Saturday, 11 June 2016

Oland And Gods

"...[Hadding] sailed past Oland..."
-Poul Anderson, War Of The Gods (Tor Books, New York, 1999), p. 116.

I recognized the name Oland. It is mentioned twice in Anderson's War Of The Gods and also features in his "Star of the Sea." The image shows Sandvik on Oland.

In War Of The Gods, Hadding, who fights a battle near Oland, is an incarnation of the sea god, Njord. In "Star of the Sea," Veleda from Oland is a prophetess of the sea goddess, Niaerdh. Njord and Niaerdh are male and female versions of the same deity. And I do not think that I have noticed that connection between these two works before.

"Star of the Sea" is part of Anderson's Time Patrol series, thus historical sf, whereas War Of The Gods is one of his Viking era heroic fantasies. Gods are powerful beliefs in the former and powerful beings in the latter.

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