Friday, October 22, 2010

We Are the Centuries

To celebrate having written reviews of exactly half of the Nebula and Hugo Best Novel winners to date, Cthulhu is taking a vacation today.

For those of you who think this means you will get away without your weekly science fiction exposure, think again! I give you this brilliantly depressing passage from A Canticle for Leibowitz.

We are the centuries; the unstoppable advance churning and using up people.

We are the centuries.

We are the chin-choppers and the golly-woppers, and soon we shall discuss the amputation of your head.

We are your singing garbage-men, Sir and Madam, and we march in cadence behind you, chanting rhymes that some think odd.

Hut two threep foa!









Wir, as they say in the old country, marschieren weiter wenn allese in Scherben fällt.

We have your eoliths and your mesothils and your neoliths. We have your Babylons and your Pompeiis, your Caesars and your chromium-plated (vital-ingrediant-impregnated) artifacts.

We have your bloody hatchets and your Hiroshimas. We march in spite of Hell, we do –

Atrophy, Entropy, and Proteus vulgaris,

Telling bawdy jokes about a farm girl name of Eve

And a traveling salesman called Lucifer.

We bury your dead and their reputations. We bury you. We are the centuries.

Be born then, gasp wind, screech at the surgeon’s slap, seek manhood, taste a little of godhood, feel pain, give birth, struggle a little while, succumb:

(Dying, leave quietly by the rear exit, please.)

Generation, regeneration, again, again, as in a ritual, with blood-stained vestments and nail-torn hands, children of Merlin, chasing a gleam. Children, too, of Eve, forever building Edens – and kicking them apart in berserk fury because somehow it isn’t the same.

1 comment:

Lord John Whorfin said...

Vacation over, Cthulhu!

You're not halfway through at all. Don't forget about the Retro-Hugos -- Let's get some reviews of A.E. van Vogt and C.M. Kornbluth up there!

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