The future in the past 

Last Thursday we were able to venture into the science fiction archives of City Tech.  In preparation for the adventure we watched videos and read about the what was really in the archive and why it was important and even though we did these things I don’t think we were really sure what to expect. When finally allowed into the room my first initial thought was that it was a pretty basic room which smelled of old paper and was filled to the brim with as much material that could be fit. Even though the room wasn’t anything extraordinary what set it apart from everything in the library was all the information stored in the thousands of books organized by dates when science fiction was really coming into its own. 

The history hidden behind each and every story shows  such a different view point of the people of the time. When we think of the past we tend to forget what the people thought of the future. It was so easy to get swept up in all the stories contained in the magazines from the past as well as easy to how things have really changed in the way we absorb information. When we were told this collection contained magazine the first thing I envisioned was  soft paper minded paper that was yellowish and falling apart but what we really got were this small book like magazines that really focused on the stories and tales of the writers as well as the readers itself. In the Amazing Stories magazine I encountered something that really stood out to me was the section in which readers could write the editors about their magazine. More importantly what stood out in that section was that the first readers response was a complaint about a past story and how they didn’t always agree with the stories being told. For the most part in magazines editors tend to leave out complaints about there work so it was surprising to see that this magazine valued all forms of readers opinions. 

Moving through all the sections of the archive was in a lot of ways moving through time. We got see the opinions and overall thoughts and values of the people at that time. In the Amazing Stories magazine titled “The Iron Virgin” by C.H.Thames it was easy to see how women were viewed at the times and though the story sounds pretty sexiest with it’s attracting comment of “treachery had red hair and soft curves” it also shows how normal it was for the time after all it was published in 1956. Though these tales were based of fiction and hope of a different future they still reflected the views of the past. They told the stories of a different time under the light of a different future. 

Overall the archive which looked like a simple room proved to be much more then that. It told stories of the past with the hopes of progression in the future. If I could read all the stories in the archive I have no doubt that it would give me an in-depth perspective on the past and how things have changed in unexpected ways. Science fiction is a weird way of telling history but its probably one of the most telling ways as well. The archive reflects the past and the future in a cohesive unexpected way 

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