Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Revolutionizing The Past

SM Stirling, Against The Tide Of Years (New York, 1999), Chapter Five.

William Walker revolutionizes the Greece of Agamemnon and Odysseus. Meanwhile:

"'If Exodus records any real events, the Pharaoh that Moses dealt with could be either Ramses II, who's ruling Egypt now, or somebody a century either way.'" (p. 96)

The Republic of Nantucket might be contemporary with Moses! - or might miss him by a century. I have to read on to learn what happens. A writer of historical fiction or of historical science fiction has a choice. He can:

say that Exodus records no real events;
re-present the Biblical Moses while playing down the miraculous element unless writing fantasy;
adopt some intermediate position.

Poul Anderson reworks the story of Theseus in The Dancer From Atlantis and Norse mythology in "The Sorrow Of Odin The Goth."

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm inclined to think it was Ramses II who was the Pharaoh of the oppression and his son Merneptah who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The latter left the famous stele in which Merneptah made the earilest non Biblical mention of a people called "Israel."