Remembering the Future

Every summer journalists write a few more “Where’s my jetpack?” articles that insist on answering rhetorical questions like “Why doesn’t our world look like Frank R. Paul’s covers for Amazing Stories?” But Brian Fies’ Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow represents the first time I’ve seen anybody get a whole novel out of the question:

Fies shows this world through the eyes of a father and son who age very slowly relative to the world around them. Buddy, the son, is about 8 when he and his father visit the 1939 World’s Fair and not too much older when they are building a bomb shelter in their basement in 1955. Fies took that poetic license so he could highlight the parallels between popular science and real life. “This 36 years of American history starts out with society being optimistic and maybe a little naïve about science and technology and ends with society being very pessimistic and cynical,” he said. “It occurred to me that sounded very much like the arc a child goes through from 8 to 19.”

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the link.]

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