Sunday, June 5, 2016

Reason and Cooperation in Outer Space

In 1945, in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction, Murray Leinster published First Contact, a science fiction story with a classic plot twist. He pointed out that if spaceships representing alien civilizations were to meet in space for the first time, neither could dare let the other learn the location of its home planet.
And 18 years later, in the back pages of the first issue of a soon-to-be-classic comic book called Magnus, Robot Fighter, artist Russ Manning and writers Eric Freiwald and Robert Schaefer used that plot as a springboard for the serial Captain Johner and the Aliens.
The solution to the dilemma? An exchange of crew members. The journeys with the aliens — metallic-limbed, dome-headed weirdies that seemed truly alien — provided natural opportunities for stories that emphasized tolerance, reason and the importance of civilized cooperation and teamwork.

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