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January 20, 1980 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A UTHOR 'S PEA CE PROPOSA L:

Scienc
By DAVID BOWMAN
"There are two probably patterns for
e future population of the earth. The
ost humane one is an overpopulated,
rowded, steady state situation where
e -have achieved some form of
pulation control. The other is an
scillating pattern of a period of in-
rease followed by catastrophic
ecline, followed by increase, decline,
increase ... These are the only two
patterns I see possible under any kind
a system that recognizes a limit to
owth situation. But, under a plan of
space industrialization, new land is
made literally out of nothing; nothing
that we could ever use before. Fur-
thermore, the amount of land that is
made increases geometrically."

;e fiction becomes a fact

The speaker is Joe Haldeman, Hugo
and Nebula award winning author of
The Forever War, Mindbridge, Infinite
Dreams and All My Sins Remembered.
Haldeman harbors a background of
personal experience that makes his
views on the possible future quite in-
aresting, while his writing has
_roduced some of the most memorable
science-fiction of recent years. His
combinations of fast-moving
narratives, realistic dialogue,
believable characters, and a solid
scientific background produce an en-
joyable and captivating style.
The Forever War depicts a future
war as seen through the eyes of one of
its participants, William Mandella. In
e midst of a highly inventive world
here awesome technology, strength-
enhancing war suits, and hypnotically
induced aggression are commonplace,
Mandella appears as a very real person.
This credibility comes from
Haldeman's own experience in the
Vietnam War. "I meant the book to be
about the effect the Viet Nam War had
on America," Haldeman explains. "On
a character level, the things that Man-
[ella went through parallel the things
at happened to me."
The book is an interesting mixture of
high adventure and seriousness. It is
rather pessimistic by the nature of its
subject matter, but the pessimism is
not overpowering enough to lead to
despair. There are enough instances of
humorous subtlety that allows one
needed relief. Violence and sex occur
often enough to be considered major
themes, but do not permeate or over-
balance other ideas. In fact, both are
andled with a masterful quality of un-
derstatement which leaves one's
imagination active and produces very
effective literary response. The
narrative is so well-paced that it is
sometimes easy to miss the subtlety
through which the chaacters are
manipulated.
HALDEMAN'S STYLE is directly
related to those writers he terms his
vorites. "I should carry a list around,
ut it changes all the time. I've been in-
fluenced very much by Heinlein and,
out of science-fiction, Hemingway. But,
some of the writers I've likes best
haven't had much influence on my own
writing..
"My first novel War Year, which is

about Viet Nam, got very good reviews,
but several reviewers pointed out my
heavy debt to Hemingway. In fact,
when I wrote that, the only Hemingway
I had ever read was The Old Man and
the Sea; and I read that in ninth
grade."
Another Haldeman novel, All My Sins
Remembered, contains a character,
Otto McGavin, who is completely
manipulated by the spy organization
for which he works. In fact, the
manipulation is so intense that it
produces a completely character-less
person; a puppet completely without
free will used as a tool to clean up the
spy organization's dirty work. Otto im-
personates other so well as to be
without identity himself. Haldeman ex-
plains that this quality of Otto's is the
central idea of the. book. "A problem
with human nature is the fact that we
identify so strongly with our
professions. I ask, 'What are you?' and
you say a newspaper man or science-
fiction writer or housewife. But this is
not really true. I spend eight hours a
day being a science-fiction writer, but
the rest of the time I'm a husband, hob-
biest, male. homo sapien ... all sorts
of things. I wanted to make a character
who literally was nothing but his
profession. He had no identity other
than his profession: Of course, when he
realizes that that's the sum total of his
existence, that's the point of the book."
HALDEMAN'S SPECULATIONS are
usually science-oriented, but there has
been occasion for his imagination to
dewll on the realm of the fantastic. In
this case, Haldeman's fact becomes as
interesting as his fiction.
"There have been a couple of curious
experiences where apparently, at least
from my viewpoint, I evidently died;
and a microsecond later, I was back on
the scene. At least that's the way it
comes to me through my senses.
"We were on a hill in Viet Nam under
intense enemy fire. We'd lost a couple
hundred men: it was a very bad battle.
We were ging to get wiped- out. There
was only one part of the hill from which
we were not surrounded. It had a little
ledge on which they could bring in
small helicopters one at a time; taking
out three or four men each trip. To get
there, you had to get over the hill, and it
made you a sitting duck.
"ITBECAME MY turn, and so, I ran
over the hill in a hail of bullets. I wasn't
touched. I jumped in the helicopter and
it took off.
"Well, when you get in a helicopter
and it takes off normally, you leave
your legs dangling over the side. Nor-
mally this is no problem because
helicopters go up. But this was on a
ledge on a 1,000 to 1,500 foot cliff and it
went down, and I fell out of the helicop-
ter. I remember very strongly looking
between my knees. First there was
metal, and then nothing but the green of
the jungle. And a split second later I
was back in the helicopter. When it lan-
ded I said, 'Who pulled me in?' and
'Which one of you guys saved my life?',
but they didn't know what I was
talking about.
"MAYBE IT WAS all an illusion.
Maybe I just panicked. But, maybe, to
get weird; to get science-fictional about
it; it could be in this parallel universe I
did die. But since I died I'm not there
anymore, so I flickered back into a very
closely parallel reality where I didn't
fall out of the helicopter. It's possible,

or maybe if you want to look at it
geometrically, there was that 'fork' up
there in probability, and the fact that I
died flashed back and gave me an in-
stant of living in both worlds.
"There is a physiological explanation
for this. People can do remarkable
physical things under death stress: It's
possible that as-I was falling out of the;
helicopter I reached back and grabbed;
a strut or something and pulled myself
back into the helicopter. Possibly, all
my mind and body was devoted to that
one act, and. my memory shortcir-
cuited. That's probably the most
rational explanation."
Because of Haldeman's education in
science (he has a B.S. in Physics and
Astronomy, and graduate work in
mathematics and computer science),
his speculations have yet another
aspect; one that is deep-rooted through
his own personal experience, but lacks
the fictional or fantastic elements of his
other ideas.i
"I'VE TRIED TO come up with a
workable alternative to war,"
Haldeman explained at his recent
Rackham Auditorium appearance. "It
has to do with space utilization: In
general, the idea is once we are ac-
tually able to live in space, and using
the energy and materials that are in
space, we will no longer have territorial
problems." In addition to the usual
'reasons for war; -whether they're
social, economic, or political; there
are qualities of human nature that in-
still aggression. Haldeman also
postulates a future where space travel
and space industrialization serves as
a means for redirecting or sublimating
these passions of war. Using Gerard
O'Neill's ideas and plans for space in-
dustrialization as guidelines,
Haldeman further elaborated bn the,
possibility of a future without war.
"There can be no world order until all
of the world's people are reasonably
prosperous. That means, at least,
adequate food and shelter. The key to
this prosperity is energy. This energy

cannot come from conventional sour-
ces." He explained that prosperity is
usually gained at the expense of
another culture. Without energy-
related social differences, tensions will
be lessened. Solar power satellites or-
biting the earth could provide the
energy provided to produce this
change. Settlements of workers for the
construction and maintenance of these
satellites will accompany the satellites,
becoming a permanent, constantly ex-
panding living space. "These are huger
factories that have to be built from
scratch. It's going to take a -large, in-
tensive laboring force. Tens of
thousands of people eventually living in
orbit."
Haldeman's newest novel, Worlds (to
be published later this year), deals with
the problems we might face in a future
society in which space industrialization
has become a reality.
"IT'S A FUTURE where there are
large space settlements in orbit about
the earth. They're just about at the
point in this history where they become
independent of earth because they're
able to use materials from the asteriod
belt. They no longer have to import
things from earth. It sets up a very ten-
se economic situation between these
satellites and earth. The story is, on one
level, how the people work out these
economic and political problems, and
also, on another level, a love story bet-
ween a woman born on one of the
satellites and two earth men."
Although these ideas for a non-war-
like future create unanswered
questions and a whole new set of
problems, the quality and thought-
fulness of this speculation is typical of
Haldeman's work. He admitted a cer-
tain reservation over the total effec-
tiveness of his plan. The central
premise could be wrong. Human nature
may possibly remain unchanged in a
future world of plentiful energy. Abun-
dance of energy may not necessarily
lead to prosperity, or prosperity may
simply not keep war away.

The Michigan Daily-Sunday, January 20, 1980-Page5
A tten tionall cri tc
Have you ever attended a concert, play, or film only to awake the
following morning to a review that seemed to be written by someone who
went to a different show of the same name? If you've ever said "I could do
that!" after disagreeing with an arts page review, it's time to put your
typewiter where your mouth is.
The Daily is looking for new arts staff writers. The basic prerequisite.is
a specific interest in writing and a general interest in the "arts" (your
definition). Beside the usual popular music-film-theatre criticism we have
an urgent need for writers interested in classical music and the visual arts.
The bottom line here is creativity; if you have an original insight or ap-
proach the arts page can be your outlet.
The meeting for prospective arts staff writers is next Sunday, Janury 27,
upstairs at the Student Publications Building at 420 Maynard, at 3:00 p.m.
Your first assignment is a typed, triple-spaced sample of your writing,
preferably representative of what you want to cover. If you can't make the
meeting, stop in during the week and ask for the arts editors.

Studio 54
-says 'bye
to Rubell
NEW YORK (UPI - Studio 54 co-
owner Steve Rubell slowly climbed the,
stairs to the alcove where the taped
music was played, sat down at the
microphone and addressed the crowd.
"It's been a hard day 'for me," he ,
said, slurring his words almost beyond
comprehension. "I'm glad you're here
and I want you to have the best of times.
All I can say is, 'I did it my way'."
What Rubell did his way was evade
paying $500,000 in income taxes, for
which he was convicted, and sentenced
Friday to three and A half years in
prison. Rubell was also slapped with a
$30,000 fine.
The penguin, unlike other migratory
birds, does not migrate by flying to new
destinations each fall and spring. The
penguin swims. It is the only bird that
travels that way.

American forces under Gen. W.H.
Harrison defeated a combined British
and Indian force near Moraviantown,
Ont., in 1813 during the War of 1812. The
British commander, Col. Henry A.
Proctor, escaped, but the Indian chief
Tecumseh was killed.
SUMMER CAMPS
The Ann Arbor "Y" is now accepting
applications for staff positions at the
following camps:
Camp Al-Gon-Quian: A resident
camp for boys and girls, located on
Burt Lake in northern Michiaon. June
23-August 10. Senior staff positions,
ages 18 and above, available in fol-
lowing areas: horseback riding, sail-
ing, canoeing, trips, arts and crafts,
archery, woodworking, land sports,
swimming and waterskiing. Salary
plus room and board.
Camp Birkett: A day camp for boys
and girls, located on Silver Lake near
Pinckney, June 16-August 15. Senior
staff positions, ages 18 and above,
are available for candidates with fol-
lowing skills: archery, swimming,
sailing, canoeing, arts and crafts, and
nature.
Applications and additional informa-
tion regarding positions at both camps
may be obtained by contacting the Ann
Arbor "Y", 350 S. Fifth Avenue, Ann
Arbor, or call (313) 663-0536.

6NjIVER5ITY 5fMUSICAL c OCIETY p re sen t,5
Szm Jan.q 3t* :O oerCne

E 1 jI VEITY (1MSICAL 'SOCIETY p res'en tS
ALFRED BRENDEL
Pianist

abortion?.
. FreePregnancy Testing
mmediate Results
Conf identialCounseling
Complete Birth Control Clinic
Medicaid " Blue Cross
13) 941. 1 0 Ann Arbor and
J313941-81 ODownriver area
(313) 559-0590 Southfield area
Northland Family Planning Clinic, Inc.

A professional ballet company of international acclaim makes
their second Ann Arbor appearance.
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens was hailed in Europe in June, 1979
as an ambassador whose "vigor, eloquence, and stage presence
truly represents the exhilarating spirit of its country."
(La Gazette de Lausanne)

Tickets available: $6.50, 8, 9, 10
Tickets at Burton Tower, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109
Weekdays 9-4:30, Sat. 9-12. Phone 665-3717.
Tickets also available at Power Center 1 hours before
performance time.

L.

In It!s

s 101s st ,Ca soii

NEW DIRECT
FORtMULA ENTRY
SCIENTHC/T,

The incredibly advanced calculators with Direct
Formula Entry and an Alphanumeric Dot Matrix LCD
with Rolling Writer. Unique cursor. Operates in 3
modes: AER, COMP & STAT. Edit, correct or
test your formula without using a pencil. Recall
it at the touch of a key. Safe Guard" memory.
The 5100
24 character display, rolling writer for
up to 80 steps, 10 data memories.

Tuesday,January 22
8:30, HiDAuditorium
Ty -- - I. 1

The 5101
16 character display, rolling writer for
up to 48 steps, 5 data memories.

I.r~ff T '. ,. ... .-. . ..r- ... -.- -r. . ir ni hr tr C L rC

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