Sunday, 16 April 2017

Completion II

This blog is a work in progress not only because new posts are regularly added but also because old posts can be revised as happened here. I wanted to show how a succession of writers not only follow their predecessors but also make significant new contributions to earlier themes. Mary Shelley and Isaac Asimov have been added to the list.

The themes that emerge are:

artificial life and intelligence
secularism versus supernaturalism

The vastness of Poul Anderson's contributions is obvious.

Significant indeed and some themes have to be left out to make the summary manageable. From Shelley to Stirling, 1818 to 2017 - and who is next?


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And as a Catholic I support supernaturalism over secularism. That is, I acknowledge there is more to this universe than blind, random, chaotic chance. For non fictional criticism of the deleterious effects of secularism I recommend either George Weigel's THE CUBE AND THE CATHEDRAL or Pope Benedict XVI's CHRISTIANITY AND THE CRISIS OF CULTURES.

    And we get glimpses of Joseph Ratzinger in Stirling's Emberverse series!

    It's fair to include Mary Shelley and Asimov into lists of SIGNIFICANT SFnal writers. And I certainly hope there will be worthy successors of Stirling. I suggested some of John Wright's own books, such as his GOLDEN AGE trilogy.


    1. Sean,
      And I have yet to read Wright. Since you recommended Stirling, I have reason so far to trust your judgment. What we do not know is always more than we know.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Many thanks! I am naturally glad my recommendation of Stirling's works came to give you so much pleasure and thought from reading them. I recommended Wright's GOLDEN AGE trilogy in part because they were influenced by Anderson's HARVEST OF STARS books. Also, they were written before Mr. W Wright's conversion to Christianity and reception into the Catholic Church.

      One thing I thought a bit unusual about the GA books was how Mr. Wright's training as a lawyer also influenced the books. Not that many SF writers are lawyers!


    3. SEan,
      Influenced by HARVEST OF STARS? I might well try GA Vol I soon. But I have the rest of my retirement to think about such things.

    4. Kaor, Paul!

      Mr. Wright himself said he wrote the GOLDEN AGE books partly as a homage to Poul Anderson. And I hope you enjoy that first GA book.