Rome was mud and smoky skies; the rank smell of the Tiber and the exotically spiced cooking fires of a hundred different nationalities. Rome was white marble and gilding and heady perfumes; the blare of trumpets and the shrieking of market-women and the eternal, sub-aural hum of more people, speaking more languages than Gaius had ever imagined existed, crammed together on seven hills whose contours had long ago disappeared beneath this encrustation if humanity. Rome was the pulsing heart of the world.
By and large, the kind of science fiction which makes tomorrow's headlines as near as this morning's coffee has enlarged popular awareness of the modern, miraculous world of science we live in. It has helped generations of young people feel at age with a changing world. But fashions change, old loves return, and now that Sputniks clutter up the sky with new and unfamiliar moons, the readers of science fiction are willing to wait to read tomorrow's headlines. Once again, I think, there is a place, a wish, a need for the wonder and color of the world way out. The world beyond the stars. The world we won't live to see. That is why I wrote.
You speak of afraid. Yet fear is something you generate in yourself, from your mind's lack of control; and you will learn to look at it and discover for yourself when you choose to be afraid. The first thing you must do is acknowledge that the fear is yours, and you can bid it come and go at will. Begin with this; whenever you feel fear that prevents choice say to yourself: 'What has made me feel fear? Why have I chosen to feel this fear preventing my choice, instead of feeling the freedom to choose?' Fear is a way of not allowing yourself to choose freely what you will do next; a way of letting your body's reflexes, not the needs of your mind, choose for you...[Y]ou have chosen to do nothing, so that none of the things you fear will come upon you; so your choices are not made by you but by your fear... I cannot promise to free you of your fear, only that a time will come when you are the master, and fear will not paralyze you.