Sunday, 11 September 2016

Literary Riches Continue

What is one (indirect) literary link between Volume IV of Poul Anderson's Harvest of Stars Tetralogy and Volume II of SM Stirling's Nantucket Trilogy? (Very indirect.) The title of Anderson's Volume IV, The Fleet Of Stars, is a phrase from a poem by James Elroy Flecker. Early in Chapter Four of Stirling's Volume II, Marian Alston inwardly recites an entire poem which I did not recognize. However, googling soon revealed that it was by Flecker and I confirmed this from my Collected Poems of Flecker. I said that it was an indirect link. Volume I had already told us that Alston was a Flecker fan.

Anderson's Tetralogy and Stirling's Trilogy are a good contrast:

two major hard sf series;

Anderson describes Artificial Intelligence and slower than light interstellar travel in a remote future whereas Stirling describes time travel to a remote past and the initiation of a divergent timeline;

Anderson's Tetralogy is a work unto itself whereas Stirling's Trilogy is part of a longer Change series.

I recommend the Tetralogy having read it and the Change series on the assumption that it is as good as the works by Stirling that I have already read.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I can't think of many authors, in or out of SF/F, who quote poetry as S.M. Stirling does in his works. I'm sure that too was a direct inspiration from Poul Anderson who not only did that but was able to COMPOSE poetry. And JRR Tolkien frequently inserted verses of his own making in THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Alas, we seem to be living in an age which has lost interest in poetry. I've actually seen complaints by readers grumbling about the poetry Tolkien inserted in his works.