Friday, September 23, 2016


I don't think they realize it yet and of course the 'they' are not a collective guided by the same will and purpose but the Black Looters Matter movement has pretty much jumped the shark and they join their enemies in blue who I really no longer care about in the absolutely don't care what happens to them pile. 30 or 40 years ago I was slightly appalled at how a young general of artillery dispersed the mob of rioters but over the last 4 decades I've come to appreciate the economy, the effect and the efficacy of just using grape shot and cannister rounds on rioters. None of them are productive citizens of the Republic and it is very doubtful that any of them ever will become productive citizens.

We still have a few days until 13 Vendémiaire.

I'm a little concerned about the young general. We've had 8 years under one just like him and the harmful effects of that will last for generations just as the ones left strewn in the wake of FDR and his comrades imbued with the cloak of authority in his regime. I sometimes think a lost Vegan superfortress would come in handy every 100 years of so.


I found it a most fascinating book. YMMV.

Bethé blasters
  Powerful enough to destroy a flying city.

The cities hung poised tensely in their orbits. For seconds, nothing happened.
Then pear-shaped, bumpy police battleships began springing out of nothingness around the jungle. Almost instantly, four cities raved into boiling clouds of gas.
The Dinwiddie pickup in the proxy backed itself hurriedly down the intensity scale until it could see again through the glare. The cities were still hanging there, seemingly stunned—as was Amalfi, for he had not imagined that Earth could have come to such a pass. Only an ideal combination of guilt and savagery could have produced so murderous a response; but evidently the president and MacMillan made up between them the necessary combination …
“Fight!” the King’s voice roared. “Fight, you lunkheads! They’re going to wipe us out! Fight!”
Another city went up. The cops were using Bethé blasters; the Dinwiddie circuit, stopped down to accommodate the hydrogen-helium explosions, could not pick up the pale guide beams of the weapons; it would have been decidedly difficult to follow the King’s order effectively.
But the city of Buda-Pesht was already sweeping forward out of the head of the cone, arcing toward Earth. It spat murder back at the police ships, and actually caught one. The mass of incandescent, melting metal appeared as a dim blob in Amalfi’s helmet, then faded out again. A few cities followed the King; then a larger number; and then, suddenly, a great wave.
“MacMillan, stop them! I’ll have you shot! They’re going to invade—”
New police craft sprang into being every second. A haze gradually began to define the area of the Okie encampment: a planetary nebula of gas molecules, dust, and condensations of metal and water vapor. Through it the Bethé guide beams played, just on the edge of visibility now, but the sun, too, was acting on the cloud, and the whole mass was beginning to re-radiate, casting a deepening luminous veil over the whole scene, about which the Dinwiddie circuit could do very little. The whole spectacle reminded Amalfi of NGC 1435 in Taurus, with exploding cities substituting novas for the Pleiades.
But there were more novas than the cities could account for, novas outside the cone of the encampment. The police craft, Amalfi noted with amazement, were beginning to burst almost as fast as they appeared. The swarming, disorganized cities were fighting back; but their inherent inefficiency as fighting machines ruled them out as the prime causes of such heavy police losses. Something else, something new was happening—something utterly deadly was loose among the cops …
From Cities in Flight, by James Blish.
Published by Avon in 1957

The kind of mind that can write an 800 page book about flying cities, that's what this country is about. Free rein to imagination and discovery. Blish pretty much captured it back in 1957 and it wasn't his century. He was a member of the Futurians. An organized gang that inflicted the future on us all. When I was in school the Futurians were on a par with the old Royal Society or the Inklings. You wanted to be a member just so you could be a fly on the wall and listen.

Amalfi survived right up to the Gununga Gap. His former City Manager was shot by the City of New York, New York. He was a little too sly in his double dealing.

One of his peers, Philip K. Dick wrote some other words of future fiction. I heard the fools in Hollywood are actually thinking about redoing Blade Runner. That would be a crime.

Maybe one day they'll make the movie Cities in Flight. I think I'll probably decline to see it.


OldAFSarge said...

Redo Blade Runner? Heresy!

(I think I need to go on another book purchasing spree.)

Captain Steve said...

Great book that. Spindizzies!

HMS Defiant said...

It's an excellent book. I highly recommend it.

HMS Defiant said...

The story of the bridge on Jupiter took a bit to get through but the rest was gold.