Thursday, 20 August 2015


When a character in a work of action-adventure fiction seems to have been killed but then turns out to have survived, I suggest that this is the perennial death and resurrection myth re-expressing itself through popular fiction. See here. I don't think that Poul Anderson does this? - although he certainly approaches it because we are led to believe that Hanno will die at sea and that Dominic Flandry will die in space but then both are rescued.

SM Stirling's Draka are always waging or preparing for war so they must have a high mortality rate. It would make sense therefore if we were to be familiarized with a viewpoint character only to be shocked when she dies in combat. On p. 229 of Marching Through Georgia (New York, 1991), Johanna von Shrakenberg's fighter plane crashes and the last word of the chapter is "Blackness" - which could mean either death or unconsciousness.

So which is it? Have we accepted Johanna as a continuing character only to be shown that she is mortal or have we been made to think that she is dead so that we can later be surprised by her survival? (I have been curious enough to glance ahead but that is not really the point at this stage...)

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