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The Long Tomorrow (1955)

de Leigh Brackett

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

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8503126,112 (3.55)59
'No city, no town, no community of more than one thousand people or two hundred buildings to the square mile, shall be built or permitted to exist anywhere in the United States of America.' Thirtieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Two generations after the nuclear holocaust, rumours persisted about a secret desert hideaway where scientists worked with dangerous machines and where men plotted to revive the cities. Almost a continent away, Len Coulter heard whisperings that fired his imagination. Then one day he found a strange wooden box ...… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 31 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Written fewer than ten years after Hiroshima, this classic SF novel depicts a post-apocalyptic society rebuilding itself after a nuclear war. No horrors of war are shown, and people live in mostly rural and agrarian groups. Technology is frowned upon, even banned, and no town is permitted to have more than 200 buildings. The society has a very 19th century feel, and religion is an important part of most people's lives.

Len and Esau are cousins living on adjoining farms. They have heard rumors of a big city where technology has been preserved, and become obsessed with someday finding that city. When they become teenagers, they run away in search of that city.

There are themes of the conflicts between knowledge and progress vs. ignorance and the status quo. There is a good depiction of the many different religious sects and how they divide people.

There is not a lot of action in the book, and while it is a quick and easy ready, I found it a bit slow-moving. It also has a rather YA feel, not my favorite genre. So while I'm not sorry I read it, it is not one I would whole-heartedly recommend. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Aug 16, 2023 |
Oof. There were some bits in this book that got a little bogged down in religion, but by the end I thought I knew what was going to happen and it kept surprising me. I literally slapped my hand to my forehead at one point. Warning, some ideas of gender that are a bit rough (but almost vaguely progressive for the time) even if written by the woman who wrote Rio Bravo. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
When Fear Rules, Reason Dies

Many consider Leigh Brackett’s The Long Tomorrow a science fiction classic because it is among the first mediations on the aftermath of nuclear holocaust and probably because she was one of the few successful female sci-fi writers of the era. Modern readers may find it slow by today’s standards and the science antiquated, particularly the giant computer brain on the order of an overgrown UNIVAC (itself notable at the time for predicting the outcome of the 1952 U.S. Presidential Election). But others will recognize the theme of fear and ignorance vs. human curiosity and scientific advancement as pertinent today as it was in the 1950s (recall the Red Scare-mongering and national Cold War paranoia). Scientific inquiry and its findings, after all, can be tough for many to abide, especially when it debunks cherished beliefs.

And such is the case in The Long Tomorrow. Not many years after the end of a worldwide nuclear war, around eighty years, the United States eschews science, reverts to religious dominance and its strict rules of faith and conformity, and restricts settlements to maximum populations of one thousand and no more than two hundred buildings per square mile. Thus, no more big cities, no more electricity and the conveniences and communications it supports, no more autos, trucks, trains, and planes. Steam power produced by crude engines becomes the technology of the day, livestock provides transportation and power, and roaming traders supply the goods that rural communities can’t manufacture for themselves. Instead of respecting and encouraging scientific exploration and knowledge, society represses both for fear of another conflagration.

Two teen boys, cousins, Len and Esau Colter, chaff at the insularity of their Mennonite community. They’ve heard stories of the past, of the big cities, of the wonders of modern life fostered by the remembrances of their old grandmother, and most particularly of a mystical big city called Bartorstown. They yearn to find it. After a devastating trading day, when a mob of ultra religious zealots kill a trader, Esau finds a radio in the wagon of another, Ed Hostetter. Later, they try unsuccessfully puzzling how to operate it. Nonetheless, it spurs them on to escape their stringent community and set out to find Bardorstown. Along the way, they arrive in a town called Refuge, where they work for an expansion minded businessman, Mike Dulinsky and Esau meets a girl, Amity. When Dulinsky repudiates the wishes of Refuge religious elders and the ambitions of a rival town by building an additional warehouse, retribution and mob action follow. Dulinsky dies at the hands of a local elder, while Hostetter appears to save Len and Esau.

The three, plus Amity, then make the journey to a town in the Rocky Mountains called Falls Creek and there find the Bartorstown they have dreamed about. Except that it bears no resemblance to what they imagined. Instead, it is a small community of scientists technicians who maintain a giant computer called Clementine and a nuclear reactor. They people work tirelessly and to their great frustration to discover a shield to protect humankind from the kind of destruction suffered at the hands of misused nuclear power. The endeavor seems hopeless and the achievement, if it can be had, appears long off in the distant, long tomorrow. Len and his new Bartorstown wife Joan, who long has been disillusioned and seeking escape, devise and execute a plan to flee Bartorstown, though the penalty for such action is death. After attempting to reach his hometown a thousand miles away, being buffeted by hardship, and engulfed again by the religious fatalism he fled, Hostetter finds them and arranges for them to be accepted back into Bartorstown. Len, for his part, accepts that change will come eventually, though he may not live to see it.

Though nearly sixty-five years old, the underlying theme of the novel will still resonate with certain readers.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
When Fear Rules, Reason Dies

Many consider Leigh Brackett’s The Long Tomorrow a science fiction classic because it is among the first mediations on the aftermath of nuclear holocaust and probably because she was one of the few successful female sci-fi writers of the era. Modern readers may find it slow by today’s standards and the science antiquated, particularly the giant computer brain on the order of an overgrown UNIVAC (itself notable at the time for predicting the outcome of the 1952 U.S. Presidential Election). But others will recognize the theme of fear and ignorance vs. human curiosity and scientific advancement as pertinent today as it was in the 1950s (recall the Red Scare-mongering and national Cold War paranoia). Scientific inquiry and its findings, after all, can be tough for many to abide, especially when it debunks cherished beliefs.

And such is the case in The Long Tomorrow. Not many years after the end of a worldwide nuclear war, around eighty years, the United States eschews science, reverts to religious dominance and its strict rules of faith and conformity, and restricts settlements to maximum populations of one thousand and no more than two hundred buildings per square mile. Thus, no more big cities, no more electricity and the conveniences and communications it supports, no more autos, trucks, trains, and planes. Steam power produced by crude engines becomes the technology of the day, livestock provides transportation and power, and roaming traders supply the goods that rural communities can’t manufacture for themselves. Instead of respecting and encouraging scientific exploration and knowledge, society represses both for fear of another conflagration.

Two teen boys, cousins, Len and Esau Colter, chaff at the insularity of their Mennonite community. They’ve heard stories of the past, of the big cities, of the wonders of modern life fostered by the remembrances of their old grandmother, and most particularly of a mystical big city called Bartorstown. They yearn to find it. After a devastating trading day, when a mob of ultra religious zealots kill a trader, Esau finds a radio in the wagon of another, Ed Hostetter. Later, they try unsuccessfully puzzling how to operate it. Nonetheless, it spurs them on to escape their stringent community and set out to find Bardorstown. Along the way, they arrive in a town called Refuge, where they work for an expansion minded businessman, Mike Dulinsky and Esau meets a girl, Amity. When Dulinsky repudiates the wishes of Refuge religious elders and the ambitions of a rival town by building an additional warehouse, retribution and mob action follow. Dulinsky dies at the hands of a local elder, while Hostetter appears to save Len and Esau.

The three, plus Amity, then make the journey to a town in the Rocky Mountains called Falls Creek and there find the Bartorstown they have dreamed about. Except that it bears no resemblance to what they imagined. Instead, it is a small community of scientists technicians who maintain a giant computer called Clementine and a nuclear reactor. They people work tirelessly and to their great frustration to discover a shield to protect humankind from the kind of destruction suffered at the hands of misused nuclear power. The endeavor seems hopeless and the achievement, if it can be had, appears long off in the distant, long tomorrow. Len and his new Bartorstown wife Joan, who long has been disillusioned and seeking escape, devise and execute a plan to flee Bartorstown, though the penalty for such action is death. After attempting to reach his hometown a thousand miles away, being buffeted by hardship, and engulfed again by the religious fatalism he fled, Hostetter finds them and arranges for them to be accepted back into Bartorstown. Len, for his part, accepts that change will come eventually, though he may not live to see it.

Though nearly sixty-five years old, the underlying theme of the novel will still resonate with certain readers.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
1950s novel of post-apocalyptic US as the preserve of reactionary, bible-thumping bigots who refuse to let people learn and change in case of more divine retribution. 2 young men run away from one such restrictive community in search of the mythical Bartortown which supposedly contains the marvels of the pre-apocalyptic world. Of course, all is not as it seems, and one of the men struggles to come to terms with that. To be honest, this could have been a historical novel as the seting wasn't particularly SF, but it was an entertaining read. ( )
  SChant | Apr 5, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 31 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This is the theme of the Bildungsroman: loss of innocence, change, and the journey from safety into the unknown in pursuit of knowledge. But because Brackett's ambition was huge, she chose for her setting a post-nuclear Ruined Earth. She aimed for no less than the first serious science fiction novel of character.
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Brackett, LeighAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Cadigan, PatIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Cook, PaulPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Docktor, IrvArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Emshwiller, EdArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gibbs, ChristopherArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hoffmann, HorstTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jones, Howard AndrewIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lutohin, NikolaiArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rameka, BenNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Riffel, HannesTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
s.BENešArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sweet, Darrell K.Artista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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No city, no town, no community of more than one thousand people or two hundred buildings to the square mile shall be permitted to exist anywhere in the United States of America
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He knew that when he had groveled in Esau's tracks in the dust and forsworn himself, he had lied. He was not going to give up Bartorstown. He could not give it up without giving up the most important part of himself. He did not know quite what that most important part was, but he knew it was there, and he knew that nobody, not even Pa, had the right to lay hands on it. Good or bad, righteous or sinful, it lay beyond whim or attitude or passing play. It was himself, Len Coulter, the individual, unique. He could not forswear it and live. (chapter 7)
[Esau and Len talking about Bartorstown's big project]

'Important,' said Len. 'Yes, it is.' That's true. There isn't any question about that. Oh God, you make the ones like Brother James who never question, and you make the ones like Esau who never believe, and why do you have to make the in-between ones like me? (chapter 23)
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'No city, no town, no community of more than one thousand people or two hundred buildings to the square mile, shall be built or permitted to exist anywhere in the United States of America.' Thirtieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Two generations after the nuclear holocaust, rumours persisted about a secret desert hideaway where scientists worked with dangerous machines and where men plotted to revive the cities. Almost a continent away, Len Coulter heard whisperings that fired his imagination. Then one day he found a strange wooden box ...

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