Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The End Of The Moon

"Visions of world cataclysm constitute one of the most powerful and most mysterious of all categories of SF, and in their classic form predate modern Sf by 1000s of years. In many ways, i believe that SF is itself no more than a minor offshoot of the cataclysmic tale. From the deluge in the Babylonian zodiac myth of Gilgamesh to the contemporary fantasies of 20th century super-science, there has clearly been no limit to man's need to devise new means of destroying the world he inhabits. I would guess that from man's first inkling of this planet as a single entity existing independantly of himself came the determination to bring about its destruction, part of the same impulse we see in a placid infant who wakes alone in his cot and suddenly sets about wrecking his entire nursery.
Psychiatric studies of the fantasies and dream life of the insane show that ideas of world destruction are latent in the unconscious mind. The marvels of 20th century science & technology provide an anthology of destructive techniques unrivalled by even the most bizarre religions.
But are these deluges & droughts, whirlwinds & glaciations no more than overextended metaphors of some kind of suicidal self-hate, the expressions of deep internal conflicts resolvable only in a series of spasmic collisions with an ever yielding external reality?
On the contrary, I believe the catastrophe story, whoever may tell it, represents a constructive & positive act by the imagination rather than a negative one, an attempt to confront the patently meaningless universe by challenging it at its own game, to remake zero by provoking it in every concievable way." - J. G. Ballard

To That end, here is the most excellent article "The End Of The Moon" from Hugo Gernsbacks' SF plus, August 1953.

The End Of The Moon!

As an added bonus - The End of the World - 1920's style: From Hugo Gernsbacks' Science and Invention, October 1928.

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