Sunday, 4 June 2017

Strange Places

We get into some very strange places when we not only read Poul Anderson's works but also compare them with those of other imaginative writers, e.g., fantasy science in ERB. Writers create a new kind of place at an sf/f interface.

In Anderson's "The Saturn Game," a group of characters in a hard sf setting like totally immerse themselves in a fantasy role playing game although we see only their physical environment and not also their imagined realm. In Anderson's "The Queen of Air and Darkness," telepathic aliens in a hard sf setting simulate a fantasy world and, in this case, we do see some of what the enchanted kidnapped human children perceive. They converse with fairies which are a "glamour" of reptiloids.

In SM Stirling's Emberverse, the loss of technology enables some gamers to reenact, e.g., medievalism and Tolkienism. But something else is happening. Is a hard sf setting becoming a fantasy setting where Powers can intervene in human affairs? Or maybe it is not becoming? There never was an explanation for the white light of the Change so maybe it was magical/mystical/mysterious/supernatural/divine/demonic from the beginning?

Only time and further reading will tell.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

A slight correction, the game players we see in "The Saturn GAme," as they became too dangerously immersed in their roles, do sometimes give us descriptions of their hard science, this worldly surroundings in fantasy terms.

I'm not sure if serious members of the Society for Creative Anachronism can fairly be called "gamers." People who make a serious study of Medieval arts, crafts, and trades are more than simple role players. And MUCH of what the SCA studied or revived would be invaluable, in practical terms, if high technology ever stopped WORKING, as it did with the Change.

As for Stirling's Emberverse, I don't want to say too much, as yet, about Who or what lay behind the disaster of the Change. But it was not anything friendly to mankind!