... pre-atomic apocalypse!

... even before the advent of atomic-power; humanity (especially the writers of cheap pulp-fiction) feared scientific super-weapons that would visit world-wide annihilation. Fanned by the horrific experience of World War One, these tales usually involved the use of poison gas or man-made plagues. Driven by ever more powerful science and industrial growth the specter of grinding 'total-war', lasting decades, fueled the nightmares of the 1920's and 30's. H.G. Wells story "Things To Come", turned into a 1936 movie, is a hallmark of these fears.

1 comment:

thingmaker said...

Might have been nuclear... Don't know the particular story but H.G Wells conceived a worldwide nuclear war in "The World Set Free". The bombs are slow-burn horrors that spew death for a week or more but they are city-busters.
I know there were a couple of other notable uses of atomic weapons in early SF. There wer numerous atomic doodads - mostly these employ "rays" generated by radium, usually with no understanding by the author of the actual physics.