Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

The Long Tomorrow

The Long Tomorrow is a sci-fi novel from 1955 by Leigh Brackett. After a nuclear holocaust, Americans decide high population cities invite attack and outlaw large settlements. So post-apocalyptic America becomes a world of Amish and Mennonite communities. Obviously, there a people who resist and children who want more than farm life. What follows is a story of boys finding a radio and using it to connect with an illegal technological community deemed heretical by their family and friends. Stoning or bonfires or simply beatings are meted out by religious mobs the boys keep escaping. Ultimately, I didn’t find this future-as-early-19th century storyline very appealing.

One thing: Brackett worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter and collaborated with Faulkner on the screenplay for The Big Sleep. According to her memoires, they adapted alternating chapters without consulting with each other and without ever seeing each other’s work. (Or at least, without her ever seeing Faulkner’s.)

Posted January 3, 2014