By George Goner (The Haunted Cabaret)
Imagine a world of the near future, in which 9 out of 10 people born in the United States suffer from major birth defects, as a result of enzyme damage caused by genetic tampering with the food supply.
Picture so much pollution in the soil, the ocean has turned yellow along the coasts from the poison leaking into the water. America has lost its status as a major power, and Iran and the Eastern Nations dominate.
I've just described the basic setting for a story called "Seven American Nights," by a writer named Gene Wolfe. It's scary and provocative stuff. Most amazing, he wrote the story back in 1978. So much for those who say, as they watch a major catastrophe unfold they did nothing to prevent, that no one could have seen it coming. Mr. Wolfe saw this Monsanto-style genetic insanity coming 35 years ago. Read the story. It's only about fifty pages long, so it won't take much of your time. If you're still skeptical afterwards, keep in mind that nuclear weapons, organ transplants, and all the nifty devices we take for granted like cell phones, laptops, tablets, and robot drones began as science fiction.
(It is funny how it's usually the negative predictions of science-fiction that come true. We have the robot weapons, black market organ banks, genetic mutation, deforestation, and drug-resistant super-germs. Where are the friendly aliens, the peaceful explorations of space, and the tech-inspired utopias? Not to mention the flying cars, and zero-gravity sex. Oh well...)
Read Wolfe's story. Check out some of the topics making news in June 2013, and then tell me there's no reason to be afraid.
I dare you.
The world is a Haunted Cabaret. If we are not careful, soon we will all be its ghosts.
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