“The old terror of his childhood came over Agat, the terror which, as he became adult, he had reasoned thus: this world on which he had been born, on which his father and forefathers for twenty-three generations had been born, was not his home. His kind was alien. Profoundly, they were always aware of it. They were the farborn. And little by little, with majestic slowness, the vegetable obstinacy of the process of evolution, this world was killing them–rejecting the graft.”
I have a few science fiction anxieties that sometimes can grip me when I am seeing something or reading something. Dying away from home in a kind of unknown way. This is an anxiety which means I might never go to space (hint: I will never go to space) but it also creates a panic about travel for me too. It’s kind of a soldier’s fear of being away home.
Also, I am afraid of new worlds and temporary settlements. In different parts of US history, when explorers were setting up temporary colonies or where the relative lawlessness of the Caribbean created spaces for temporary societies (of freed slaves, of pirates, etc). I am afraid of the historylessness of it. It’s a kind of heteronormative panic to be sure; that fear that society will not allow for the stability of and creation of the next generation.
And I am afraid of new cultures in space creating new art and literature. Sometimes when a field opens up or a country’s or language’s new literature makes its way to the US I get antsy because I am already convinced I will be able to consume all culture.
Anyway, among lots of other tropes and ideas, this book lives in a few of these anxieties I hold. It’s ok. It’s part of a three piece omnibus I got from the library and it’s fine and I can’t complain, but that’s it too.