Friday, 26 July 2013
Issues In The Star Beast III
(Poul Anderson, Alight In The Void, New York, 1993, p. 82)
"'...can become...'" I agree with that.
Looking forward into an era of horror, chaos, savagery and death (death which had been prevented or at least indefinitely postponed), another character thinks:
"Maybe it was for the best...Maybe Earth had really gone into a twilight of purposeless ease. True it was that there had been none of the old striving and hoping and gallantry that had made man what he was. No art, no science, no adventure...Maybe this shock and challenge was what Earth needed..." (p. 98)
This paragraph is worth reading in full although it is longer than I want to quote here. However, it presents a false dichotomy. Why should having everything without working for it prevent art and science? Science began when a leisured, aristocratic class was freed from the necessity of physical toil. At least some of the global population would not be "bored," God forbid, but would welcome the opportunities to learn and create full time when freed from the obligation to work for a living. Types who could not adjust would die out but a new humanity would emerge, one that was sufficiently challenged by the universe, not by the shock of horror, chaos and savagery.
In other words, this is a good story but I do not agree with it.