In an attempt to rethink the boundaries that conventionally determine the Cold War period and its fiction, we examine theoretical, historical, and aesthetic spheres that both precede and exceed the Cold War years. We focus on works by H.G. Wells and Richard Powers in connection with modes of investigating thought, action, and sensation that were integral to Cold War strategy and technology. We argue that duration and the historical closures of the period inevitably fail to capture intrinsic factors of the Cold War that are consistently manifested in discourses as wide-ranging as those of military technology, aesthetics, philosophy, science, and psychology. These discourses tell the same story from different angles. The horizon has either already disappeared into the absolute distance or a spectral remnant of it remains as the target for an action that would reduce it and bring it back entirely into its range.

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