Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Visions Of The End Of Life On Earth

Wells, The Time Machine
More than thirty million years hence, the motionless red sun covering nearly a tenth of the sky is totally eclipsed by a nearby inner planet. There is snow, ice, a cold wind and little life.

Anderson, "Flight To Forever"
A hundred million years hence, a gray-furred being carrying a brightly lit staff through a fierce snow storm is comprehensible through the psychophone and realizes that Saunders is from an earlier cycle in the far past.

A billion years hence, a non-human city warns Saunders away.

A hundred billion years hence, Earth has a Moon-like surface and Saunders sees part of the large red motionless sun.

Several billion years beyond, there is nothing.

Stirling, The Sword Of The Lady
The Triple Goddess grants alternative visions to Rudi Artos:

hot glowing sand, oceans reduced to hills of salt, bubbling pools, motionless air;
no air or sea, subliming ice, engines and energies in the sky;
birds flying in mathematical patterns, empty buildings, a man with silver tendrils instead of eyes.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I might have included some comments about Anderson's chilling "In Memoriam," his speculation about the ultimate fate of mankind and the Earth. As I'm sure you recall, the human race goes out, alas, with a whimper not a bang!

I could imagine PA's "Murphy's Hall" as being thematically prior to "In Memoriam." It touches on bad ideas of the kind Anderson feared would lead to what we see at the beginning of "In Memoriam."

I don't want readers new to the works of Anderson to get the wrong impression, however! While Anderson did not shy away from showing us grim and bad possibilities, he offers us many far more hopeful scenarios in others of his works.