Thursday, 30 March 2017

Conceptual Sequels

We all know what a sequel is but is there another kind: a conceptual sequel?

A sequel, e.g., to The War Of The Worlds, assumes that the events of that novel occurred whereas a conceptual sequel is a work in which the characters have read the earlier novel and are able to discuss it and to base some of their actions upon it.


HG Wells' Star Begotten is a conceptual sequel to his The War Of The Worlds;

in SM Stirling's Change series, a group of characters take advantage of the post-technological conditions to base their life-style on Tolkien's fantasies, even referring to the post-Change era as the Fifth Age;

in Poul Anderson's There Will Be Time, one of the mutant time travellers sold the time travel idea to HG Wells;

also, Anderson's mutants, while time travelling, see their environment speeded up, as Wells' Time Traveller did.


David Birr said...

In one book, some characters realized they'd fallen into a giant trash compacter aboard an alien starship. One of them promptly shouted in horror, "I saw that movie!" (Though never identified by name or detailed description, the film was almost certainly the first *Star Wars*.)

"'This kind of action usually happens to girls and little dogs after Kansas twisters.' Thoughts of *The Outer Limits* bobbed in his brain."
— From *The Doomfarers of Coramonde*, Brian Daley: U.S. soldiers summoned out of the Vietnam War into a sword-and-sorcery world where they're asked to slay a dragon.

A site I visit uses the term "Genre Savvy" to refer to instances of fictional characters guessing correctly what will happen next because their situation resembles that in one (or more) books, movies, etc. that the characters have read/seen, which may be specifically named.

Disaster may result if the character thinks he's in an equivalent of *Close Encounters of the Third Kind* and it's actually more akin to *War of the Worlds* — an occurrence which the site logically calls "Wrong Genre Savvy."

Paul Shackley said...

In a recent Marvel film, Spiderman asked other superheroes if the remembered a really old film called THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. He then began to wrap his web round a giant opponent. One of his allies said, "I think the kid's onto something."
Neil Gaiman introduced two dead boy detectives whose only ideas of what should happen are derived from fiction, e.g., women are sometimes ok because Dr Watson married one.

Paul Shackley said...

I've done what Sean sometimes did! Replied to the wrong guy.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Ha, ha!!! But I've been trying harder not to slip up like that!

Hmmm, Astrid Larsson and her nearly insane passion for the works of JRR Tolkien? I remember how that could really exasperate her brother in law Lord Bear, altho he managed to be kind about it.

I remember how I was hoping that one of Anderson's Flandry stories would be mentioned by name in any of the first three Emberverse books.