Sunday, 10 July 2016

Starting To Read The Demon Of Scattery

Poul Anderson & Mildred Downey Broxon, The Demon Of Scattery (Ace Books, New York, 1980).

Regular readers know that I appreciate visual media, not only films but also graphic fiction. Intermediate between prose fiction and sequential art story telling (comic strips) are illustrated texts.

After the framing device of Skafloc's and Mananaan's voyage to Jotunheim, the narrative of The Demon Of Scattery begins on p. 11. The opening sentence is:

"The vikings reached Scattery Island on the first of April."

(Does that mean that we should not believe this story?)

Above the text is a picture of the boats arriving. Page 12 describes a man standing on the foredeck of a boat with a woman kneeling below his feet. The picture on p. 13 shows us them. The illustrations are credited to Alicia Austin. The image on this post is:

A preliminary concept by Michael Whelan for The Demon of Scattery by Poul Anderson and Mildred Downey Braxton.
-copied from here.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

An interesting thing to note is that THE DEMON OF SCATTERY is one of the few books and stories co-authored by Poul Anderson with another writer. Gordon R. Dickson, who co-authored the Hoka stories with PA being another.

Another point I thought of was how THE DEMON OF SCATTERY is one of the few extensively illustrated books by Poul Anderson. A STONE IN HEAVEN being another. I should include as well EARTHMAN'S BURDEN and HOKA! by PA and Gordon Dickson. My copy of CONAN THE REBEL has a few interior illustrations.

I greatly appreciated the illustrations for A STONE IN HEAVEN. The artist had obviously read the book and took pains to draw illustrations which made sense and matched what the text said. He made convincing and satisfactory pictures of Dominic Flandry, Chives, and the natives of Ramnu. My only criticism being that I think too many pictures were included in the book. Cutting some of the more "empty" images would have been good.