“Radiation” in science fiction can be used to kill, injure, or simply put characters at risk. Many stories and novels written during the first decades after Hiroshima, such as Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s novel A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960), depicted the deadly effects of radiation on humans and other life in the apocalyptic scenario of nuclear war. Even earlier, Robert A. Heinlein (using the pseudonym “Anson MacDonald”) in his 1940 story “Solution Unsatisfactory” depicted planes dropping radioactive dust on hostile cities to rapidly wipe out entire populations. Merely mentioning the word “radiation” in a science fiction work puts the reader on alert that dramatic and potentially terrible things could (and probably will) happen.
KeywordsBlack Hole Solar Wind Coronal Mass Ejection Solar Flare Sperm Cell
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