Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Alternative Pasts

Either fabulous events happened long ago but have ceased or they did not happen but have been imagined. Thus, both a fabulous past and a prosaic past are compatible with a prosaic present. Poul and Karen Anderson's Ysans are in an intermediate period. It is well attested and remembered that the Witch-Queens could command the weather. In fact, we saw them do it. Now however, only Innilis can heal and only Forsquilis can make a Sending. They know that there was a fabulous past but also that there will be a prosaic future, which is our present.

Neil Gaiman shows this same process in "Ramadan."


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    While our present era might seem prosaic, it's my belief that is not always the case. I do believe God sometimes acts openly in "fabulous" ways if He so chooses. Among the few modern examples I believe to be genuine are the events recorded at Lourdes, Fatima, and the Zeitun apparitions.

    There are many, many people who go seeking for signs and wonders, either in the supernatural or those who believe in "ancient aliens" of modern UFOs. As regards the former I'm extremely skeptical (along with the Church) and as for ancient aliens or modern UFOs, I would want actual, hard proof.

    In "Peek! I See You!", Poul Anderson gave us some of his views of UFOs and alien visitors. Briefly, even after the most ruthless pruning of UFO stories, we still end up with a few cases which can't be dismissed entirely.

    And, of course, Poul Anderson, being what he was, treated believers in UFOs kindly and did not in the least believe they were all crazed lunatics. He shows us a pastor of a UFO religion who was intelligent, serious, and not at all a fool. And who frankly admitted frauds and errors had occurred.


    1. Sean,
      I do not regard our universe as "prosaic" but I was simplifying in order to summarize the dichotomy in fiction between the fantastic or fabulous and the realistic.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Thanks for correcting my misunderstanding. But, in some ways, I have to regard our times as being "prosaic." Western civilization is no longer seeking new worlds to conquer. Where are the O'Neill habitats? Lunar bases and colonies? Colonies on Mars? Exploring and mining of the asteroid belt, etc.? All of this should been done or started by now. Instead, we are still COWERING on Earth, refusing to look outwards to the planets and stars!