Madness is the general theme of this excellent collection of 14 short stories. Sometimes the madness is behavioural and violent, as in Raymond Carver's Popular Mechanics, which gives terrifying reality to the expression "family tug-of-war", as a separating couple physically fight for possession of their baby.
In other stories the madness is an insidious psychological growth, a kind of cancer, as in Gogol's famous Diary of a Madman , and Charlotte Perkins Gillman's literally creepy The Yellow Wallpaper. Slow development towards a crisis is the exception, though. The really important word in the title is "moments". Story after story highlights the single unexpected event - impulse or accident - that can prove a turning point, after which life can never be the same again. For all three, adolescence moves irrevocably forward, but equivalent moments can occur at any age. Such moments are the special territory of the short story.
That Heinlein represents American pragmatism with all of its social, political and economic contradictions is also the view of another scholar who has studied Heinlein, H.
In addition to his adult novels, Heinlein wrote a series of science fiction books for children. But throughout his career he has written about the future as if it were yesterday. In , for example, he had the United States dropping radioactive dust on Berlin, not A-bombs on Japan. In , when orthodox thinking held that the United States could keep the secret of the Bomb, Heinlein accurately predicted that the Soviets soon would build their own versions of Fat Man and Big Boy. He also wrote in that nuclear weapons would proliferate and that the dominant military strategy would soon be what others later dubbed Mutually Assured Destruction.
Further, Heinlein wrote, there could be only three consequences of the mad world of MAD: thermonuclear war, a military dictatorship or the development of an electronic shield to stop incoming missiles. In another of his stories, Heinlein invented the water bed, an idea he said he got half a century ago while lying in a traditional bed with tuberculosis wishing he was still a Naval officer back at the U.
The Reservation – A Short Story by Megan Paske – Live My Mad World
Of course, he said, he may be wrong and the future history may be bright. In some of his books he has described a glorious future courtesy of technological achievement.
Often, he said, inventions have unintended consequences. The first major use of television was for grunt and groan wrestlers and its first major secondary effect was in ruining critical thinking. Set in its own grounds only a 20 minute walk from Aberdovey's picturesque seafront, this cottage is an ideal romantic retreat.
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Mad World : Twenty Stories
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Blindboy Boatclub book: A mixed plastic bag of mad ideas
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