Saturday, July 5, 2008

Book: Tom Swift and the DNA Disaster

Found a couple Tom Swift books on my roommate's bookshelf...

Nevermind the obvious, sad, and hilarious writing (1950s hero-boy culture..).

As ...backwards as it all is, anti-progressive, women in their place, everyone's white, this author (Victor Appleton) still has a few moments.  Tom accidentally forward-evolves his friend into a being named Malthus (of course..) from the year 21,379 who offers a vision of the future:

Your 'family'?  I barely recognize this word ... In my own time, the air is sweet with the aroma of carbon monoxide and the pleasant tang of flurocarbons ...

Additionally, the world is far overpopulated in the future (Where I come from, a hive cell of this size (small high school locker room) is requried to contain at least 50 people.)....and Malthus dies do to our raw, unprocessed air.

- The giant F U to Thomas Malthus is so overdone it's hilarious.

- Family no longer exists, people are cloned, air is completely polluted yet humans have adapted, indeed adapted amazingly well to the point that the law requires sardine-style packing of people into spaces. 

Appleton thinks we cannot stop the pollution but that it will be ok anyway.

(The second book that is linked up there, "...the Negative Zone," shows potential but ultimately nothing interesting.  Tom finds himself in a world that is a negative copy (both senses of the word) of this one, but Appleton does nothing interesting with the exemplar opposite.)

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