Phoenix from the Ashes: The Literature of the Remade World

By Carl B. Yoke | Go to book overview

do is a recent, superficial layer over our non-reflective, death-seeking nature. Doubtless, this reflects our society's general loss of certainty. It still is striking, looking at these novels and considering how many centuries it took writers to lose confidence in God and how few decades it has taken them to lose faith in mankind. 29


NOTES
1.
For a fuller discussion of this label, see Frank Cioffi, Formula Fiction? An Anatomy of American Science Fiction, 1930-1940 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982).
2.
Serviss suggests that Versal's party provides "a leaven" for humanity, but in the time covered by the novel everyone goes on behaving exactly as before. Garrett P. Serviss, The Second Deluge ( 1912; reprint, Westport, Conn.: Hyperion Press, 1974), p. 397.
3.
S. Fowler Wright, Deluge ( New York: Cosmopolitan, 1928), p. 51.
6.
For a survey of Wright's career, see Brian Stableford, "Against the New Gods: The Speculative Fiction of S. Fowler Wright," Foundation 29, pp. 10-52; the discussion of Deluge occupies pp. 19-23.
7.
S. Fowler Wright, Dawn ( New York: Cosmopolitan, 1929), p. 349.
9.
John Wyndham, Out of the Deeps ( New York: Ballantine Books, 1953), p. 50.
12.
John Bowen, After the Rain ( New York: Ballantine Books, 1959), p. 22.
18.
John Bowen, After the Rain [dramatization] ( New York: Random House, 1957), n.p.
23.
J. G. Ballard, The Drowned World ( New York: Berkley, 1962), p. 40.
24.
For that matter, the novel provides no convincing explanation of the mountains of silt that choke the drowned cities; they certainly cannot have been created by the floods that followed from the change in climate, and I suspect that those undulating mounds have more to do with the wavy surface of the human brain than any truly possible rearrangement of dirt.
25.
Ballard, p. 87.
28.
This is, to be sure, a selective list of works dealing with the subject, excluding some short stories--such as H. G. Wells, "The Star," which does hint of a new utopia

-63-

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