Every science-fiction author creates a world to locate his or her story. Distinguishing the essential characteristics of a fictional world and articulating them in a few sentences may help us develop some important analytical skills for history. Today we all read portions of different stories that in some what posit alternate civilizations. What I’d like you to do is now attempt to encapsulate that fictional civilization in writing.
So here is your assignment:
1) Please read enough of your book/story to get an idea about the nature of the world your author has created. Even if that world is largely unstated, there should be indicators that give you a basis for making an inference. Some things to consider: what type of government exists? What type of culture or religion? What assumptions do the inhabitants of the created world have about there own civilization?
2) Write a few sentences that describe the civilization imagined by the author you read. In your response please include 1) your first name and last initial, 2) the name of the author, 3) the name of the book/story, and 4) a description that provides the essence of the fictional civilization. PLEASE POST YOUR RESPONSE IN A COMMENT BELOW.
Here is my submission:
- Ray Bradbury
- ‘The Martian Chronicles’
- Bradbury’s civilization on Mars is, first and foremost, difficult to figure out even after 50 pages. Martians seem to be entirely defensive against repeated attempts to be contacted by other civilizations, viz. us. They communicate telepathically and music seems to play a major role in their lives. They hunt giant bees and masks of many types are fundamental for defining (or not) the culture. Lucid dreams and psychic projections are possible and hallucinations commonplace. It appears that the Martians use illusion, hypnosis, and memory as defensive weapons against outsiders (Earthmen). Ultimately, the Martians are unsuccessful at keeping others out and their civilization collapses after most of them die from a disease brought by Earthmen. Civilization itself, it seems, is fleeting and preserved only in memory and illusion.