FICTION OF SCIENCE
as opposed to Science Fiction.
I am puzzled
about whether science just happens -- whether
progress is inexorable.
Are humans caught up in a race to improve their
lives, only to find they face severe back draughts?
Pollution, species degradation, overselling of
drugs, over population, child deprivation, adults
living to be vegetables, wildflowers becoming
The discovery of penicillin heralded the beginning
of the antibiotic era and has saved millions of
Since that discovery around 1940, world population
has exploded from 2.5 billion to 7.5 billion.
It would be naive to connect these two exactly, rise
in human numbers and availability of antibiotics.
There are paradoxes.
I invented Planet Technopolitana as a bright
side/dark side way of thinking about these problems.
Via fiction -- and via fact.
invented the Planet Technopolitana novels
as a way of anguishing about such problems. For a
start, the development of penicillin had an ugly
side to it. No one has really said so yet.
If spy novels feed on the underbelly of diplomacy,
these novels are intended to feed on the underbelly
showery evening in London, September 28, 1938, the
world was in crisis. The British Prime Minister
declared that there would be peace and that Hitler
would cease his aggression.
The democratic world held its breath.
At 6.30 that evening a shabbily dressed man
who was also one of the richer men in the world
stepped off a London red bus at the top of Highgate
hill. Rainwater from a heavy shower streamed down
Half a mile away a tall biochemist
put on a red dress for the reception the man was
going to. Five minutes later a second red bus came
up the hill.
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