Robert Zend

5980 A.D.

rapidante tra la kosmo
   preskaŭ lumrapide,
      siaj momentoj—jarcentoj,
         sia pezo kvazaŭ-planeda,
            la kosmonaŭto vidis la nigran
               Ĉevalkapan Nebulozon forprenata,
                  anstataŭigata per Kuriero blanka:
                      li frotis siajn okulojn nekredante,
                         sed tiam, kiam el pretere,
                            lanta, tondranta
                                  resaltante de stelo al stelo,
                                      resonante inter galaksioj,
            “JEN VIA VICO, NIGRO!”
                                           li konstatis, ke la kosmo
                                              estas ŝakludo inter du dioj

— Elangligis Ralph Dumain

Noto pri jarindiko: A.D. = p.K. = K.E.

A Note about the Cover: Though the painting that adorns this book was inspired by Robert Zend’s poem “5980 A.D.” (see page 1), artist Jon Lomberg retains his own personal interpretation: “The beautiful, glowing nebulae we admire so much arc often the sites of star formation. As the cold, dark gas and dust of the galaxy are compressed by shock waves, they form stars. If you come back and look at the Horsehead Nebula in a million years time (or if you’re traveling so close to light-speed that 106 years startime = 1 hour ship-time), you will find that the nebula has given way to hot, young stars. When these stars live out their lifetimes and die, they will again become cold, dark gas and dust. In that sense our Universe of Stars is a chess game between Black (cold, dark high-entropy material) and White (hot, bright low-entropy material). Is Gravity alone the hand that moves them? Or is there Something(one) Else? I don’t claim to know. I do know that a pithier expression of the laws of thermodynamics (in an open universe at least) is this: Black wins. In a closed universe, the game might get played over and over endlessly, but with a different set of rules each time.


5980 A.D.

dashing through space
   with nearly the speed of light,
       his moments—centuries,
         his weight as that of a planet,
            the cosmonaut saw the black
               Horsehead Nebula taken, and
                  replaced by a white Bishop:
                    he rubbed his eyes in disbelief,
                        but when, from beyond,
                           a slow and thundering
                                 ricocheting from star to star,
                                    echoing among galaxies,
               “IT’S YOUR TURN, BLACK!”
                                         he realized that the universe
                                            was a chessgame between two gods

— Robert Zend

Robert Zend is a poet, writer, translator, humorist, artist, film‑editor, and broadcaster. As a radio producer he created over 120 programs featuring interviews with such luminaries as Northrop Frye, Marcel Marceau, Immanuel Velikovsky, Isaac Asimov, Jorge Luis Borges, and the Dalai Lama. His series on the Lost Continent of Atlantis was broadcast not only in the United States and Canada but in England and Australia as well.



SOURCE: Zend, Robert. “5980 A.D.,” in Stellar #6: Science-Fiction Stories, edited by Judy-Lynn del Rey. New York: Ballantine Books, 1981.


Original poem © Janine Zend, all rights reserved. See The Robert Zend Website for further information and to make financial contributions to support Zend’s publications in English.

Zend in Esperanto (The Robert Zend Website)

Robert Zend en Esperanto

Robert Zend (Hungarian-Canadian writer, 1929-1985): Dedications, Works, Links
(includes, in English, on this site / inkluzivas anglalingve / ĉi-reteje:)
Robert Zend & Esperanto

Robert Zend: Selected Volumes: Tables of Contents

Futurology, Science Fiction, Utopia, and Alienation
in the Work of Imre Madách, György Lukács, and Other Hungarian Writers:
Select Bibliography

Sciencfikcio & Utopia Literaturo en Esperanto /
Science Fiction & Utopian Literature in Esperanto:
Gvidilo / A Guide

Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress

Esperanto & Interlinguistics Study Guide /
Retgvidilo pri Esperanto & Interlingvistiko

ATEO: Bazaj Informoj & Enhavtabeloj de Ateismo

Atheism / Freethought / Humanism / Rationalism / Skepticism /
Unbelief / Secularism / Church-State Separation Web Links


Robert Zend @ Reason & Society

Robert Zend @ Ĝirafo

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Uploaded 6 December 2016
Images & additional text added 24 December 2016

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