jonkc at bellsouth.net
Mon Jan 25 22:26:49 UTC 2010
When I was a kid I read Orwell's 1984 and I thought the scenes where poor Winston Smith is being tortured in the Ministry of Love were horrifying, but the most horrifying part of all was when there was no violence at all and O'Brien was just telling Winston his vision of the future. What was so terrifying was that Orwell made it sound completely logical and you started to think the horror was inevitable. I recently reread the book because I wanted to see if it would effect me the same way after all these years. It did. I read a lot but to this day I would say that the two most horrifying things I have ever read was the true story in "The Hot Zone" where Richard Preston describes in graphic detail how Ebola virus liquified a man's internal organs while he was on a airplane, and the other was O'Brien's speech to Winston Smith about the future. Stephen King doesn't know horror, Orwell and Preston know Horror.
I also recently reread Huxley's Brave New World, although it lacks the emotional kick in the gut impact of 1984 it probably better describes our future and may even give us an outline to explain the Fermi Paradox.
John K Clark
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