Mack Reynolds's "After Some Tomorrow"
2141. "review of Mack Reynolds's "After Some Tomorrow""
- the complete version of my review
- credited to: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- publihsed on my "Critic" website February 12, 2023
Mack Reynolds's "After Some Tomorrow"
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - February 11-12, 2023
It's tempting to just review Mack Reynolds's bks. This is, maybe, the 22nd one I've read so far. I enjoy them all, they have plenty of content that appeals to me & they're easy to read. Why wd anyone want to read a bk of mine when there're things like Reynolds novels out there? My bks are so hhhhaaaaaaarrrrrrdddddd to understand, why on earth do I bother to write them? Ahem.
As w/ most of the Reynolds novels I've read so far the future has a welfare state where everyone's guaranteed a basic income that enables them to eat, have a place to live, & to get wasted watching TV. This novel's a bit different, though. Here, the main characters are psychics who're being studied w/ an eye to exploitation by forces beyond their ken.
""Perhaps a bit of self interest of a pecuniary nature might tend to up Mr. Grant's run percentage."
"The ex-soldier snorted sourly. "That was the good old days, Doc." He brought his credit card from the pocket of his jerkin. "Bu that's the trouble with the Welfare State and the elimination of money. Nobody but I can spend my credit, nobody can steal it from me, and nobody can gamble it away from me or con me out of it. With my Inalienable Basic Bonds I've got security from the cradle to the grave-whether I want it or not." He grunted. "Precious little security, but security."" - p 7
"It occurred to Mick Grant that the unemployment question of the early and middle twentieth century had been solved not without some far out aspects. As automation threw large numbers of the labor force out of work, and increasingly liberal provisions had been made for those so affected, it became increasingly profitable not to work, even were a job available."
"But what was the end? Hadn't something like this happened in Rome, back in ancient times? Didn't it finally get to the point where everything was free for the Roman citizen, no matter how low on the totem pole? Free bread from the provinces, free circuses to keep them amused, free handouts from the patrician politicians who wanted their votes." - p 26
Is that true? I've read some Roman history & that's news to me. I have faith in Reynolds's exactingness so I believe him. How weird. When I read this, I was reminded of the early days of the covid quarantine when people cdn't work but cd get unemployment & other stimulus checks wch enabled them to both hang on & to be not particularly concerned about what was really going on.
Mick Grant, the ex-soldier/psychic is already having his basic income augmented by a grant given under the condition that he studies paranormal phenomena, wch really means that people study & encourage him. NOW, much to his confusion, he's offered a 2nd fellowship.
"["]The Monad Foundation insists that you earn your award. It insists that you study, study, study. It burns with the desire that our young people take more interest in sociopolitical matters. Ah, yes, one more thing. During the summer vacation months, the Foundation will most likely suggest a guided vacation tour."
"Tarabya made with one of his almost continual shrugs. "Most likely to Common Europe. Possibly to Italy and Greece, so rich in the political history of the ancient past."
"Mick was truly staring now. "You mean, on top of the five shares of Convertible Mutual, I get a free vacation in Common Europe?"
""First class," Mustapha Tarabya nodded unctiously." - p 35
This bk's from 1967.
""I thought possibly we might conduct some further experiments, using it, or possibly one of the other psychedelics . . ."
""Psychedelics. Literally, mind-manifesting or consciousness-expanding compounds. Lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD-25, mescaline, psilocybin, Bannisteria caapi, dimethyltryptamine, bofotenine."" - p 40
These days, some people say "entheogen" instead of psychedlic. I've always preferrred "consciousness expanders".
1967 might've been the yr that awareness of LSD was coming more to the forefront in the USA. It wasn't made illegal until 1968. I can remember in 1966 or 1967 seeing Timothy Leary on TV wearing a white flowing robe. Even tho I probably knew very little about LSD at the time it was obvious to me that he was very high. He actually seemed to glow. I haven't taken LSD for decades but I'm told that it's very hard to get now. That's too bad b/c I found tripping on it to be a mind-bogglingly positive experience. I don't recommend taking it lightly but I do wish it were legal & available.
Mick starts to get inquisitive about the people who're funding him.
"He had been unable to find any record of Joshua Porsenna.
"He had been unable to check up upon the Monad Foundation.
"Dr. Ramsey, who Mick had vaguely thought of as one of the big wigs of the Earl University experiments with ESP, wasn't even connected with the school." - p 44
Having accepted the offer of the Monad Foundation, he's surprised by what they have him study under the supervision of a tutor.
""We might as well start you off tonight, on your supplemental reading. I've brought along a few basic works."
""Supplemental reading," he said unhappily.
""There'll be a great deal of it," she said, as though with satisfaction. "Now, what do you know about anarchism, Michael?"" - p 47
Ha ha! Somebody being pd to study anarchism. That's a hoot.
""However, D. D. Home and Eusapia Palladino are another thing. Both lived at about the turn of the century, Eusapia Palladino, in particular, performed before most of the outstanding scientists of Europe of that period, including both the Curies, Oliver Lodge, Courtier, Favre, Ochorowicz, oh, a multitude of others. Under the strictest of conditions, by the way. None of this seance requirement in the dark." - p 58
Almost all, if not all, of Reynolds's bks teach me about something that I wasn't previously familiar w/ that's of interest to me. Here's yet-another example.
"Daniel Dunglas Home (pronounced Hume; 20 March 1833 21 June 1886) was a Scottish physical medium with the reported ability to levitate to a variety of heights, speak with the dead, and to produce rapping and knocks in houses at will. His biographer Peter Lamont opines that he was one of the most famous men of his era. Harry Houdini described him as "one of the most conspicuous and lauded of his type and generation" and "the forerunner of the mediums whose forte is fleecing by presuming on the credulity of the public." Home conducted hundreds of séances, which were attended by many eminent Victorians. There have been eyewitness accounts by séance sitters describing conjuring methods and fraud that Home may have employed."
"Home never directly asked for money, although he lived very well on gifts, donations and lodging from wealthy admirers. He felt that he was on a "mission to demonstrate immortality", and wished to interact with his clients as one gentleman to another, rather than as an employee. In 1852, Home was a guest at the house of Rufus Elmer in Springfield, Massachusetts, giving séances six or seven times a day, which were visited by crowds of people, including a Harvard professor, David Wells, and the poet and editor of the New York Evening Post, William Cullen Bryant. They were all convinced of Home's credibility and wrote to the Springfield Republican newspaper stating that the room was well lit, full inspections were allowed, and said, "We know that we were not imposed upon nor deceived". It was also reported that at one of Home's demonstrations five men of heavy build (with a combined weight of 850 pounds) sat on a table, but it still moved, and others saw "a tremulous phosphorescent light gleam over the walls". Home was investigated by numerous people, such as Professor Robert Hare, the inventor of the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe, and John W. Edmonds, a trial court judge, who were sceptical, but later said they believed Home was not fraudulent."
"At a séance in the house of the solicitor John Snaith Rymer in Ealing in July 1855, a sitter (Frederick Merrifield) observed that a "spirit-hand" was in fact a false limb attached on the end of Home's arm. Merrifield also claimed to have observed Home use his foot in the séance room."
I'm more inclined to think that Home was a very clever trickster than I am to think that he actually levitated &/or contacted the dead. That doesn't make him any less fascinating. Ditto for Palladino.
"Eusapia Palladino (alternative spelling: Paladino; 21 January 1854 16 May 1918) was an Italian Spiritualist physical medium. She claimed extraordinary powers such as the ability to levitate tables, communicate with the dead through her spirit guide John King, and to produce other supernatural phenomena.
"She convinced many persons of her powers, but was caught in deceptive trickery throughout her career. Magicians, including Harry Houdini, and skeptics who evaluated her claims concluded that none of her phenomena were genuine and that she was a clever trickster.
"Her Warsaw séances at the turn of 189394 inspired several colorful scenes in the historical novel Pharaoh, which Boles?aw Prus began writing in 1894."
"["]You know, I came up with one funny thing. Most of these big name anarchists weren't half-educated slum elements that couldn't make the grade and hence wanted to take by force the wealth of those who made it. As a matter of fact, this Bakunin was an aristocrat who studied philosophy at the universities of Moscow and Berlin. And another was a prince, Prince Peter Kropotkin, who wasn't only the top anarchist of his time but one of the top scientists. And this Leo Tolstoy, the writer, he was born an aristocrat too."
""Was he an anarchist?" Anna said.
""Yeah, one of the most influential, evidently."" - pp 60-61
"["]Friend, the day that vote was counted, and it turned out the DeLeonists had won, that's the day the police, the F.B.I., the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines would move in. That's the day a big national emergency would be declared by the powers that be, and we'd wind up with a dictatorship and no more of this democratic voting jetsam. Democratic voting is all very fine as long as you vote for the right guys. It's something like freedom of speech. It's great so long as you say what the ruling caste like to hear, but start sounding off otherwise and you'll soon find you're not getting through."" - p 62
That's something I don't have to be any more convinced about than I already am.
""Holy Zen," Mick said in disgust. "Why give me that jetsam, Freddy? You know damn well that the reason you kept in the army was that you knew you couldn't get a job on the outside, and you rebelled against just sitting around doing nothing."
"Fred looked at him from the side of his eyes again. He said, "A good hundred million people in the United States of the Americas are doing it, Spooky."
""Probably more," Mick growled. "People's Capitalism! Look what the country's finally come to. A nation of bums. Practically everybody's on what used to be called relief in the old days. The big difference is, before you went on relief when the situation pickled for you. It was a temporary something, until you could get back on your feet. Now you're born on relief, for crissake."" - p 75
Of course, the 'advantage' for ruling elites of having such a large 'surplus' population is that there's more potential cannon fodder there, etc. Furthermore, the Welfare State helps justify the Police State as government (& shadow government) takes over more & more of the support functions for people it simultaneously takes over the control functions.
""What is there about a Welfare State that it also step by step becomes a police state? I don't know about you, but I caught a funker named Samuelson searching my rooms. How do these people get that way? Once a man's home supposedly was his castle. They needed a warrant to enter it, and they had to have a good reason before one was issued. But then came the FBI and later the CIA and tapping wires, bugging homes, opening mail seemed to get to be routine. Now it's the FIA. You'd think it was a government all of its own."" - p 84
"Anna said slowly, "Actually, it's a rather fascinating subject. The term is too elastic, something like socialism. It came to mean just about anything reactionary. They called the Nazis fascists, and Mussolini's Italian organization, and Salazar in Portugal, and Franco in Spain. Actually, of course, there was little similarity between the four."
"Mick scowled at her. "They were all dictatorships."
"She nodded, "Yes, but fascism and dictatorship aren't synonymous. For instance, Julius Caeser was a dictator, but he wasn't a fascist. So was Stalin. Come to think of it, you could have fascism without a one man dictator.""
"["]fascism is a socioeconomic system, or, at least, the final stages of one. DeLeon foresaw it and called it Industrial Feudalism.["]" - p 89
The only bk I ever read by Murray Bookchin was one about the Spanish Civil War. In it, he made the point that Franco wasn't, strictly speaking a fascist. It made sense to me. Nonetheless, the nazis backed him in the civil war.
""Lord Krishna," Ramsey said. "I see that the LSD is beginning to affect you. Krishna was historic; in the early Vedic period a chieftan of the aborigines. His mother's name was Mari and she gave birth to him while still a virgin. He was born on December 25th, escaped a massacre of the innocents, taught the bortherhood of man, was crucified and then resurrected."
"Mick decided it was awfully funny and laughed. "You mean Jesus, Doc."
""No, I mean Krishna. He lived some two thousand years before Jesus."" - pp 102-103
Sound familiar? Check out Brian Flemming's great 2005 documentary "The God Who Wasn't There" in wch the myths of Jesus are explained as cooptations of earlier myths & historical figures: https://youtu.be/alurfHwH_zY .
"And then he stopped laughing, and began to cry.
"Ramsey said from a great distance, "It was Timothy Leary who said that those who begin laughing always feel the terror later. They realize the joke is on them."" - p 103
"When they dropped her at her door, Anna looked at Mick Grant, a mocking quality there. "Behind that craggy face, you have a beautiful soul, Mick."
"He utilized some of his new-found wisdom. "Haven't we all?" he said. "It's the same one."
"She laughed-with him, not at him, and was gone." - p 107
""Now as to Technocracy," he said. "I have here several volumes by Howard Scott and others. You'll be able to study them at your leisure, however, in the way of background, Anna will be interested to know that there is some surface resemblance, at least, between Technocracy and the Socialist Industrial Unionism of Daniel DeLeon, whose program she has already investigated."
""I'm fascinated," Anna said. "Simply."
"Dusage had taken a seat. He said, "The Technocrats were first organized in 1932. For a time they attracted considerable attention. Their basic premises were that social phenomena are scientifically measurable and that the laws of social control may be derived from such measurements. Further, that the introduction of the machine and of science into the economic machine made antiquated many of the old institutions such as the use of gold as a medium of exchange. They suggested instead, a unit based upon energy, the erg. Free enterprise, they claimed, had collapsed, and a new social system was needed. Above all, they declared that the workings of a modern society were above the abilities of politicians and control should be put in the hands of scientists, engineers, technicians-in short, the Technocrats."" - p 121
I propose rare ideas as a new medium of exchange. I'd be rich!
For those of you for whom all this DeLeon stuff is obscure, consider this:
"Reynolds was born in Corcoran, California, the second of four children of Verne La Rue Reynolds and Pauline McCord. When the family moved to Baltimore in 1918, his father joined the Socialist Labor Party (SLP) so that from an early age Reynolds was raised to accept the tenets of Marxism and socialism. ("I was born into a Marxian Socialist family. I am the child who, at the age of five or six, said to his parent, 'Mother, who is Comrade Jesus Christ?' -for I had never met anyone in that household who wasn't called Comrade.") In 1935, while still in high school in Kingston, New York, Reynolds joined the SLP and became an active advocate of the party's goals. The following year, he toured the country with his father giving lectures and speeches, and became recognized as a significant force in advocating the SLP." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mack_Reynolds
"The Socialist Labor Party (SLP) is the first socialist political party in the United States, established in 1876.
"Originally known as the Workingmen's Party of the United States, the party changed its name in 1877 to Socialistic Labor Party and again sometime in the late 1880s to Socialist Labor Party. The party was additionally known in some states as the Industrial Party or Industrial Government Party. In 1890, the SLP came under the influence of Daniel De Leon, who used his role as editor of The Weekly People, the SLP's English-language official organ, to expand the party's popularity beyond its then largely German-speaking membership. Despite his accomplishments, De Leon was a polarizing figure among the SLP's membership. In 1899, his opponents left the SLP and merged with the Social Democratic Party of America to form the Socialist Party of America." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_Labor_Party_of_America
I admit to being usually down on socialists as people likely to exploit, kill, & imprison anarchists but w/ Reynolds as an example I'm all for them. Then, again, the SLP forced him to resign.
"In 1958, he became a choice writer for John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction, remaining its "most prolific contributor" for the next ten years. The same year, the publication of How to Retire without Money, to which Reynolds contributed under the byline Bob Belmont, led the National Executive Committee of the SLP to charge Reynolds with "supporting the fraudulent claims of capitalist apologists, viz, that capitalism offers countless opportunities to those who are 'alert'" and caused Reynolds to resign his membership from the SLP." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mack_Reynolds
In turn, I swing back to my usual distrust of socialists. I think Reynolds was ultimately more of an anarchist. At least the socialists didn't have him assassinated. & his character, Anna, has a similar mentality.
"Anna said, "If a bunch of opportunists and adventurers can shoot their way into control of society, they will immediately declare themselves the most competent elements in the land. They will liquidate anyone who disagrees, start the schools to promoting the myth, the churches to blessing the new order, the entertainment and news mass media to spreading the new propaganda. And, in short order there's nobody left in the country that doesn't believe the bully boys at the top are the nation's best elements. Big apples to the top, indeed!"" - p 123
"["]At Delphi, the Pythian Priestess partook of laurel and inhaled the volcanic fumes which came up from the ground through a vent. Laurel is a hallucinogenic, of course, and although the fumes no longer rise at Delphi, perhaps they too had some psychedelic effect.["]" - pp 131-132
& where did I 1st hear-tell of that? I backtrack: I stopped watching TV when I was 16, in 1969 or 1970. I've never regretted that, it seems like one of the best decisions I ever made. &, yet? Last yr, I reckon it was, a bought some Doctor Who episodes on VHS wch led to my becoming a full-blown enthusiast wch led to my acquiring more episodes on DVD & blu-ray AND one of the episodes has Doctor Who visiting an oracle who's inhaling volcanic fumes. Good onya, Meatey.
"She looked at him strangely and murmured, "The Wandering Jew."
There was little humor in his laugh. "As a matter of fact, my dear, I knew Eugene Sue, and have sometimes wondered whether he got his basic idea from me."" - p 148
I've read the Sue bk & have to say that it's the most epic bummer I've ever read. ANYWAY, "After Some Tomorrow" is another great tale from a favorite writer.
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
idioideo at gmail dot com
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Anti-Neoism page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Audiography page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Bibliography page
to my "Blaster" Al Ackerman index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Books page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE BYOC page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Censored or Rejected page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Collaborations page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Critic page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (d) compositions page
to Amir-ul Kafirs' Facebook page
to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's GoodReads profile
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Haircuts page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Home Tapers page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE index page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Instagram Poetry page
to a listing of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's manifestations on the Internet Archive
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE'S Linked-In profile
for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..
to the mm index
to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Neoism page
to the DEFINITIVE Neoism/Anti-Neoism website
to the Philosopher's Union website
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Reviewer page(s)
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Score Movies
to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important
to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page
to Psychic Weed's Twitter page
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Vimeo index
to Vine movies relevant to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE made by Ryan Broughman
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's presence in the Visual Music Village
for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH
to a very small selection of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Writing
to the onesownthoughts YouTube channel