Friday, 12 May 2017

Heinlein, Blish And Anderson Acknowledge Wells

James Blish's They Shall Have Stars acknowledges HG Wells' When The Sleeper Wakes because longevity and suspended animation raise the same question about compound interest.

Robert Heinlein's The Door Into Summer acknowledges When The Sleeper Wakes because both address the consequences of suspended animation although the former is mainly about time travel.

Poul Anderson's There Will Be Time acknowledges without naming both Wells and The Time Machine because it is also about time travel.

Wells is foundational. Heinlein, Blish and Anderson are worthy successors. They Shall Have Stars shows scientific method at work. The Door Into Summer and There Will Be Time follow The Time Machine by elaborating paradoxes that Wells merely hinted at. But The Time Machine had laid the groundwork by describing the Time Machine, the experience of time travelling and the ultimate futures of mankind and of life on Earth.

If you have read Wells, read the others. If you have read the others, read Wells. If you have read them all, they are worth rereading.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree on the desirability of serious SF fans reading the works of the authors you listed. I would warn SF fans that Wells' style of writing needs some getting used to. In his earlier works, at least, Wells wrote in a very 19th century, pre-Heminwayesque manner. That is, in a leisurely, discursive, verbose (by current standards) way.

Also, unlike either THE TIME MACHINE or THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, some of Wells works are painfully dated. The example I have in mind being THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU.