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Twilight World

Written By:Poul Anderson - 1961

  • Twilight World - Poul Anderson cover


The time is shortly after the Great Nuclear Spasm: in all the world there is nothing but ruin, famine, barbarism. Worst of all, residual radiation is causing an ever increasing rate of abnormal births. The human race is doomed to slow extinction, but among the ever increasing numbers of mutants a few are not less but more than what came before. Yet even for them survival is fading hope as the nations once more grope toward their former power, and prepare to wage another war. If the few supernormals are to become the new bearers of the human heritage they must find a way to leave the ruined earth. NUCLEAR MADNESS—THEN, TWILIGHT WORLD


After the war is Over
Robinson felt cold at meeting that too steady gaze. He whispered shakily: "is it—bad?"

"The worst. Physically the country's recovering. But biologically, we've reached a crossroads and taken the wrong fork."

"What do you mean? What do you mean?"

Drummond let him have it then, straight and hard as a bayonet thrust. "The birth rate's a little over half the prewar," he said, "and about seventy-five percent of all births are mutant, and it's everywhere. There are no safe places..."

"We have to decide what to do about it."

"And soon." Drummond's jaw tightened. "It's wrecking our civilization. People are going crazy as birth after birth is monstrous."

"Yes. Yes, we'll have to act fast. And hard. We're mobilized," he said. "We have the men and the weapons and the organization. They won't be able to resist."

Drummond felt a swift and horrible wrenching of fear. "What are you getting at?"

"Racial death. All mutants and their parents to be sterilized whenever and whenever detected."