Personalized Masks Appear

Personalized masks are now popping up all over, particularly as students get ready to return to school.

Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein described how young people personalized their masks in his 1949 novel Red Planet:

The tiger stripes on Jim's mask, the war paint on Frank's, and a rainbow motif on Phyllis's made the young people easy to identify. The adults could be told apart only by size, shape, and manner; there were two extras, Doctor MacRae and Father Cleary.

Unique masks can also obscure identity. In his classic novel The Stars My Destination, science fiction writer Alfred Bester described how the shipwrecked denizens of the Sargasso Asteroid emblazoned a permanent tattooed mask on everyone:

The orderly bent lower.

"What happened? Who in hell done that to you?"

"What?" Foyle croaked.

He recoiled in terror as the orderly thrust the picture of a hideous tattooed face before him. It was a Maori mask. Cheeks, chin, nose, and eyelids was decorated with stripes and swirls. Across the brow was blazoned NOMAD. Foyle stared, then cried out in agony. The picture was a mirror. The face was his own.

Thanks to @nyrath [Winchell Chung of Atomic Rocket] for the quote; see his extensive page on heraldry.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/23/2020)

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