Friday, 6 January 2017

Anderson, Blish And Moore

Demons In Horror And Humor is relevant to Poul Anderson Appreciation and to James Blish Appreciation but was posted on Personal and Literary Reflections as part of the current reading of Alan Moore's Jerusalem.

How often does Poul Anderson's fantasy feature demons in the Biblical sense? Not often. Pagan gods predominate. How often does Anderson treat demons seriously? Perhaps even less often? The "Devil" in The Devil's Game is most parsimoniously accounted for as a delusion afflicting just one human character.

Of course, Anderson wrote many uncollected short stories. Fresh information about any such works is always welcome.

7 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Satan appears in THE BROKEN SWORD, and there are devils in OPERATION CHAOS and its sequel. Ashmodai and his secretary appear in the story "Pact," with other Devils being mentioned. It is, as you say, not clear just what Samael in THE DEVIL'S GAME actually is.

    Best Regards,
    Nicholas D. Rosen

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    1. Nicholas,
      Thank you. We should not overlook OPERATION CHAOS. Is Satan in THE BROKEN SWORD Odin in disguise?
      Paul.

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    2. Dear Paul,

      In THE BROKEN SWORD, the witch attempts to make a pact with Satan, but seeing her visitor depart, thinks he may have been Odin. Later, when an elf sent by Imric is on a mission to kill her, she appeals to Satan for help, but he tells her that she never made a pact with him, but with another, presumably Odin. He speaks the memorable words, "Mortals never sell me their souls. They throw them away."

      Best Regards,
      Nicholas D. Rosen

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    3. Nicholas,
      In BLACK EASTER by James Blish, a powerful demon says, "WE WILL DO WITHOUT THE ANTICHRIST. HE WAS NEVER NECESSARY. MEN HAVE ALWAYS LED THEMSELVES UNTO ME."
      Mike Carey's Lucifer says that human beings belong to themselves but do not like to face up to it.
      Paul.

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    4. Kaor, Nicholas and Paul!

      S.M. Stirling used a VERY similar line about the souls of men in one of the DIES THE FIRE/Emberverse series. I don't want to give away too much so I will merely say it involves the so called Church Universal and Triumphant (or the CUT, for short).

      Sean

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  2. Paul and ndrosen:
    There's also a demon Samiel — rather than Samael — briefly called up in *Three Hearts and Three Lions* when Holger meets a witch and asks for advice. On the demon's counsel, she sends him to Faerie ... but she also asks Hugi to guide him, and Hugi certainly becomes a good friend to Holger — so just which side is the witch playing? Or Samiel?

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    1. Kaor, DAVID!

      Dang! I wish I had thought of that! After all, I had reread THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS not that long ago. Drat!

      Sean

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