Название, кста, вот откуда расшифровывается:
In his preface to the 1921 edition of The War in the Air, Wells wrote of World War I (still able to call it, then, the Great War): “The great catastrophe marched upon us in daylight. But everybody thought that somebody else would stop it before it really arrived. Behind that great catastrophe march others today.” In his preface to the 1941 edition, he could only add: “Again I ask the reader to note the warnings I gave in that year, twenty years ago. Is there anything to add to that preface now? Nothing except my epitaph. That, when the time comes, will manifestly have to be: ‘I told you so. You damned fools.’ (The italics are mine.)”
The italics are indeed his: the terminally exasperated visionary, the technologically fluent Victorian who has watched the twentieth century arrive, with all of its astonishing baggage of change, and who has come to trust in the minds of the sort of men who ran British Rail. They are the italics of the perpetually impatient and somehow perpetually unworldly futurist, seeing his model going terminally wrong in the hands of the less clever, the less evolved. And they are with us today, those italics, though I’ve long since learned to run shy of science fiction that employs them.
I suspect that I began to distrust that particular flavor of italics when the world didn’t end in October of 1962. I can’t recall the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis at all. My anxiety, and the world’s, reached some absolute peak. And then declined, history moving on, so much of it, and sometimes today the world of my own childhood strikes me as scarcely less remote than the world of Wells’s childhood, so much has changed in the meantime.
I may actually have begun to distrust science fiction, then, or rather to trust it differently, as my initial passion for it began to decline, around that time.
Там еще много о Будущем с прописной буквы, распределенном интеллекте и пр. радостях повседеневности.