Brooklyn Project

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Tenn, William (pseud. of Philip Klass). "Brooklyn Project." Planet Stories 1948. Frequently rpt., perhaps most conveniently in The Road to Science Fiction, Volume 3: From Heinlein to Here. James Gunn, ed. 1979. Clarkston, GA: White Wolf, n.d.

Political satire on issues nuclear and presciently thermonuclear, and in opposition to the rise of the American national-security state. The S.F. motif is "Operation Periscope": sending an observation device four billion years into the past, having it return, and then going back approxomately two billion years, and so forth. Contrary to the fears of "the Federation of Chronar Scientists" (in Gunn 1979: 122) the Americans within the world of the story notice no butterfly effect such as that seen in Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder" (1952). Sophisticated readers would note the allusions to scientists nervous over a continued nuclear arms race: in early 1950, the US began work on the hydrogen bomb; by 1969 nervous Nellie scientists had organized into the Union of Concerned Scientists. And all conscious readers will note that the world of "BP" is very different at story's end from what it was at the beginning, except for still being a bureaucratic dystopia of the National Security kind. (RDE, 18/04/05)