The Comet and Aye and Gomorrah are two science fiction short stories that discuss racism and sexuality in post-apocalypses, respectively. In The Comet, W.E.B. Du Bois describes the relationship between a black man, Jim, and a white woman, Julia, after a comet hits New York City and kills everyone except them. In Aye and Gomorrah, Samuel R. Delany characterizes the relationship between sexless Spacers and people with other sexualities in a future world. Although featuring different characters in different settings, both Du Bois and Delany focus on segregation and the harmful effects caused by either racial or sexual prejudice. The two authors share similarities and differences in their use of techniques to call attention to such segregation. Both of them employ apocalyptic language, with Du Bois displaying it explicitly and Delany implicitly. In this paper, apocalyptic language refers to the extent the authors call direct attention to apocalyptic occurrences. The difference is that in signifying feelings of isolation by Jim or the Spacers, Du Bois uses imagery while Delany focuses on plot formation. Nevertheless, by highlighting exclusion experienced by the protagonists as a result of racial or sexual discrimination, Du Bois and Delany argue for equal treatment of people of different colors or of different sexual identities, and promote tolerance and understanding among these different groups in real life.
Although race is the major theme in The Comet and sexuality is the major theme in Aye and Gomorrah, the consequences caused by racial or sexual prejudice are quite similar, as people are driven apart and excluded from other groups. In The Comet, racist thoughts invisibly separate black and white people and prevent possible integration. Such implicit segregation is obvious when Julia finds Jim as her rescuer. "Of all the sorts of men she had pictured as coming to her rescue she had not dreamed of one like him.