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  1. identicon
    dorpus, May 25th, 2004 @ 4:45pm

    Reflection of their times

    Ray Bradbury's writing is treated as modern literature, though there are passages that are embarassingly sexist or racist. In Fahrenheit 451, the fireman is married to a "typical" woman of the future, who sounds like she has an IQ of 60 or 70. There are passages that describe second generation Chinese-Americans as a "social problem", a symptom of the "alienation" of modern life. In the Martian Chronicles, there is a short story where blacks move en masse to Mars, and one of them is stopped at the rocket because he owes money to a white guy. Modern editions may or may not have censored these passages.

    Star Trek episodes of the 1960s portray women of the future as submissive sex dolls. Sci-fi from that era foresaw a future in which we had advanced spaceships by 2000, but still had computers with ferrite-ring cores and punch cards. In essence, space was portrayed as a Wild West inhabited by nonwhite or communist aliens who needed to be corrected. Half human/half alien subjects are portrayed as the Tragic Mullatos of the future.

    No doubt, science fiction written today will likely appear embarassing to future generations, be they the thinly disguised Muslim terrorists, the free-market fanaticism, or the prevailing sensibilities of our times that require a rigid social adherence to praise music, movies, and travelling.

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