Monday, 4 December 2017

Details And The Plot

Sometimes, when posting about a novel, I focus on textual details, not on the overarching plot, which can be expected to take care of itself. Plotwise, in SM Stirling's Prince Of Outcasts, the Quest for the Japanese Imperial Sword has been completed but Prince John has become separated from his companions and must now embark on independent adventures.

John's mother, the High Queen of Montival, knows that the age of myths has returned. A pivotal event is not documented as history but orally recounted as myth, immediately immortalized by tribal troubadours. Furthermore, the magic swords really do bestow paranormal powers while visions are encounters with real supernatural beings. In this context, maybe the Queen partially understands that her son is playing his part in a Story where independent adventures are the kinds of events that must happen to him at this early stage of his knightly career? All is not Chance because Powers are involved.

Six details discussed so far:

commentaries on war by Prince John - and by a Poul Anderson time criminal;
divine names in the Emberverse - and in the Time Patrol series;
alliteration in three fictional narratives;
motives for war in the Emberverse - and in the Technic History;
potlach tribes in the Emberverse - and in the Time Patrol universe;
a prayer in the Emberverse - and in Heinlein's Future History (see the "potlach" link).

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree that the Change and the catastrophic fall of civilization all over the world brought back an age of myths and legends. Something which some of the shrewder characters in the Emberverse books, like Queen Mathilda, understood. But, while poets and story tellers would be composing legends, I hope the desire for a sober and realistic narrating of HISTORY would survive. I could cite real world examples like St. Gregory of Tours HISTORY OF THE FRANKS (which he called TEN BOOKS OF HISTORY) and St. Bede's HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH AND PEOPLE. Some men still managed to write real history even as legendary poems like BEOWULF were taking form. Hmmm, I would like to think some of the scholars at Mount Angel or the University at Corvallis would strive to write sober, realistic histories.