Friday, April 12, 2013

K: Kalgan

Kalgan, which was the Las Vegas of the Galactic Empire appeared in Foundation and empire and Second foundation by the Sci-Fi master, Isaac Asimov. The planet, also dubbed the pleasure world of the Galaxy, had made an industry out of amusement. When the rest of the world spiraled into an economic and intellectual ruin, Kalgan survived because of the very nature of its industry. There was always the elite, which could afford such amusement, in a world which stood remote from galactic politics.
Asimov's prodigious stories are an inspiration to all who bow before the power of imagination. The Foundation series, so beautifully written, the saga of the decay of civilization and evolution of a new upcoming one, is the parallel of history. But what amazed me are the little details of the world that he envisioned sixty odd years ago, are real now.
Like the machine that Arcadia Darrell stood before, in Kalgan, on her flight from the soldiers who were closing in on her.
The voice that cut in on her was a thunderclap that iced the scream in her throat into a voiceless slash.
"Look miss," it said, irritably, "are you using that ticket machine or are you just standing there?"
It was the first she realized that she was standing in front of a ticket machine. You put a high denomination bill into the clipper which sank out of sight. You pressed the button below your destination and a ticket came out together with the correct change as determined by an electronic scanning machine that never made a mistake. It was a very ordinary thing and there was no cause for anyone to stand before it for five minutes. 

Oh yes. We are living in Asimov's science fiction world now. (Other than the fact that ticket machines do make mistakes now and then)


  1. Sangita, thanks for another well-written blog. I wonder whether the sci-fi masters were prophetic or we merely use their imaginations to invent our present. It doesn't matter. The sci-fi masters fired our imagination as youngsters and we grew up to live those imaginations.

    1. Thank you Rajendra for visiting! I've wondered that myself. But whatever it is, the sci-fi authors envisioned things that made life easier, and that's fun to invent! :)

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