Nightfall

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Skepchick
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Nightfall

Post by Skepchick » Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:08 pm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... uacan.html

Using picks, shovels, and high-tech forensic sleuthing, scientists are beginning to cobble together the grisly ancient history and fiery demise of Teotihuacán, the first major metropolis of the Americas.


...
Scientists believe Teotihuacán was the hub of trade and commerce in Mesoamerica until the city's civilization collapsed around A.D. 650. When the Aztecs stumbled upon the metropolis centuries later, they dubbed it the "City of the Gods," because they believed it was where the Gods met to create the present universe and sun.

....
We don't know exactly what happened at the final stage, but we know certainly the city was destroyed by man, not by natural disaster," Sugiyama said.

...Spence, however, says the evidence suggests to him the fires were set during an internal revolt.



Am I the only one reminded of Asimov's Nightfall http://doctord.dyndns.org:8000/Stories/Nightfall.htm


We've
located series of civilizations, nine of them definitely, and indications of
others as well, all of which have reached heights comparable to our own, and
all of which, without exception, were destroyed by fire at the very height
of their culture.
'And no one could tell why. All centers of culture were thoroughly
gutted by fire, with nothing left behind to give a hint as to the cause.'
Lizard.

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Don_Fernandez
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Post by Don_Fernandez » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:07 pm

Skepchick! You should be ashamed of linking to a copyright violation. :shock:
In penance you should report it to the anti-piracy campaign of the SFWA.
(Actually I've already reported this one, but keep that link handy if you ever spot another violation of the copyright of a science fiction story. Posting a short story online without permission is piracy.)


But back on topic...
It's good to know that some progress is being made on finding out why Teotihuacan fell.

I'm not sure I'd have tought of Nightfall if I had read the report on my own, as much as I like that story and enjoy reading Asimov, but your title made it an unescapable tought.
I almost always think of Asimov's story when I see the title nightfall... (The extended novel by Silverberg is good, though the impact of the short story is diluted by having more of the backstory and the aftermath added, but if you ever wondered about that is worth reading. I must warn you and all to stay away from any of the two movies with that title that claim to be based on Asimov's work. One of them is the absolutely worst movie I've ever seen, the other is not much better according to comments at IMDB so I won't ever see it).
"Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase"
James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)

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Skepchick
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Post by Skepchick » Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:49 am

Don_Fernandez wrote:Skepchick! You should be ashamed of linking to a copyright violation. :shock:
In penance you should report it to the anti-piracy campaign of the SFWA.
(Actually I've already reported this one, but keep that link handy if you ever spot another violation of the copyright of a science fiction story. Posting a short story online without permission is piracy.)


^*()&%%!!! Damn! I had no idea, really. Hmm...should I delete the link?



But back on topic...
It's good to know that some progress is being made on finding out why Teotihuacan fell.

I'm not sure I'd have tought of Nightfall if I had read the report on my own, as much as I like that story and enjoy reading Asimov, but your title made it an unescapable tought.
I almost always think of Asimov's story when I see the title nightfall... (The extended novel by Silverberg is good, though the impact of the short story is diluted by having more of the backstory and the aftermath added, but if you ever wondered about that is worth reading. I must warn you and all to stay away from any of the two movies with that title that claim to be based on Asimov's work. One of them is the absolutely worst movie I've ever seen, the other is not much better according to comments at IMDB so I won't ever see it).


I dont think the philosophical science fiction televises well.

On the topic of history and what caused the fires, I was being certainly a bit tongue in cheek, but it is fascinating to see fall of civilizations. Makes one feel quite insignificant.
Lizard.

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Don_Fernandez
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Post by Don_Fernandez » Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:55 am

Skepchick wrote:
Don_Fernandez wrote:Skepchick! You should be ashamed of linking to a copyright violation. :shock:
[snip]


^*()&%%!!! Damn! I had no idea, really. Hmm...should I delete the link?


My opening comment was actually a bit tongue in cheek.
I don't think the link is a problem, the copyright violation is at the other end of it, not here. The good folks at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America should take care of having that text removed.
Being so in love with SF seeing piracy of those works (as good as they are, and thus understanding why others feel the need to "share" them in websites) it's sort of a pet peeve of mine to report them to the SFWA. The stories are out there, there is the Contento database and the Locus Index to find where and when they had been reprinted, is not as if they were completely unavailable. And even if they were, they are still under copyright.

I dont think the philosophical science fiction televises well.

On the topic of history and what caused the fires, I was being certainly a bit tongue in cheek, but it is fascinating to see fall of civilizations. Makes one feel quite insignificant.
Actually, translating the philosophical aspects was the least of the problems. In the Nightfall movie I saw they butchered the story, they even had people watching the stars in wonder at the end, the madness being only too brief, the happy ending forced.
Apparently the other Nightfall (with David Carradine), which I refuse to see, was more faithful to the story but still managed to be quite crappy.

Knowing of how many civilizations have fallen, and the causes of many of those fall still unknown, does make one feel insignificant. It also makes me worry about our current civilization.
As much as the Western Civilization has progressed and as much as it has lasted through so many changes I can't help but wonder if one day it will fall too.
That would truly be a nightfall, given how far we've become.
"Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase"
James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)

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flyer1
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Post by flyer1 » Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:37 am

Teotihuacan is my favorite Mesoamerican site. Archaeology magazine just did a bit on the Pyramid of the Sun, telling how some 19th century antiquarian, anxious to make the site "authentic", added an extra course to the 4-level pyramid, pasted on stucco to make it look more antique, and rearranged glyphs because he thought it looked better.

One wonders what the ancient Mexica did to the City of the Dead to make it fit in with their legends.
"Have you seen my people, magician?" said the unicorn. "They are wild and sea-white, like me."
Schmendrick shook his head. "I have never seen anyone like you, not while I was awake."