Apr 22, 2023Liked by Giulio Prisco

Bradbury in Bradbury Speaks:

People ask me where my science fiction or fantasy will be taking me in the coming years. I believe that the whole outreach of science-fiction writers in the near future must be in a religious relationship with the universe. It was first indicated in that landmark film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when, in the final scenes, we scan the heavens to see the arrival of the mother ship, which is really an entire city from across the universe.

The scene is reminiscent of the encounter between God and Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, when God reaches down to touch and Adam reaches up to touch, and the spark leaps the gap.

So it is that we fantasy writers must look to the universe and give reasons for revisiting the Moon, heading for Mars, and moving out toward the cosmos.

Space travel to me answers the age-old question: What are we doing here? What is life all about? Where are we going?

George Bernard Shaw, many years ago, believed that the human race was headed in a direction that it could not quite comprehend but would nevertheless hurl ourselves headlong into that unplumbed future.

My own belief is that the universe exists as a miracle and that we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?

We are that audience.

We are here to see and touch, describe and move. Our job, then, is to occupy ourselves with paying back the gift. This must be at the center of the stories, novels, and films that we fantasy writers create tomorrow.

When we first landed on the Moon on that night in July 1969, I was asked to appear on The David Frost Show.

I eagerly accepted because I wanted to explain that space travel was about mankind’s possible immortality.

Expand full comment

Thank you! There are also many other relevant and inspiring quotes in this book!

Expand full comment

I tend to agree - Artemis gets public buy-in to space, and that paves the way for commercial contracts. SLS/Orion helps enable Starship to pick up the baton and move forward.

Expand full comment

Hi Peter. Yes. At this moment, in our cultural and political climate of extreme unthinking polarization, liberals tend to love NASA and hate SpaceX, and libertarians tend to love SpaceX and hate NASA. But I love and support support both, because both are important actors in the awesome film of our ascent to the stars. I do agree with Howard that reorienting Artemis toward Starship would make a lot of technical and financial sense, but we shouldn't forget realpolitik (see my linked SpaceNews op-ed of a few months ago).

Expand full comment