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.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

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


Paul Shackley said...

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.

David Birr said...

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.

Sean M. Brooks said...

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.