Postscript for 2008 Edition
Postscript for 2008 Edition
In writing fiction the real world and the fictional world can become interwoven in such a manner that the real world appears fictional, and the fictional real. One such element in the novel is the "Ogarkov Plan" that is referred to in Chapter 7. It appears so impossibly unlikely that one would dismiss it as fictional, though it was a real element of the end phase of the Soviet era, designed for winning a nuclear war against the West. According to various reports the preparations for implementing the plan, or variations of it, were far advanced during the final years of the Soviet Union, so that its collapse may have saved all of our lives.
It seems fictional in today's age that any government would contemplate plans which risk the destruction of several hundred million people to prop up a dying political system. Unbelievable as this may seem, it was the reality of the world at one point and may likely remain so for some time into the future. It is suggested that that only during one other occasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, did the world come as close to a global nuclear war as it did then.
Of course, there might have been other close calls that we may never know about. Nor has the 'Ice Age' of the Cold War ended. Although the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the division and isolation of people and nations under which the nuclear bomb rivalry was created continues unabated and still 'darkens' the landscape of humanity.
Work on the series, The Lodging for the Rose was begun during the height of the Cold War era when the global arsenal contained over 65,000 nuclear weapons and no technological defenses existed against them. Those were the days when the doomsday clock had advanced to just minutes before midnight. The series of novels was launched in the background of this time to explore how we can survive in the long run in a world brimming with indefensible monster-weapons used for terror, and still maintain a high level of civilization with a hope for a bright future.
It became obvious at this time that no reliable technological or political solutions are actually possible in this world where the knowledge to build nuclear bombs has become global and will likely never go away. Developments over the last two decades support this view. Although the global arsenal has been reduced, we've seen a race unfolding anew to build more and 'better' ones. In addition the likelihood has increased that the trigger for them may be put into the hands of insane men.
During the time span in which the series of novels was being written other existential threats emerged on the horizon, which appear utterly fictional but are totally real and possibly more dangerous to mankind than nuclear war. Two of the least recognized and most dangerous ones have been interwoven into the novel, retroactively, together with a dimension of science that has the potential to counter them. One of these is the rapidly unfolding disintegration of the world-financial system and the 'war' of empire against mankind, which together have the potential to eradicate civilization and most of mankind with it, and throw the planet into a New Dark Age for many generations. The other grave danger is the long-term impact of genetic engineering in plant biology to create patented seeds for the major food crops that include terminator genes inhibiting the fertility of crops, rendering them useless for self-perpetuating harvests, though highly profitable to the seed companies and for political purposes, and the inclusion of genes that cause the resulting crops to have spermicidal properties that are intended to be deployed against targeted nations for involuntary population reduction (genocide).
An appendix had earlier been added to this novel that explores both of these types of dangers. The Appendix was intended to show the pattern of sheer evil that is expressed in the chaos that is typically arranged in the war of empire versus civilization to fracture society into enemies to each other as we find it interwoven into the novel in Chapter 8, "Shoot Them!" Since the path for the problem resolution is essentially the same in all areas of danger resulting from the war of empire versus civilization, the countering element that the novel is centered on has been strengthened by including a new concept: the Sublime.
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