Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Lucifer: Evensong

The purpose of this blog is to appreciate Poul Anderson. This involves urging others to read or reread his works. A lesser purpose is to say, "If you like Anderson, then you might like -." Having drawn parallels betwen Anderson and Neil Gaiman, I should also mention Mike Carey, another British fantasy writer both of prose novels and of American comic books.

Lucifer Morningstar resigns as Lord of Hell in Gaiman's The Sandman and pursues an independent career in Carey's Lucifer. I have tried to convey the richness of Carey's imagination in the following summary, copied from Comics Appreciation (see here).

Some readers might share my own original reservations about reading fiction in which the central character is the Devil. Remember that Satan is the hero of Paradise Lost. Also, this is not Satan. The Vertigo imprint had to differentiate Lucifer from Satan because both these versions of the Adversary were simultaneously involved in parallel storylines. Lucifer is Nietzschean, not malicious.

A rebel angel hiding among the decaying alternative hereafters resists the new God, Elaine Belloc;

Elaine moves on the face of the deeps, ploughs Hell under, leaving only a small corner intact for the demoness, Lys, makes a place for her formerly dead brother in the new creation and has a farewell drink with friends before sinking into everything;

Lucifer leaves;

beautifully drawn art by Peter Gross and Ryan Kelly illustrates Lucifer's reminiscences about the War in Heaven and about his retirement from Hell on the occasion of Morpheus' second incursion and also his last meeting with the previous God in the Void;

art by Jon J Muth shows Lucifer in a Japanese Buddhist milieu.

Hail and farewell, Lucifer Morningstar, Prince of the East!


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

You wrote that a secondary purpose of the PA blog is: "If you like Anderson, then you might like--", recommending writers such as Neil Gaiman and now Mike Carey. I agree that is a legitimate idea and I would like to suggest the works of S.M. Stirling as well. I could tell, here and there in his books, how Stirling is also a fan of Poul Anderson, using turns of phrase coined by Anderson. And even, in one case, having an Ensign Dominique Flandry appearing very briefly.

I would recommend interested readers starting with one or two of Stirling's non series stand alone books, so they could get an idea of how he writes and whether his work woul appeal to them. Two examples would be THE PESHAWAR LANCERS and CONQUISTADOR.


Paul Shackley said...

Thanks. Stirling is starting to get my attention because of MAN-KZIN WARS and MULTIVERSE.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I'm glad, because of how I like Stirling's books. If he has a weakness as a writer, I think it's largely in being sometimes too detailed in describing how things work. Such as the practical details of how you run a farm using technology no more advanced than what was available in 1860. Altho I fully agree SF writers have to use "info dumps" from time to time in their books. Still, an SF writer walks a fine line between not explaining enough or too much.