hell fire

Hell-Fire

[hel-fahyuhr]

"Hell-Fire" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov, originally published in the April 1951 issue of Amazing Stories and reprinted in the 1957 collection Earth Is Room Enough. It is one of a number of stories, such as "Darwinian Pool Room" and "Silly Asses", in which Asimov worries about the nuclear arms race of the 1950s.

"Hell-Fire" is extremely short, and deals with a journalist, Alvin Horner, who speaks with Joseph Vincenzo, a scientist at Los Alamos, at the first exhibition of a film with super-slow-motion footage of a nuclear explosion. Vincenzo is sure that nuclear bombs are hell-fire, and tells the journalist they shall ultimately destroy mankind. After the scientist's observations, the film starts. For a brief moment, before initiating the full reaction into the infamous nuclear toadstool, the atomic blast resembles a specific shape: the face of the Devil.

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