Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Across The Universes

A novel by Poul Anderson is like a mountain-top launching pad that not only presents a panoramic view but also propels the reader across space, time or myth. The title of this post is borrowed from an Alan Moore collection: Across The Universe.

Anderson's narratives traverse multiple dimensions that sometimes converge:

a ship sails from Midgard to Jotunheim just as spaceships fly from Earth to everywhere else;

"Odin" is a god in heroic fantasy, a man in historical fiction and a time traveler in science fiction;

both Tir-nan-Og and Tau Zero involve time dilation;

the Roman Empire falls in historical fiction and the Terran Empire falls in a future history;

Merseians are like civilized trolls;

far future Artificial Intelligences are indistinguishable from gods to newly created human beings.

In case the Merseian-troll comparison is regarded as fanciful or inappropriate:

"...after his human guests had left, Ruethen and his staff had rolled out huge barrels of bitter ale and caroused like trolls for many hours..."
-Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), p. 193.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Ha! The bit you quoted from WE CLAIM THESE STARS about Merseians carousing like trolls DEFLATED the protest I was about to make! (Smiles) Because they thought the Roidhunate had, at long endlessly last, managed to finally trap the Empire. Fortunately, they were wrong and all that Ruethen and his hencebeings got were hangovers!