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"Murder in the Air": The Quest for the Death Ray.

Extrapolation 2010, Spring, 51, 1

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The 'Star Wars' missile defence scheme, a proposed network of orbiting lasers able to intercept enemy missiles, may be the most obvious product of the relationship between American science fiction and the US military--a project that, despite having cost the military billions of dollars, still remains no more than a techno-fantasy. But while some American sf writers played a major role in the development of the scheme and have hailed it as having played a major role in ending the Cold War, others--including some whose work was co-opted in its promotion--condemned it. Far from uniting the sf writing community behind what was ostensibly a peaceful solution to the problems posed by nuclear weapons, it polarised it as the Vietnam War had done. Politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and CIA analysts such as Robert Gates (in Powers 332-334), as well as sf writers (Benford 303; Clarke, Greetings 425), have claimed that ' Star Wars' was a triumph because of its value as a propaganda weapon in the Reagan administration's economic warfare against the now-defunct Soviet Union. To see whether or not this was the intention of the scheme's creators--or if not, what they actually intended the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to do--we will have to look back to the days when lasers, ICBMs and nuclear warheads were also purely imaginary.

"Murder in the Air": The Quest for the Death Ray.
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  • 2,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Published: 22 March 2010
  • Publisher: Extrapolation
  • Print Length: 35 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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