Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Flandry And Bond Again

Sometimes other reading generates interesting comparisons with Poul Anderson and sometimes it is just interesting. Having finished rereading Stieg Larsson's second novel, I should return to rereading Ian Fleming's first novel. For previous Bond-Flandry comparisons, see here.

Bond is introduced as both a gambler and an assassin whereas Flandry is neither. The back cover blurb of Baen Books' Young Flandry proclaims:

ENTER DOMINIC FLANDRY -
THE JAMES BOND OF SCIENCE FICTION

- whereas, as the book's compiler and also two blog correspondents have pointed out, the publishing histories show that Flandry preceded Bond by two years.

Flandry is a tragic figure who knows that the Empire he serves is dying whereas Bond lives in a period when, in the words of the Japanese Intelligence chief, Britain has not only lost a great Empire but thrown it away. The Jap refers disparaingly to:

"'...the pitiful ruins of a once great Power.'"
-Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice (London, 1966), Chapter 8, p. 77.

This reminds us of:

"...the wreckage at the edge of the receding tide of empire." (See here.)

The difference is that the Terran Empire is still only receding.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And the thing to remember about Dominic Flandry and that bit you quoted from A CIRCUS OF HELLS is how, for a not inconsiderable time, he ARRESTED that "receding tide of empire." Both on the Irumclaw frontier of the Empire and elsewhere.

    Sean

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