Reading the extended edition of Stephen King’s massive novel THE STAND was a reminder of why I never took up reading his books when I was younger: his writing style was flat and uninspiring. Now that I’m older I’ve returned to reading his books and recognize his mastery of two very important fiction elements:
The scale and scope of the operation are huge. Hundreds of crew are sent in deep sleep while a smaller “first shift” prepares the massive ball of ancient ice for human habitation. The authors think through the physics and the logistics of such a massive operation and make you believe — almost — that something like this might really work.
Forester’s message is pretty transparent, though: high class are low, educated or not, smalltown or urban, young or old — all have parts to play in the well oiled war machine that cares less about class than about performance.
This short story looks at the events leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima from the perspective of a young Japanese intelligence officer who pieces together evidence of what’s coming. Unfortunately, no one’s believes him.
My main impression: everyone has a story and a family history. We should take the time to listen and learn about the people we meet, especially when they come from somewhere else. Until we do that our judgments about them are incomplete.