Friday, 28 September 2012

An Ancient Triad

Still rereading Hrolf Kraki's Saga and looking a short way forward (or rather backwards) -

If I remember it correctly, the final battle is like a mini-Ragnarok. The Danes know that they can lose, especially when supernatural evil is deployed against them, but this is where they should be. Their highest loyalty is to King Hrolf and they should be with him when it counts, whatever the outcome. "For how can man die better..." etc.

After that, the question is what to reread next. Imaginatively, I am still in Poul Anderson's pasts, not back in his futures. Before Hrolf Kraki's Dark Ages was the Fall of the Roman Empire, a period that included the flooding of the city of Ys. Set earlier than Poul and Karen Anderson's King of Ys tetralogy are three novels by Poul Anderson:

Conan The Rebel, a heroic fantasy set in a prehistoric civilisation;
The Dancer From Atlantis, a science fiction (sf) novel about time travelers in Atlantis;
The Golden Slave, a historical novel set during the Roman Republic.

These works are unconnected, in no way a trilogy, but they do happen to be three novels set in ancient times and they also represent Anderson's three genres of fantasy, sf and historical fiction.

Whenever a new Doctor Who season starts, I tell people to read the real stuff: The Time Machine; The Time Patrol; The Time Traveler's Wife. The Dancer From Atlantis is also pertinent:

a man from the future, Sahir, in a malfunctioning space-time vehicle, the anakro;
a language teaching device;
time traveling companions accidentally collected from earlier periods, wanting to return home;
Doctor Who also had a story set in Atlantis.
(Also, see here.)

I expect to reread some of these works before returning to any of Anderson's futures.

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