Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Portenious Beginnings

Poul Anderson's Three Hearts And Three Lions (London, 1977) begins with a Note narrated in the first person by a fictional character. He will relate Holger's tale although he does not claim that it is true. It is more likely:

"...a dream, or a very tall story." (p. 7)

But, if it is true, then it has practical future implications.

Anderson's There Will Be Time (New York, 1973) begins with a Foreword narrated in the first person by Poul Anderson although it is fiction. He is:

"...not about to pretend this story is true." (p. 5)

But, if Anderson and his readers were to research the matter, then:

"...our discoveries could conceivably endanger us." (ibid.)

Anderson's Operation Chaos (New York, 1995) begins with a passage without heading or title, narrated in the first person by Steven Matuchek who narrates the entire novel. Matuchek is not writing a text but attempting to broadcast telepathically to other timelines. His recipients, if he has any, might think that his message is "...nothing but a dream." (p. 2) Nevertheless, it contains a "...warning." (p. 2)

In all three cases, Anderson conveys the impression that his fiction might be both true and urgent.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And I still remember how uneasy that Foreword to THERE WILL BE TIME made me! DID Poul Anderson have an older cousin named Robert Anderson who bequeathed him that box of newspaper clippings and papers?