Monica Swinton, twenty-nine, of graceful shape and lambent eye, went and sat in her living room, arranging her limbs with taste. She began by sitting and thinking; soon she was just sitting. Time waited on her shoulder with the maniac slowth it reserves for children, the insane, and wives whose husbands are away improving the world.
He let out a yell of joy. They danced round the room. Pressure of population was such that reproduction had to be strict, controlled. Childbirth required government permission. For this moment, they had waited four years. Incoherently they cried their delight.
The directors of Synthank were eating an enormous luncheon to celebrate the launching of their new product. Some of them wore the plastic face-masks popular at the time. All were elegantly slender, despite the rich food and drink they were putting away. Their wives were elegantly slender, despite the food and drink they too were putting away. An earlier and less sophisticated generation would have regarded them as beautiful people, apart from their eyes.
I can't help believing that these things that come from the subconscious mind have a sort of truth to them. It may not be a scientific truth, but it's psychological truth.
That first novel of mine, Non-Stop, is directly attributable to Heinlein. His "Common Sense" seemed to me such a good story, but bereft of any human feelings. I thought long about that story, and then I thought how wonderful it would be to write about a spaceship in which people have been imprisoned for generations and to put in something of the human feeling. So that novel is directly attributable to Heinlein. I thought, in my youthful arrogance, that I could do it better I didn't! I thought I could do it differently, and I think I did do it differently. And I suppose that on the whole, I've concentrated on doing things differently ever since.
I'm lucky that SFWA has such a short memory. I was always the Young Turk, the gadfly. Part of the New Wave, although I didn't fit in there either! I spent years, and two histories, putting the so-called Old Guard in their place, and now I'm one of them!
If we can see our difficulties, there is a way of resolving them, or the hope of a way.
An overcrowded world is the ideal place in which to be lonely.
Man was an accident on this world or it would have been made better for him!
To be a standard shape is not all in life. To know is also important.
Obeying an inalienable law, things grew, growing riotous and strange in their impulse for growth.
Frank's chromosome conquered everywhere. Peace was guaranteed. By the end of another century's ruthless intermarriage, Russia and Asia were engulfed as thoroughly as Europe, and by the same loving methods. Billions of people: one consciousness.
Many modifications in private and public life took place. Privacy ceasing to exist, all new houses were glass-built, curtains abolished, walls pulled down. Police went, the entire legal structure vanished overnight a man does not litigate against himself. A parody of Parliament remained, to deal with foreign affairs, but party politics, elections, leaders in newspapers (even newspapers themselves) were scrapped.
Frank's chromosome was now breeding as true as ever. Blood group, creed, colour of skin nothing was proof against it. The numbers with shared consciousness, procreating for all they were worth, trebled every generation.
These people, scattered all over the country, a few of them on the continent, were much like normal people. To outsiders, their relationship was not apparent; they certainly never revealed it; they never met. They became traders, captains of ships that traded with the Indies, soldiers, parliamentarians, agriculturists; some plunged into, some avoided, the constitutional struggles that dogged most of the seventeenth century. But they were all male or female Franks. They had the inexpressible benefit of their progenitor's one hundred and seventy-odd years' experience, and not only of his, but of all the other Franks. It was small wonder that, with few exceptions, whatever they did they prospered.