Wednesday, 26 July 2017

"Flight to Forever"

Poul Anderson's "Flight to Forever" has a fine opening paragraph which I discuss here. The timeline of the story is summarized here: Part I; Part II.

Memorable passages include Saunder's farewell to the sun:

"So, good-by, Sol, he thought. Good-by, and thank you for many million years of warmth and light. Sleep well, old friend."
-Poul Anderson, "Flight to Forever" IN Anderson, Past Times (New York, 1984), pp. 207-288 AT Chapter Six, p. 284.

Taury's reminiscence (see here):

"'...I thought I deserved this last farewell to the days when we fought with our own hands, and fared between the stars, when we were a small band of sworn comrades whose dreams outstripped our strength.'" (p. 275)

Saunder's reflection on his experience of future history:

"Man's works were so horribly impermanent; he thought with a sadness of the cites and civilizations he had seen rise and spend their little hour and sink back into the night and chaos of time." (Chapter 3, p. 238)


David Birr said...

Though not directly relevant, your second and third quotes reminded me of this, from *The Rebel of Rhada* by Robert Cham Gilman (Alfred Coppel):
"Across the deepening night a meteor flashed with brief intensity. It seemed to Kier that it was like the life of a man against the night of history. And if it seemed brief and to no purpose, at least it burned brightly and gave a touch of light to the dark."

Anderson, in *The Broken Sword*, likewise compared human life to a meteor: "Better a life like a falling star, bright across the dark, than a deathlessness which can see naught above or beyond itself."

S.M. Stirling said...

Reading Poul's early stuff is interesting from a technical point of view -- you see his inherent strengths and how he refined them with technique.

Paul Shackley said...


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID and Mr. Stirling!

David: drat, I never seem to think of such cool and apt quotes from Anderson's works. Nice!

Mr. Stirling, I agree! And, in one my essays I divided his works into early, middle, and late phases. And we see the strength and power of his mature works amply prefigured in his early phase.