Saturday, 27 August 2016
Mimir And More
We will consider literary links between:
the Biblical Genesis;
The Shape Of Things To Come by HG Wells;
Last And First Men by Olaf Stapledon;
the Ransom Trilogy by CS Lewis;
Operation Luna by Poul Anderson;
Genesis by Poul Anderson.
Mimir, the original talking head, appeared in the Eddas. Anderson's adaptation of him in Operation Luna recalled the Head in Ransom Volume III and the Great Brains in Last And First Men. (The Brains are the Fourth Men.)
The Bible recounts what God did whereas future histories recount what mankind will do. Whereas the Psychotechnic and Technic Histories are Anderson's Heinleinian future histories, Genesis is his Stapledonian future history, a single volume covering billions of years. Terrestrial evolution culminates either in the Last Men on Neptune or in inorganic intelligences in interstellar and intergalactic space.
The Ransom Trilogy is:
a sequel to the Bible because it replays the Temptation of Eve and the Curse of Babel;
a reply to anthropocentric future histories because Lewis argues that man cannot remake himself with science but can destroy himself with it.
Which kind of future are we building now?