Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Goblins And Other Trash

Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (London, 1977), Chapter XIV.

"...the clamorous glaives..." (p. 100)

Knowing that a human being moves too slowly to join in the dangerous sword dance, Leea nevertheless mocks Freda, then suffers a wound while she is distracted by listening to Skafloc's reply: hubris and karma.

Sloth and wishful thinking prevented the elves/Terrans from preparing for the next troll/Merseian onslaught.

Skafloc says that the troll host includes "'...goblins and trash like that...'" (p. 102) but Imric replies that goblins "'...are good warriors when they have the weapons they need.'" (ibid.) These are races that can appear in any fantasy whereas a few other beings belong only to their creators -

Tolkien: hobbits, Orcs, Balrogs;
Lewis: marshwiggles.

Did Poul Anderson create any fantasy beings?

In sf, anyone can write Martians but should either invent a new version - Stapledon's and Lewis' are different from Wells' - or acknowledge if he is, e.g., writing a sequel to The War Of The Worlds. John Christopher acknowledged that he had unconsciously plagiarized Wells' Martian tripods.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Offhand, I can't think of any beings or creatures in Anderson's fantasies which were created by him. In his OPERATION books we do see interesting variations on well known fantasy creatures.

Tolkien? I would have included his angelic Valar and Maiar, and the Nazgul. And, of course, Tolkien coined new names for God: Eru and Iluvatar.


Paul Shackley said...

I knew I would miss some Tolkienisms!

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Despite his relatively small number of finished works, there is so much to be found in Tolkien's books! Which reminds me, of course, of Poul Anderson.