The Null Device

Fortress Australia

Film festival: Today I saw a documentary titled Fortress Australia, about Australian governments' (unsuccessful) attempts to obtain, or later construct, nuclear weapons between 1945 and the early 1970s. It was quite interesting; basically, we tried to buy nukes or knowledge from the British (who refused, because the Americans would get mad at them) and the U.S. (who refused because of Soviet spy activity in Canberra), in return for uranium and use of land for nuclear testing, and also sank a lot of money into F-111 bombers (next to useless against the much feared Indonesian invasion unless equipped with nukes) and developing missiles with the UK, who unilaterally canned the project before their obedient client state could get its eagerly anticipated ICBMs. Also, the Lucas Heights reactor, and one proposed for Jervis Bay, were intended to produce weapons-grade plutonium for tactical nukes for jungle warfare. Quite eye-opening.

There was also another documentary, about the author of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, and his definitions of what SF is. There wasn't much new to me in it, but I did recognise a lot of the locations in it (including Slow Glass Books, Monash University, and various places around Melbourne).

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