Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Four Themes And Four Authors

In recent posts, we have compared HG Wells, CS Lewis, SM Stirling and Poul Anderson on the themes of space travel, time travel, social organization and theology. That is quite a lot. All four authors cover all four themes to different extents:

Lewis addresses time travel in "The Dark Tower";
Stirling addresses space travel in his Lords of Creation series;
Wells wrote theology in God, The Invisible King (non-fiction);
Anderson, of course, addresses everything!

Lewis was an unlikely guy to get himself onto a list with Wells etc but he did this by writing a single trilogy against the philosophies of Wells and Stapledon. Whereas American hard sf writers are Wellsian as well as Heinleinian, Lewis, a British academic, was anti-Wellsian but wrote well enough to put himself on the map.

James Blish explicitly responded to Lewis in two volumes of After Such Knowledge. Poul Anderson addressed "The Problem of Pain" and the question of a second Incarnation without referring to Lewis. This leads to a discussion of two intersecting literary traditions and another post.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I'm writing in haste for I will have to go to work soon. But, I think, if what I remember of my own article "God and Alien in Anderson's Technic Civilization" is true, then some of what Fr. Axor said in Chapter 1 of THE GAME OF EMPIRE could have been taken by Anderson from C.S. Lewis' article "Religion and Rocketry." If true, then Poul Anderson might well have read some of Lewis' own works.