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William F. Temple – “Electric Symphony” (1951)

May 23, 2021

“A dozen electric motors started humming in a dozen different keys. A spark-gap lit the place with a vivid, leaping blue light which chased the shadows out of the gloomier corners, constantly retreating and springing again… The noise was tumultuous now. The dynamo was not bolted down as securely as it might have been, and it seemed to be roaring in an attempt to free its fettered feet. The vibrations were setting the floor a-tremble, and they came through the soles of my shoes as though the leather were but paper. The electric symphony of the small motors was almost unendurable: I remember making the mental comment: “Thank God Mossolov never got into here!” The air itself seemed to be oscillating with electricity. My mouth was prickling with it, as though my tongue were on the prongs of one of those flat batteries for flash-lamps… A red lamp screwed on the coarse planks lit up like a traffic light. Automatically everything seemed to cut out. The spark-gap died in a last flash, all the motors stopped with choked growls like a pack of frustrated hounds, and the big dynamo began to run down with a note oddly sweet now, a falling cadence like the violins in the Largo of the New World Symphony, deepened into the realm of cellos, became a throb, a whirring, a fluttering, the breath of a sigh… and was silent.”

William F. Temple “Four Sided Triangle” Galaxy Science Fiction 1951

Use headphones – https://player.vimeo.com/video/525853784

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