Saturday, July 04, 2020

Another Reminder That We Are Doing It All Wrong - Kim Stanley Robinson's "Aurora" (2015)

Kim Stanley Robinson, Author of "Aurora"

One of the books I'm reading right now is Kim Stanley Robinson's 2015 science fiction novel Aurora. It tells the story of what is known to science fiction fans as a "generation ship," a space ship that will literally take multiple generations of human life to reach its final destination. The ship in Aurora has more than 2,000 passengers on it, all of them living in small replicas of the lives they left behind. In their case, it takes 170 years to reach what they hope will be their new world.

As you can imagine, this is a longish book, coming in at almost 500 pages. As of this morning, I'm only about 40% of the way through Aurora, but I just came across another of those serendipitous passages that speak to what we are all enduring today. At this point in the book, the ship's passengers have just learned that their new world is poisonous to them, they have had to refuse re-entry into the ship of 77 of their fellow passengers, and no one can agree on what to do next. 

Robinson describes their situation this way:
"Now the test was upon them, and very quickly cracks in their fa├žade of civility began to appear. Where there is faction, there is conflict; where there is conflict, there is anger. And anger distorts judgment. So now they were getting angry with each other, and thus scared of each other. And anger and fear were not the right emotions for the situation facing them."
If these wise words don't describe our world today, nothing does. 

4 comments:

  1. That is a very timely quote. It also made me think of Yoda from Star Wars who always warned against feelings of anger and fear, too. ;D

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    1. Anger and fear seem to inevitably linked, but what a terrible combination they are.

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  2. A great example of what is going on today: factions, conflict, anger, and fear. A troubling mix.

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    1. Let's hope it works out better for us than it did for the folks in "Aurora." They ended up having a short civil war on board their ship, effectively dooming all of them in the process.

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