Tuesday, 26 August 2014
New York After The Change
New York is protected from missile attack by a force field.
The prophet of the Third Ba'al has been captured.
Gang war between Portmen and Dynapsychists has been suppressed.
At night, the city is dark with few vehicles or pedestrians.
A cafe interior is illuminated by a blue twilight generated by a new principle of fluorescence.
Tables are arranged in a spiral minimizing the distance from dining room to kitchen.
A wheeled machine extends a slate and stylus for orders, then serves food.
There is still a food shortage and little meat.
Previously famous musicians play in the orchestra.
There are some new musical instruments, no conductor and a new form of music.
Customers are from different social groups, now equal, starting afresh.
Corinth now thinks that the Rubaiyat is childish!
Corinth's and Helga's communication is mainly non-verbal, shown in brackets.
This description conveys both that the general level of intelligence has increased and that there was a time of troubles but it has passed. The novel has moved from the present day (at the time of publication) into a future that is different from any of Poul Anderson's other fictitious futures. Not the world but its inhabitants have changed.