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Old 08-16-2018, 09:22 AM   #16
astrangerhere
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The stories really are classic mid-20th-century. The aircars are right out of Popular Mechanics, likewise the robots. What I find odd is that TV doesn't seem to appear in the early story - just radio.
And yet, we have the video-phone "televisers." It's interesting in early sci-fi that when reference is made to broadcasting images in this way, it is almost always for communication and not entertainment. I noticed it in HG Wells' "The Crystal Egg", which I also read recently.
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:16 PM   #17
fantasyfan
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The atomic-powered personal aircars are still not there. However, From the radio era on, haven't we been retreating into smaller and smaller community units? I know quite a few people who live in suburban houses by themselves. If boomers haven't physically jettisoned the city completely, they certainly have left it mentally in many cases

I have to question Simak's science - it's more like fantasy. Although DNA hadn't been scientifically established, Simak's biology seems to be out of Cuvier.
The City vs Individual theme develops as the sequence continues. The mutants are self-contained units. Webster is obsessed with racial identity in “Paradise”. The “cobbly worlds” idea rings another variation. Without trying to give away too much, the way the Websters finally link into a world dominated by pure racial identity is quite ironic.

I would certainly agree that Simak represents the “soft” area of science fiction. We see it too in Sturgeon and Bradbury. Personally, I think that Simak’s sequence in City is far more coherent than the latter’s The Martian Chronicles. However, this is owing to thematic development particularly the Juwain Philosophy—not to any scientific extrapolation.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 08-16-2018 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:57 PM   #18
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The atomic-powered personal aircars are still not there. However, From the radio era on, haven't we been retreating into smaller and smaller community units? I know quite a few people who live in suburban houses by themselves. If boomers haven't physically jettisoned the city completely, they certainly have left it mentally in many cases.

The stories really are classic mid-20th-century. The aircars are right out of Popular Mechanics, likewise the robots. What I find odd is that TV doesn't seem to appear in the early story - just radio.

I have to question Simak's science - it's more like fantasy. Although DNA hadn't been scientifically established, Simak's biology seems to be out of Cuvier.
That's how I felt when I read it too, people retreating into homes, they don't have to go out much if they chose not too. One of the more revealing points was at the end of the second tale. In Webster's reluctance to leave, he left the decision making open to someone else, and that surprised him.

I also think it reads more like fantasy, especially going in to the third tale.
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Old Yesterday, 04:24 PM   #19
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The City vs Individual theme develops as the sequence continues. The mutants are self-contained units. Webster is obsessed with racial identity in “Paradise”. The “cobbly worlds” idea rings another variation. Without trying to give away too much, the way the Websters finally link into a world dominated by pure racial identity is quite ironic.

I would certainly agree that Simak represents the “soft” area of science fiction. We see it too in Sturgeon and Bradbury. Personally, I think that Simak’s sequence in City is far more coherent than the latter’s The Martian Chronicles. However, this is owing to thematic development particularly the Juwain Philosophy—not to any scientific extrapolation.
Great description, Thematic development.
I think the Juwain Philosophy is something that the humans are not prepared for.
I'm up to tale 5 and it really made me wonder why the human explorers wanted to stay on Jupiter and not return. It seemed that once on Jupiter they had a very different experience. So much so that they needed to change physically to adapt.
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