Many have braved the unbelieveble trials that underground mining has put upon those who dare, but for the most part it was a decision made in good faith. Back in the days that Emile Zola wrote of there was no choice. He brings to light in an elequent way the sufferage that was put upon family, friends and even beasts. This is mining at its worst. As a hardrocker with 36 years I can say that it worked. Zola`s Treatise brought about many improvements for the coal miners, and after a fashion, hardrock miners as well. Few books have had so much impact.
As a child of the fifties I was in a prefect place to be the beneficiary of the best science fiction ever written. By age 15 I had visited many fantastic worlds in My imagination, and by age 18 I was becoming a bit jaded with the current offerings. Enter Frank Herbert and "Dune". His creation blew My mind with its detail, especially at a time when environmental awareness was beginning to come into fashion. I had no idea that such an elaborate world could be contained between the covers of a paperback novel.
In the mid seventies I had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Herbert at a science fiction symposium at Colorado State University, and it was an experience I will always treasure because Mr. Herbert turned out to be just the nicest down to earth person You would ever want to meet.
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