Tuesday, 12 January 2016


In James Blish's Cities In Flight future history, the "Cold Peace" of 2022 means that the Cold War has ceased to be a war because, in this timeline, the US has become a bureaucratic state and has merged with the USSR.

In Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic future history, the "Cold Victory" of 2180 means that a victory has been won but that the contested issues remain unresolved.

In CS Lewis' Ransom Trilogy, Volume III, "the cold marriages" occur when Selenities lie with warm, moving images of each other.

In Ian Fleming's Moonraker, when James Bond makes love to three married women with "cold passion," I have no idea what Fleming means by this.

So there you have it. Four authors play with language by inserting the adjective, "cold," where we do not expect it. If there was a Cold War in the twentieth century, can there be a Cold Peace in the twenty first century or a Cold Victory in the twenty second? Maybe time will tell.

In real history, World Wars I and II were followed not by World War III but by nuclear deterrence, therefore Cold War, then by only one super power, therefore War on Terror. War, not Peace, endures - and Blish's "Cold Peace" would be a 1984 nightmare - indeed, "thought police" are mentioned.


David Birr said...

Kipling's poem "Justice" used another unusual placement of "cold" when he described the Germans in World War I as committing evil actions motivated by "cold, commanded lust." The implication was pretty clear that COLD LUST is an UNNATURAL thing....

Paul Shackley said...