Monday, 22 August 2016

Demonic Limitations

Poul Anderson, Operation Luna (New York, 2000).

Evil forces try to sabotage the US space program. Ginny comments:

"'...demons too have their limitations - in some ways narrower than the limits on humans. Nobody can think of everything.'" (p. 165)

These references to space travel and to demonic limitations reminded me of a very different work, CS Lewis' That Hideous Strength. In what James Blish called Lewis' Anglican-cum-Babylonian theology (see here), each solar planet has a presiding spirit, an Oyarsa, with many lesser spirits, the eldila. Because the Terrestrial Oyarsa is in rebellion against the cosmic being, Maleldil, Earth is blockaded. Solar eldila cannot enter its atmosphere until the final battle. Terrestrial eldila, acting through human agents, plan to impose a scientific dictatorship on Earth. However, they have overreached themselves. Their human agent Weston traveled to Mars taking with him the kidnapped Elwin Ransom who thus learned the Solar language and established a link with Martian and Venerian eldila. Through this link, Solar eldila are able to intervene on Earth and to thwart the plans of the local eldila.

A very different work although with some conceptual parallels.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And Lewis seems to have modeled Elwin Ransom on JRR Tolkien. An idea Tolkien agreed was party justified.