Thursday, 7 November 2013
Thermonuclear Warfare, not Twilight World
Anderson's Thermonuclear Warfare (Derby, Connecticut, 1963) argues that such an outcome is impossible:
"Some romancers have suggested that increased irradiation of man will simply increase the rate of evolution and so create a race of supermen. But this, again, is nonsense...
"Mutation, a strictly random process, nearly always does the wrong thing. A few babies born with superior intelligence, eyesight, or whatever [as in Twilight World] would be of no use to a human race most of whose children were being born defective. And even these few accidental superiorities would often be nullified by deleterious genes in the same individual.
"For practical purposes, then, we can say that all mutations are bad..." (p. 39)
I began reading Thermonuclear Warfare in the hope that it would not only inform us the readers about its subject (which it does) but also provide background information for his Psychotechnic History. Instead, it refutes his Twilight World future history! But this is what happens in speculative fiction. Some speculations pan out; others don't.