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World War II saw the advent of a new weapon; one with an enormous killing power that lasted for years. The nuclear bomb would become an important force not only in science fiction literature but in warfare as well. Benet published this story long before the invention of the nuclear weapon. But, his description of metal objects being forbidden and having the ability to burn fit the description of radiation poisoning. The destructive element in his story referred to The Great Burning, which is an apt description for the blast wave that came from the use of a nuclear weapon. The story was all the more amazing to me when I discovered the date of publication, the late 1930's. Work on the nuclear bomb may have been in its infancy, but surely no one knew of its destructive power until the bomb was developed during the late stages of World War II.
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