Saturday, 1 February 2014

70s Saturday Sci-Fi Scans

I was getting worried that I was running out of 70s paperbacks - and it turns out that if I do, this column can be renamed 60s Saturday Sci-Fi Scans, because we have lots of those too! While digging through the cache I found another Arthur C. Clarke book. I suppose dreaming of going to the moon is like dreaming of going to Mars for folks today, but back in 1955, Clarke dreamed of...

Earthlight




Like many works published in the 50s and 60s, one could still dream of a fantastic future in the 80s and 90s from the 70s. Today we take the acceleration of technology for granted, wondering why our mobile devices are so slow when 30 years ago teletypes were still chunking away and 20 years ago you had to have a second phone line if you wanted to make calls and use the Internet. Just 10 years ago most cellphones didn't even have a colour display.

I grew up on the tail end of the fantasy that this cover so fondly predicts. Colonies on the moon! Domed compounds! Monorails!! No wonder Futurama wasted little time with Fry visiting the moon in the second episode of the first season (it probably would have been an amusement park by now anyway). There's also something a little weird about this cover. That, uh, moon tree looks a little suggestive. Nothing quite says "We conquered the moon" by imposing a big ol' fertility symbol on it :-D