Monday, 20 December 2010

Ruskin SF

More inadvertent Victorian sciencefictionalising, this time from Ruskin's 'Work of Iron' essay (1858), which includes this rather splendid description of that worthy genre trope, the Trantor planet:
You think, perhaps, that your iron is
wonderfully useful in a pure form, but how would you like the world, if all your meadows, instead of grass, grew nothing but iron wire--if all your arable ground, instead of being made of sand and clay, were suddenly turned into flat surfaces of steel--if the whole earth, instead of its green and glowing sphere, rich with forest and flower, showed nothing but the image of the vast furnace of a ghastly engine--a globe of black, lifeless, excoriated metal?

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