He paused for a second, and asked, “Why did you work on the bomb?” Bryce thought for a minute. Then he laughed at his situation: using a Martian, in a bar, for a confessor. But perhaps it was appropriate. “I didn’t know it was going to be a bomb at first,” he said. “And in those days I believed in pure science. Reaching for the stars. Secrets of the atom. Our only hope in a chaotic world.” He finished the martini. “And you don’t believe those things anymore?” “No.”
Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell to Earth [Amazon, Local Library]
These reactionaries preserved their moral purity (as reactionaries so often do) by not reading, so they didn’t have to see that Soviet writers had been using science fiction for years to write with at least relative freedom from Party ideology about politics, society, and the future of mankind.
Ursula K Le Guin introducing Arkady Strugatsky & Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
How fascinating! I, a human, was not aware that humans engaged in such behavior! I must consider how can I help my human friend, who I love as a human, using the twin marvels of science and technology!
Phoenix Baker, Mittens: A story about two women falling in love and doing really weird things to each other [Amazon]