Sunday, 15 January 2017


The titles of future history volumes sometimes, although not always, impart pertinent information about their contents.

Robert Heinlein
The Man Sold The Moon: a far-sighted entrepreneur gets mankind into space.
The Green Hills Of Earth: this title expresses the homesickness of spacemen as they travel further into space.
Revolt In 2100: meanwhile, there has been social decay and dictatorship on Earth.
Methuselah's Children: scientific advances include longevity.
Orphans Of The Sky: an interstellar spaceship is lost.

Isaac Asimov
I, Robot: self-explanatory.

James Blish
They Shall Have Stars: the discoveries that are necessary for interstellar travel are made in the near future.
A Life For The Stars: a young man leaves the Solar System.
Earthman, Come Home: Earthmen dispersed through the galaxy still interact with their home planet.
The Triumph Of Time: everything ends.

Poul Anderson
Trader To The Stars and David Falkayn: Star Trader: interstellar markets.
Agent Of The Terran Empire and Rise Of The Terran Empire: interstellar imperialism.
Starfarers: interstellar travel.
Genesis: a beginning (although maybe not when we think).
Tales Of The Flying Mountains: asteroids, not planets, will be colonized.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And, as you know, I don't find the premise of REVOLT IN 2100 entirely convincing. That is, a self proclaimed prophet managing to make himself dictator of the US. Not if we assume some kind of Protestant church established that dictatorship. Because my view is that Christianity provides sterile and poor grounds for theocracy.

I really get so IRKED, Catholic tho I am, at how so many get so hysterical about the alleged threat posed by "fundamentalist Protestants." I've never seen any Baptist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, or other such low church Protestants desiring to set up a theocracy.

In a few stories, such as "The Bitter Bread," we see Poul Anderson speculating that something called the Protectorate arose to rule most of Earth after the US and the other major powers were destroyed. The Protectorate had some kind of established church called the Absolute Christian Church. The story seems to indicate it was like the Baptists in some ways. BUT, the this church did not control the state, so it was not a theocracy. Nor did the Protectorate seem to go out of its way to be oppressive to those not members of the Absolute Christian Church. The adherents we see of that church in "The Bitter Bread" seem to be mostly decent and well meaning people.


Paul Shackley said...

Whether or not they aim at a theocracy, I think that fundamentalists oppose the teaching of scientific cosmogony and evolution in schools?

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The important thing is that practically "low church" Protestants in the US are NOT theocrats and have no inclination or wish to set up such a thing. Shouldn't we take them at their word?

And I do agree too many such fundamentalist Protestants are, bluntly, STUPID about scientific cosmogony and evolution. But, apparently, that was not the case with members of the Absolute Christian Church we see in "The Bitter Bread." So I don't think all "low church" Protestants will make idiots of themselves about the sciences.


ndrosen said...

Kaor, Sean!

In EXPANDED UNIVERSe, Heinlein wrote that in forty years or so, no one had questioned the premise of the story, that Americans were capable of throwing away their freedom to a tyrannical and ridiculous religious dictatorship. Subsequently, I did come across a criticism which questioned the premise.

Whatever you think about the unlikelihood of a theocracy in the U.S., well, who in 1910 would have predicted Hitler and Stalin? Five years ago, who expected President Trump? History can take some bizarre turns, it must be said.

Best Regards,
Nicholas D. Rosen

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Nicholas!

I think I have a copy of Heinlein's EXPANDED UNIVERSE. If so, I will look up Heinlein's article or comments.

But I DO question the premise of REVOLT IN 2100, because I simply don't believe a theocratic dictatorship can take firm root in Christianity. Because nothing in the NT or the Tradition of the Church teaches the merging of church and state. We find popes as early as Gelasius in the AD 490's, in the very teeth of the Eastern Roman Emperors, defending the rightfulness of Church and State having separate spheres of authority.

I only wish fanatics and monsters like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, etc., had REMAINED unknown and unheard from! Yes, I do agree history can take weird and bizarre turns.

Regards! Sean