Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Classic F/SF Ideas: The Decadent Earth

The Decadent Earth

A post-Imperial planet or civilization whose citizens live among the remnants of a glorious past. In some novels, it can be seen as a metaphor for European decline after WWII, but its roots can be traced at least as far back as Percy Shelley's Ozymandias. The characters are often exquisite aesthetes; occasionally they also have enormous personal power.

Nightwings, Robert Silverberg
The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
The Dancers at the End of Time, Michael Moorcock
The Time Machine, H.G. Wells

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