E–book/E–pub [Children of the Atom] by Wilmar H. Shiras
Wilmar H. Shiras ´ 3 free eadExcellent story and very intelligent Shiras Gave A Lot Of gave a lot of to the science as well as the emotional side of the story and it come off very ahead of it s time I THINK IT WOULD MAKE A think it would make a movie but everyone would think it s an X Men ipoff even though the opposite is somewhat true I appreciate the personal touch of the doctor s interactions with the kids and their sophisticated mind Wilmar Shiras Children of the Atom is in many ways a classic 1950s sf thoughtpiece novel There s a great deal of dialogue not a lot of action and it is unashamedly didactic Even so I enjoyed it very much for easons which may be somewhat idiosyncraticThe plot of the novel is uite simple School psychologist Peter Welles is called in to talk to a young teenager Tim who seems to be completely ordinary in every way but his teacher senses that something is not uite as it seems and is worried about him Welles uickly discovers that Tim is in fact a super intelligent and very lonely child pretending to be normal that this is in fact his survival strategy but what he needs most is friendship and Home: The Story of Everyone Who Ever Lived in Our House real intellectual stimulation Having learned that Tim an orphanaised by his grandparents was born shortly after his parents were exposed to high levels of Chicken Licken radiation in an explosion in a nuclear weapons plant Welleseasons that there are others like Tim and the two set out to find themNot al the children have been as lucky in finding ways to avoid drawing attention to themselves the first child they find Elsie is a patient in a mental hospital nor have all the children grown up as well adjusted one child Fred displays a serious lack of empathy and emotional affect having devoted himself entirely to intellectual development These issues however are addressed with elative ease once Welles manages to bring all the children he can find together in one community under the guidance of several well chosen adults unthreatened by the extreme abilities of adults unthreatened by the extreme abilities of Children of the atomLate in the story the children and their community are threatened by a abble ousing preacher who has heard some of the details about the children and launches a pogrom against these malevolent mutants but the mob that attacks the school is uieted when they see Tim a boy that many of them have known in their community as the classmate of their children and the boy who delivered their evening paper for some years They also ecognise Pete Welles the kindly school psychologist and another of the adults who was a local teacher This incident brings the children to a ealisation that the only way to avoid future threats is to integrate themselves into the larger community which they decide to do by attending normal school but continuing to live in their own community until they ca. ContentsIn Hiding 1948Opening Do. N go out into the world as adultsSeveral things struck me about this novel First the powerful cult of psychology that was such a key element of middle class culture in the 1950s and how the novel could never have been constructed as it was without this Second the focus on Jungian ather than Freudian psychology ather a departure from the norm although it s possible that Shiras did not want to have to deal with Freud s theories of psychosexual development
astory dealing with young Since I personally prefer Jung to Freud this was part of what I enjoyed about the novel seeing THE CHILDREN APPLY JUNG S THINKING children apply Jung S Thinking The Animaanimus And thinking the animaanimus and four basic personality functions to their own development as balanced human beingsI was also struck by the esolution and its belief that if the different among us become integrated into the overall community that difference will cease to be seen as threatening or evil It eminded me of the freuently cited finding that one of the key factors in acceptance of marriage euality is knowing someone who is gay The thing that made this story so very eal and The London Marathon resonant for me however is that to a les extreme degree This was one big part of my life story I know that I tests are inherently flawed in many ways but the fact that I topped out of the Stanford Binet superior adult battery of tests at age eight is an indication that there was something not uite normal about me as a child I knew it the adults around me knew it and above allthe other kids knew it and they were none too pleasant about it My social development was awkward and delayed to say the least Ian a RSPB Pocket Garden Birdwatch realisk of becoming all intellect and nothing else because my mind was what made me important enough to adults that they protected me from the other children And then I and a few others like me were saved uite literally by a group of educational psychologists who were trying to figure out how to teach the gifted child and picked eight of us who tested the highest in our grade in the whole city to be their guinea pigs It only lasted a few years but the wide open curriculum the total acceptance support and emotional guidance of the adults looking over us there was little need to teach just to let us loose in libraries museums laboratories and make sure we didn t accidentally harm anything and the utter bliss of being able to play as a child with other children in ways that were true both to our developing social natures and our advanced intellectual accomplishments these things are a large part of what made me the at least somewhat well adjusted person I am today and helped me learn to move comfortably in the midst of people who had once tortured me for being differentI saw a lot of myself magnified by the lens of science. Ors 1949New Foundations 1950Prob. .In Astory Dealing With Young
Fiction in Wilmar Shiras Children Of The Atom Small the Atom A of super intelligent children try to start their own school with the help of a few adults who know their secret their parents died from an atomic blast but not before giving birth to these extraordinary babies with super talents not superheroes They e all terribly lonely because they have to hide their intellect from others lest they be labeled freaks This ends when one of the boys meets a psychiatrist who agrees to help launch the schoolGood study in human nature Supposedly the X Men derived from this story though no one has super powers here Children of The Atom was written as a series of short stories beginning in 1948 However it never eally ead like it was dated at all The basic story which is ud to be a precursor to The X menminus the super powers other than intellect I found the stories to be prescient and the characters to be fully formed and believable This was one of the better books I ve ead this year What I am eviewing here is not actually Children of the Atom Rather it is the three linked novelettes published by Shiras in Astounding Science Fiction between 1948 and 1950 In 1953 the author integrated new material and this volume became Children of the Atom I have ordered a copy and will eview it when it arrives in a month or so The three novelettes first published were In Hiding 1948 Opening Doors March 1949 and New Foundations March 1950 All three are well written but the first is an acknowledged classic and has freuently been anthologized separately The plot deals with children whose intellects have mutated to super human levels The adults in the story are involved in attempting to help the children find their places in human society The setting is in the fifties and this naturally conditions the types of decisions motives and assumptions within the story The writing is very delicately controlled and the over all effect is gentle and sensitive The characters are well drawn and have psychological depth The three stories do create a logical cycle but there is little doubt that the eaders wanted and three years later Wilmar Shiras obliged with the novelUPDATEI have finished the full novel and Have Conseuently Upgraded The conseuently upgraded the to five stars Whether or not this book was the initial inspiration for The Uncanny X Men it has its own uite distinct character It is an engaging and ather gentle story though the darker aspects of human nature are not altogether ignored The author seems to have a distinct interest in Thomistic scholastic philosophy as well as Jungian psychology and a clear understanding of children While the setting is the world of America in the mid twentieth century the novel as aged well and deserves its high eputation. Lems 1953Children of the Atom 19.
Wilmar H. Shiras