Saturday, 18 June 2016

Comparisons And Contrasts

As I have said repeatedly, Poul Anderson mastered several genres. Let us consider three:

heroic fantasy;
contemporary detective fiction;
futuristic sf.

I am currently:

rereading Hrolf Kraki's Saga, a heroic fantasy by Anderson;
rereading A Fatal Inversion, detective fiction by Barbara Vine;
reading Zero, futuristic sf by JS Collyer.

Anderson's Trygve Yamamura series is conventional crime fiction in that the viewpoint character is the detective and he apprehends the murderer. A Fatal Inversion is unconventional in that the viewpoint characters are the perpetrators and they are not apprehended. In fact, it is not exactly detective fiction since the police remain off-stage except when they interview our anti-heroes.

Barbara Vine's descriptive passages and psychological insights are worthy of Anderson. With a busy schedule of reading and other activities, I have not read very far into Zero as yet. Hrolf Kraki's Saga has just commented on Beowulf. As somebody said, "The republic of letters is one..." And see here.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

That certainly seems odd, a "mystery" in which the viewpoint characters are the criminals, and apparently not discovered as the perpetrators of a crime and arrested. I'm not sure I could like a novel about bad people dodging punishment for their crimes. That seems too "noir" for me!