Heinlein's ORPHANS OF THE SKY described something very like an O'Neill habitat?


    1. Sean,
      It was the first "generation ship" and just described as a big spaceship. I don't think there was much info about its life support system.

  2. Paul and Sean:
    It was made fairly clear that the Ship was cylindrical and rotating for artificial gravity, so, yes, shaped more-or-less like an O'Neill Colony. Or like Clarke's *Rama*.

    I particularly recall thinking for a time that Heinlein had got something wrong, because it seemed to be implied that mutants were more prevalent in the lower-gravity areas — i.e., toward the center of the Ship — and I thought the mutations must be caused by cosmic rays, so they should've happened more often in the outer, full-gravity areas. Only much later did I realize that mutants born in full gravity FLED into "no-weight." I was foolish not to realize sooner that Heinlein WASN'T foolish.

    1. Kaor, Paul and DAVID!

      Paul, I'll have to check my piles of SF books to see if I have that RAH book.

      David: aha, RAH was being prescient, he did described something like an O'Neill habitat. ORPHANS OF THE SKY was written before Heinlein started writing his awful, later books.