Sunday, 14 May 2017

Supernatural And Science Fictional

Goth Night inspiration: Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Can the supernatural and the science fictional meet?
The apparently supernatural can be scientifically rationalized: The Interloper.
The genuinely supernatural can be written in sf style: Hard Fantasy.
Can Martians meet ghosts?
Yes, in works by Heinlein, Bradbury and Lewis.
On Mars, Ransom met beings that were extraterrestrial and supernatural.
Brian Aldiss' extrasolar Helliconians are observed by orbiting Earthmen and in touch with their own hereafter.
Poul Anderson's heroic fantasies are set in the Eddaic cosmology of the Tree whereas his hard sf is set in the scientific cosmology of clusters of galaxies.
Characters from both kinds of cosmologies can meet in the Old Phoenix between universes but never intrude in each others' universes.
Superheroes are a composite genre: a hero's power source can be cosmic or magical.
Hell and the Kryptonian coexist. (Whether this is coherent is another matter.)

3 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I would have revised your comment about Anderson's heroic fantasy and hard SF being set by him in a universe where a true science arose in our timeline due to Catholic Christianity's respect for reason and belief in a God Who respected His own natural laws. Because that is what Anderson himself said in "Delenda Est" and his non fictional IS THERE LIFE ON OTHER WORLDS?

    Sean

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  2. Paul:
    I have the nagging feeling I've already posted something about this elsewhere on your blog, but...
    Walter Jon Williams wrote a short story, "Ligdan and the Young Pretender," in which the narrator, Mongolian soldier Ligdan, meets a charming girl on a Scottish-settled planet. They get along so well that she invites him to visit the family castle. I can't recall now if her family imported the castle stone-by-stone from Scotland, or simply duplicated its design on their new world. But they DID import the family's GHOSTS.

    Unfortunately, the ghosts recently got their ectoplasmic fingers on the family's credit cards or whatever, and just in time for Ligdan's visit they've at great expense imported ANOTHER ghost, NOT part of the family, but the object of much Scots reverence. Yes, the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie."

    Charles and Ligdan are fairly unimpressed by one another, although the Mongolian isn't discourteous. Being a royal, Chuck of course feels no particular need to be polite to anyone....

    This story was collected in *There Will Be War Volume VI*, edited by Jerry Pournelle.

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    Replies
    1. Kaor, DAVID!

      I have some of Pournelle's THERE WILL BE WAR volumes. I will check to see if I have the sixth volume and the Williams story.

      And, btw, it's only fair to point out many royals took great care to be courteous to everyone they met. I esp. recall Will and Ariel Durant's summing up of Louis XIV of France included stress on the patient and determined courtesy with which that king treated everyone.

      Sean

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