Thursday, 7 December 2017
The Transcendent And The Mundane In Life And Fiction
The distinction is artificial. The first moment of consciousness (imagine!) transcended previously universal unconsciousness. When everything was new, then nothing was mundane. The familiar seems mundane only because it has become familiar. Poul Anderson's Patrician System with its multi-species colonized planets, Imhotep and Daedalus, "the world without a horizon," is exotic to us although mundane to its inhabitants. See Mundane And Exotic and On The Highroad River I. Science fiction can respond to CS Lewis' longing for the Unearthly.
Poul Anderson goes further by writing not only hard sf but also heroic fantasy and even imagining a meeting place for characters from both kinds of universes. As Alan Moore wrote about a comic book continuum:
"Imagine for a moment a universe jewelled with alien races ranging from the transcendentally divine to the loathsomely Lovecraftian. Imagine a universe where the ancient gods still exist somewhere and where whole dimensions are populated by anthropomorphic funny animals. Where Heaven and Hell are demonstrably real and even accessible, and where angels and demons alike seem to walk the earth with impunity."
-Alan Moore, Introduction IN Moore, Saga Of The Swamp Thing (New York, 1987), pp. v-xi AT p. vii.
So, fellow Earthlings, transcend the mundane by reading Poul Anderson and Alan Moore and meditating.