Saturday, August 18, 2007

I heard future archaeologists weep


As I picked up little pieces of trash at our medieval-re-creation-event campsite prior to leaving, I thought I heard future archaeologists weep over the destruction of evidence for a peculiar late modern sub-culture. But it was probably just a delusion caused by too much time in the sun. Chances are that such archaeologists will not be the poorly-supported scholars of today, but treasure hunters. Not Indiana Jones-style golddiggers, but specialists in directing miners to the most valuable lodes of modern junk for recycling purposes.

This thought owes something to Gene Wolfe's multi-volume novel the Book of the New Sun, from the 1980s. When I read it my reaction was "Finally, an SF author who is paying attention to what is going on now!" (The main character is, or starts out as, a torturer. So I guess he's still relevant.) I was more than a bit disappointed by the ending (all the world's problems solved by the Return of the King) and never read the sequel, The Urth of the New Sun, but I got a lot of good reading in before that let-down.

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