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The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

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Computer science should be accessible for all and integrated with both the humanities and social sciences.
Opinion: Computer science education needs a major update
Grace Metz, Editor-In-Chief • May 19, 2024
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The Senior Music Award Ceremony took place on May 7, 2024.
Music department honors graduating seniors
Ava Vogel, Staff Writer • May 18, 2024
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Coach Vincenzo talks with player Landon Vanderwarker during a game.
How Coach Vincenzo’s character shaped not only the Hayes Basketball program, but the community and players alike
Josie Morrow, Views/Entertainment Section Editor • May 17, 2024
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Engineers work on the Voyager 2 probe. The Voyager probes have now been in space for nearly 50 years.
Opinion: What the Voyagers odysseys mean
Brody Counts, Staff Writer • May 17, 2024
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Next years Hayes Talisman editorial board (Left-Right): Natalie Heckert, Abby Stahl, Izzy Kelly, Dre Nelson, Mia Saksa and Ava Vogel.
Meet our new 2024-2025 editorial board
Grace Metz, Editor-In-Chief • May 15, 2024
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Martians, Utopias, Moon Landings, and Getting Lost – An Exploration of Space Age Tropes

Science+fiction+has+resulted+a+collection+of+space+age+tropes%2C+including+aliens+invading+and+astronauts+getting+stuck+on+the+planet+mars.
Kaiden Crace
Science fiction has resulted a collection of space age tropes, including aliens invading and astronauts getting stuck on the planet mars.

In the 2nd Century BC, man sailed to the moon. In the 1700’s, the first lunar rocket was launched. In 1818, science created a new life. In 1898, Martians attacked England. In 1969, Nixon announced that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wouldn’t be coming home. In the year 2400, utopia is achieved.
All this was made true by two words: Science fiction.

Early History
Lucian’s “Icaromenippus” has been credited as the origin of the western sci-fi, depicting the character Menippus’ journey to the lunar surface, finding it infested with various beasts, and receiving a request from the Moon herself to act as a courier to Zeus. While his story has been called the first of its type, man landing on the moon remains a popular event even over two thousand years later.
Credit has also been pointed at one Cyrano de Bergerac with the creation of the modern genre for his first depiction of rocket propelled flight to the lunar surface. Interestingly, though, his craft uses “glasses full of dew” in close partnership with the heat of the sun to propel his rapid ascent rather than traditional rocketry. His moon still retains some of the traditions of Lucian’s, lack of spacesuit included.
Others will point to Louis-Sébastien Mercier’s “L’An 2440,” which introduced the concept of utopia, though its idea of what utopia is, is very much a side effect of the era in which it was written. However, his utopia, written as a criticism of France, focused more on the differences between the France of 1771 and the France of 2440 than the actual concept of utopia, with utopian elements working as critiques of French society and the issues Mercier deemed pressing. Most of those issues consisted of the increasing freedom of women in France.

Development of Modern Sci-Fi
Mary Shelley’s role in modern sci-fi cannot be understated. Her work, “Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus,” was a dive into the creation of new life and the desire to be loved. Though critics at the time chastised the book for its outrageous concepts and female writer, modern perspective accredits her work as a hallmark in the development of sci-fi. Her exploration of the creation of life through artificial means, though controversial for the time, was a reflection of actual experiments undertaken years prior.
H.G. Wells’s 1897 “War of the Worlds” introduced to the world the concept of an alien invasion, famously sticking itself into popular culture during a 1938 radio broadcast that still remains as a subject of both urban legend and scrutiny. His novel foretold the fears of invasion later to be echoed in the approaching First World War.
Alien Invasions (or other variations of alien combat) would go on to become a staple of sci-fi, be it through direct conflict such as that seen in “Starship Troopers,” or through other means, such as those in Jack Finney’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” More modern examples include the film-turned-book franchise “Alien,” a series based on Ridley Scott’s film of the same name. Another popular example has a noticeable lack of aliens, but their artifacts play a vital role in Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s “Roadside Picnic,” which would later come to be adapted both as a 1979 film, and turned into a video game franchise.

An Alternate Route
An increasingly popular form of sci-fi can be found in alternate histories. Books such as Jed Mercuio’s “Ascent” and Ian Sales’ “Adrift on the Sea of Rains” both paint shifted histories of the space race, Mercuio through a cosmonaut on the moon, and Sales through bombs. Other notable examples include Philip Dick’s “Man in the High Castle” and games such as the “Wolfenstein” series. In both series, we see an alternative Second World War in which the Axis successfully achieved their goals, and gave rise to the development of high-technology in the immediate post-war.

Modern Role
In recent years, as book bannings increase and more and more series within sci-fi’s realm are announced, the presence of sci-fi in the 21st century remains omnipresent. Be it in the shape of man-made horrors beyond our comprehension, or the familiar themes expressed by the works of Brabury and other mid-century writers.
Sales from sci-fi properties are also unignorable, with recent additions to the genre raking in massive amounts of capital. Even to this day you can buy thermos forms of your favorite droid, or play through the newest installment of the “Aliens” video game franchise.
Sci-fi, for all of its mysteries and discovery, ultimately is introspective of the human condition and our continued development. It explores our curiosities, and far off realities that someday may be fundamental truths. Be it through a man with a different flag first setting foot on the moon, aliens marching on London, or even the creation of life, sci-fi lets us explore the impossible and the infeasible until someday it’s the normal.

 

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About the Contributors
Brody Counts
Brody Counts, Staff Writer
Brody Counts (he/him) is a junior at Hayes. This is his first year on staff. Brody can most commonly be found buying obscure research papers or with his head buried in a new book. Outside of school, he enjoys spending time with his pet dogs and dining downtown.
Kaiden Crace
Kaiden Crace, Artist
Kaiden Crace (he/they) is a senior at Hayes. This is his first year on staff.  He spends most of his free time listening to music, drawing, hanging out with friends, and going on hikes
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    Jack InghoffOct 1, 2023 at 7:56 pm

    Good piece

    Reply