Friday, 15 July 2016

American F&SF

When I need a break from reading prose, I embrace the visual world either by walking beside the river in Lancaster or by turning to a visual medium like The Sandman graphic novels or the Smallville TV series.

Poul Anderson's novels, The Sandman and Smallville are three dynamic high points of American imaginative fiction. Each has had to resort to the concept of a multiverse in order to incorporate its branching narratives into a single fictional framework. We remember that the original Kal-L arrived on Earth 2 before World War I and that Anderson's characters from different genres can meet in the Old Phoenix. Some of us might wish that Poul Anderson had written a Superman novel as Isabel Allende wrote a Zorro novel.

In such fiction, Earth is in continual danger of being blown up. Krypton exploded in Action Comics, no 1, and Earth was sterilized in After Doomsday. And the same threat exists in reality - as long as thermonuclear weapons exist, they might be used. Sf is not escapism but realistic fiction.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    We are menaced not only by thermonuclear weapons but also by dinosaur killer comets hitting Earth and wiping out the human race. We KNOW comets have struck the Earth, and it's high time and past it that we finally got OFF this rock in a real way! High time colonies and bases were founded on the Moon, Mars, the asteroid belt, building of O'Neill habitats, terraforming of Venus, etc.!


    1. Sean,
      Also measures to detect and deflect or destroy approaching comets.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Absolute agremeent! I think such measures would be one of the many natural consequences of a REAL space program, of doing the things I listed in my first note. How angrily frustrated I feel!

      We need people like Anson Guthrie, among others!