Sunday, 17 July 2016

Multiple Pathways

Several works by Poul Anderson, I have:

years ago, read for the first time;
more recently, reread and blogged about;
even more recently, re-reread and re-blogged about.

The King Of Ys by Poul and Karen Anderson, I have posted about at length on three different occasions. Although I am convinced that there is always more to be gleaned from such works, nevertheless an interval of time must be allowed to elapse before the next rereading. Meanwhile, blog readers may share their interpretations.

The schedule is unpredictable. Recently, reading about the Senate on Jerry Pournelle's fictional planet of Sparta led to rereading about the World Federation Parliament in Poul Anderson's The Star Fox, then the Council of Suffetes in Ys. See Recent Blogging. This in turn led to rereading The King Of Ys in its entirety, then several other works by Anderson set in the past. I am still currently rereading The Merman's Children.

Sf writers collaborate and borrow each others' ideas to develop them in different directions to a greater extent than in other genres. In particular:

Anderson's several alternative histories coexist in a multiverse;
SM Stirling's alternative histories can likewise be regarded as coexisting in a multiverse;
it is a very short step to fit all fictional universes into a single multiverse - Anderson does this well and Heinlein badly.

Reading for the first time SM Stirling's Island In The Sea Of Time, expected to arrive by post tomorrow, falls within the purview of this blog. The longer term aim, within this particular blog, will always be to return to the works of Poul Anderson but not to any predictable schedule. We explore multiple pathways between people, periods and planets.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree with your argument here, and how reading the works of other authors who were worthy colleagues or successors of Poul Anderson can result in finding connections, allusions, analogies, etc., tying their books together. S.M. Stirling, for example, explicitly said in THIS blog that he has taken many ideas and tropes from Anderson's books.

So, I'm going to be very interested in what you think or say about Stirling's ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME, and any possible connections to be found in the work of Anderson. I can already think of two: careful research and use of multiple senses in describing backgrounds.