Tag Archives: Peace

Book Review – Childhood’s End by Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood's End CoverRecommended to me a few years ago during, of all things, a job interview, I recently finished reading Childhood’s End (1953) by Sir Arthur C. Clarke. In the same set of recommendations as A Case of Conscience, the book that got my whole Science Fiction and Religion series going. As this might be considered the formal end to that series, maybe it’s fitting.

One of the most interesting things, in my edition at least, is the introduction by the author written in 2000. An interesting year for Clarke, given that his great saga began in 2001… Anyway, he focuses on two interesting things in the introduction. One is that he felt like the movie Independence Day owed a lot to him, and his opening chapter. An alien invasion arrives, and pulls into the sky over all the major cities of the world all at once, trailing their reentry burn. I think that Clarke might have had a better mental image than what he put on the page… because I wasn’t seeing the similarity other than the base concept.

The second was that he was apologetic about the plot content of the story… but didn’t feel that it overpowered the book. That’s probably true, but we can get to that… The story ends up, however, in a very supernatural place, as an explanation of why the invading aliens end up not aggressive, but peaceful. That leads me to the story, so let’s start there!

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Science Fiction Today – The Police

One of the things that we try to do with our Science Fiction Today posts is to explore modern problems by not really looking at the current problem – but instead at what it might look like in the future. And lately, the police have been making the news a lot.

Okay, mostly it’s Ferguson. But Ferguson reminds us of all of the stories that haven’t caught as much news, of similar situations. It’s also spawned a story like this one from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight:

Between public opinion, and technological changes and access, I feel like we’re reaching a critical mass. So what might the future look like, when it comes to police? There’s actually a lot of thought on this, as so much of TV and movies has to do with the police, and law and order – and some of it is science fiction. Police Procedurals remain popular, and we explore the idea of the police all the way from the real – in a show like Cops – to the distantly fictional – like Almost Human.

And this is a subject I really don’t want to approach any other way. Every community has different problems, different police forces and personalities, different crimes being dealt with, different racial, cultural, economic conflicts and existence… So in relation to the police, what can our future look like?

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