Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Subsequent Readings And Subsequent Series
A future history series can become a familiar mini-universe. We need to remember that each such series covers hundreds or thousands of years involving major conflicts for generations of fictional characters. Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization begins with psychological problems in the Saturnian system in the twenty first century and ends, millennia later, with an intercultural problem in a globular cluster in another spiral arm. Human beings act and interact not only in their immemorial Terrestrial environment but also in the vast spaces that are hostile to organic life.
Science fiction makes us feel familiar with such exotic scenarios whereas reality always turns out to be different from what was imagined. Anderson abandoned his first future history because:
"That clutter of props and backdrops came nowhere near hinting at the variety, strangeness, and sheer wonder of the real universe..."
-SFWA Bulletin, Fall 1979, p. 8.
He worked with different models that progressively diverged from earlier sf ideas.