Sunday, March 22, 2009

Current/Future


What will the future hold for mankind? Building has stalled in our community, for the most part, but this would seem to be a temporary situation. As each generation comes of age and needs living space, land which was once farmland is lost for that purpose. At some point, terra firma must be preserved as a breadbasket.

If that is so, where will future folks live? The image above is one possibility. At some point, mankind will have to expand, and the moon is the closest piece of real estate in the solar system.

Grand Master Robert Heinlein was among the sci fi writers who speculated that the lunar landscape will one day be home to people. His novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, is among the best of his work. Written some fifty years ago, this novel is pure Heinlein, with plot, science, characterization, and politics intertwined. Mannie and his computer friend, Mike, an artificial intelligence which predates most such inventions, are both entertaining and realistic. Some science fiction writers are optimists, seeing the future as a time when mankind finally outgrows its faults, Others see darkness, when in an effort to make a better world, the human condition deteriorates. Heinlein wisely avoids either extreme, but he does not see humanity as remaining static, either. In fact, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is, at its core, a novel about revolution.

As a fan and as a writer, I see mankind inching forward, forever dragging the baggage associated with our beloved imperfections. Still, I do believe that man will continue to build, somewhere, somehow.

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