Picture a skyline, and it goes on for as long as possible till it’s cut off by the edge of the horizon. Even at that distance you can see great buildings and towers rising up like giants to worship the rising sun. The buildings, the skyline, is not pristine and beautiful. It’s dirty and grimy, and in that sky you can see bridges, little specks of life moving about, cables hanging, things moving. Platforms and odd-looking vehicles. Signs everywhere, a suspended sea of architecture and neon extending for what seems and feels like forever.
The future is not something I view with much hope in terms of progress. When I see the future I imagine in some cases a mere continuation of all the crap and garbage we have to put up with now only on a larger scale. Sci-fi authors, in the 40s and 50s seemed to have some sort of uptopian delusion wherein they pictured the future full of chrome and high-technology complete with self-cleaning houses and flying Cadillacs. My grandfather used to ground me a lot when I lived with him and as a result the only things I could spend time with were old sci-fi and western novels. Believe me, when I tell you he had a lot of them. Apparently he’d buy whatever the public library would be phasing out of their book stock at the little store they had for a huge discount. Most of these books were not classics by any means, don’t get me wrong some well-known works were in my Grandfather’s library. H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Some various works of Issac Asimov. Tons of Louis L’amour westerns, which, from what my grandfather says, is basically the most accurate western fare you can find. The rest was all stuff with corny titles and features such as hilarious cover art depicting some dude with a mullet on mars holding a ray gun with a fawning space-babe on his shoulder.
So you can imagine me, grounded for something stupid, curled up in a ball in the back bedroom reading nothing but old dreams of the future day after day during most of the year. A lot of these books were from the 40s through 80s. Almost nothing current but I made due. When reading these books some were surprisingly good, some were utterly forgettable. The future was a shining place, filled with high technology and adventure. When I was older this stuff could be real. I could leave earth and go into the space fleet, scour new territories, explore the stars. As time went on and I kept reading westerns as well. I began to see romantic parallels between cowboys and space explorers. Rough and tumble types always using thier meager resources and thier wits to save the day and get the girl.