Saturday, 31 May 2014

How Not To Do Something

The Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd film and the later Dredd film are object lessons in how to do something wrong and in how it can be done right. It is worth seeing both to appreciate the contrast.

I would not recommend that anyone read Isaac Asimov's Robots and Empire future history, incorporating his Foundation series, in its entirety. However, anyone who has done so can make a Judge Dredd-Dredd comparison by then reading in its entirety Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization, incorporating his Nicholas van Rijn and Dominic Flandry series. I say this yet again because recent re-readings have reconfirmed my conviction of it.

Anderson presents:

an Empire that is interstellar but not Galactic;
many intelligent races, inhabiting fully realized planetary environments;
an auctorial grasp pf the complexities of socioeconomic interactions - and not just an elite group who, we are told, can mathematically formulate and manipulate such interactions;
a more realistic understanding of what social theoreticians can and cannot do and of what might be done to ameliorate the consequences of imminent social collapse;
vivid descriptions and concrete characterization.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I still remember the disappointment I felt some years ago when I reread Asimov's original three Foundation books. Much of it was clunky, "flat" and even, alas, boring to me. Makes me wonder why I was so enthralled by the Foundation books as a boy. Fortunately, I had also discovered the works of Anderson and Tolkien and the pre STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND books by Heinlein!