I’ve just started reading Martin Amis’s latest novel, The Pregnant Widow. It is very Amis-y. But, with my science fiction hat on, I was struck by the quotation from Alexander Herzen’s From The Other Shore (1848–1850) from which the novel takes its title:
The death of the contemporary forms of social order ought to gladden rather than trouble the soul. Yet what is frightening is that the departing world leaves behind it not an heir, but a pregnant widow. Between the death of the one and the birth of the other, much water will flow by, a long night of chaos and desolation will pass.