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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories Discusses

Cassandra’s Voices

with Noel Joslin

Dear Don,

Have just read your review of The Year Civilization Collapsed. Your review is very comprehensive and paints a clear picture of the book. And it has certainly left me wanting to read it.

I found your own personal predictions scary. I hope, perhaps, the world leaders or indeed the people will wake up before this type of scenario comes to pass. Also Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs looks interesting.

Fond memories of meeting in Toronto. Keep your pipe lit.

Best wishes,
Noel Joslin

Thank you, Noel. I also fondly recall our meeting in Toronto. I admire your and Oonah’s ability to travel, and I very much appreciate the visit. All I need to do now is trade my pipe for a cigar, put on a green eyeshade and sleeve suspenders, and I’ll be the movie stereotype of the gruff old newspaper editor.

Thanks for your appreciation of the review. I was hoping it might provoke some discussion. The report from the “50th-century historian” is scary if only because I haven’t found a single futurist who would change a word in it. Aside from the consequences, all the causes it enumerates have already happened or are happening even as we speak.

Readers’ reactions will depend mainly on whether one is a gradualist or a catastrophist. If human and geological histories are any guide, they go hand in hand.

“Cassandra’s voices” are a select few. 1177 B.C. is the third. The first, Jane Jacobs’ Dark Age Ahead, is more contemporary social philosophy than history, and it speaks to the daily life of most readers. It does not take global warming into account, which is probably just as well. Half a dozen catastrophes looming on the home front are quite enough, thank you very much!

The second is The Battle for God, by the famous British theologian Karen Armstrong. She analyzes what I call the “world-wide civil war,” post-9/11. Incidentally, the review underscores an odd historical connection between Britain and a perhaps not too surprising cultural turn in the U.S.

Karen Armstrong came to Guelph for a lecture a few years ago. It was held in one of the largest churches in town, and the attendance filled it to overflowing. The audience was well rewarded by meeting a truly remarkable person.

Two more remain in the series. We shall come to them in due time. Meanwhile, if you happen to come across a shipbuilder named Noah, book reservations!

Don Webb

Copyright © 2014 by Noel Joslin
and Bewildering Stories

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