Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Future Historians And Hell

CS Lewis' Ransom Trilogy is Lewis' reply to the British future historians, Wells and Stapledon, whereas his The Great Divorce is an imaginative account of Hell. The Trilogy and the ...Divorce are connected because Lewis as first person narrator knows Ransom and dreams the ...Divorce which refers, indirectly, to the Trilogy.

In Lewis' "The Dark Tower," Ransom, Lewis and others view the mysterious "Dark Tower" through a chronoscope. When they discuss whether the tower is in the past or the future, Ransom suggests that it might be in the future for any of them because he thinks that it is in hell. Thus, Lewis links the ideas of future history and of the hereafter as a "'...future life...'"
-CS Lewis, The Cosmic Trilogy (London, 1990), p. 166.

Here is a linear sequence of American future historians:

Robert Heinlein
James Blish
Poul Anderson
Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle

- and here is a list of American sf writers who have presented imaginative accounts of Hell:

Niven and Pournelle

I discuss Anderson's Hell here. I am informed that The Great Divorce influenced Niven and Pournelle so I will read their Escape From Hell with interest, having previously read their Inferno.

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