Till Sicene Falis You

     Someone once wrote in my school yearbook, when we were all collecting inscriptions for them, the notation “For you, till sicene falis you”. I was able to decipher this to read, “till science fails you’, its significance being that I was a reader of science fiction. When I asked the person who had so inscribed my yearbook why she had said that, she said, “All the talk has been about how we live in civilization, and how much it benefits everyone. So much of civilization is based on science that I am wondering how it will be for people when science falls, as it inevitably must, It seems to me to be the way things will end.”

     I said, “You seem to be favoring that occurring.”

     She said, “Of course, I don’t like things so well. I am a person of a primitive race, and civilization is not very kindly toward us. When things fall, it will be as bad for us as for everyone, but it won’t be our ways that we are seeing falling.

     “Regardless of that,” I said, “I’m not dependent on science.”

     “I wasn’t trying to insult you,” she said. “You seem to stand apart from this general attitude. But perhaps you don’t like having my name in your yearbook.”

     “I’m trying to get everyone,” I said.

     “You wouldn’t have asked me to sign it if you were not,” she said.

     “I wouldn’t be trying to get any names at all if I weren’t trying to get everyone.”

     “Then you don’t mind having your name in there.”

     “No one is making me get people to sign my yearbook. I’m just doing it because everyone is doing it.”

     “Your attitude now shows prejudice. You don’t want to hear what I say.”

    “No one would, considering what you’re saying.”

     “Well, it’s what I have to say after enduring this school year.”

     “If you do want to express yourself further on that, you can come to the next meeting of our science fiction club and be heard all you want.”

     “They would all be interested in that?”

     “They’re the ones who are discussing civilization so much.”

     So she came to the meeting, and there was plenty of discussion. She had read a science fiction story about how civilization would fall, and she was referring to that. Our discussion in that meeting was of the apocalypse. She said she was feeling better about that subject after having a realistic discussion of it.

     Well, times have come and gone since then, and about now I’d say that science has more than failed us, it has attacked us. Perhaps they were after the uneducated, but they were getting everyone. Sicene had falid them, which is basically what she was thinking about; they had used it as a form of warfare against the superstitious, and the war was too big for them to handle, and they were too mean to be right. To them I say, “What now, gents? Are we to arise from the ashes, or wail and gnash our teeth, those who still have them?” It is clear that we are not living well; shall we just let it go at that? As for the fiction part of science fiction, they seem to have known it would happen all along. Should it be otherwise, though? Or do we surrender to inevitability?

Her statement had got me to thinking then, admitting that the future looked dire, and has proven dire in each and every way. So I have been harkening back to the things we said in discussing this then, and I look at what I had wondered about then, how it would be to me now.

     I say it is a pretty mean future, and Surprising Stories is my reaction to it, which harkens back to that science fiction group of yore, and what we had thought then, and I continue my thinking, and invite others to do likewise.