Friday, 27 May 2016

Past And Future

Poul Anderson wrote:

a few works set in the present;
many set entirely in the past;
many more set entirely in the future;
several that blended past and future in different ways -

time travelers can visit any period;
mutant immortals survive through history into an indefinite future;
some future societies regress and revert to earlier social formations.

Somewhere in Orion Shall Rise, women of a future age revive the paganism of an ancient past and the French setting recalls Poul and Karen Anderson's The King Of Ys. Thus, rereading Ys might lead to rereading Orion.

Do the Ysan Gods withdraw, cease to exist or become trolls or were they demons in the first place? On a previous rereading, I traced out the last flickers of activity from these deities and will not repeat that exercise this time. However, much that is said about the Gods is generated by the imaginations of the characters. On the other hand, since this work is in part a fantasy, it is not all imagination. The Ysan refugees do not imagine that they hear singing and see a white figure dancing in the sea...

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Well, I don't believe the Ysan gods or any pagan gods, ever existed at all as actual BEINGS or Persons. But I do realize some would regard them as demons deluding people into believing them to be gods.

I think we see the idea that pagan gods were literal non-entities as early as Elijah's contest with the prophets of Baal in 3/1 Kings 19. His mockery of Baal certainly indicates Elijah did not believe Baal a REAL Person.