Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Anderson And Stirling

Science Fiction Weekly on SM Stirling's Dies The Fire
"The Willamette Valley of Oregon and the wilds of Idaho are depicted with loving care, each swale and tree rendered sharply. The smell of burning cities, the aftermath of carnage, the odor and sweat of horses - Stirling grounds his action in these realities with the skill of a Poul Anderson...."

Science Fiction Weekly on SM Stirling's A Meeting At Corvallis
"Stirling manages to fashion a narrative that acknowledges that humanity is a creature of both soul and body, heart and mind, lust and sacrifice, much in the manner of Poul Anderson."

Detailed, multi-sensory descriptions are indeed a feature of both Anderson's and Stirling's prose. Stirling shows the struggle for physical survival After the Event in the Nantucket Trilogy and After the Change in the Emberverse series. Both recognize that we also live by myths. See here and here. Where does Everard quote Stalin asking derisively how many divisions the Pope commands?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

At last, some critics thought of using Poul Anderson as a standard against which to compare Stirling's works!

I do have one minor and one major criticism to make of Stirling's stories. Sometimes he goes too far in giving us information. Such as descriptions of how to manage a farm so DETAILED they could be used to teach US how to farm. My major criticism is the implausibility Stirling showing us so MANY women soldiers. Both for the reason I (such as most women being simply NOT strong enough for the toughest military service and David's reason (no low tech society would PERMIT so many women desperately needed for reproductive purposes to risk their lives in war).

I think I recall Everard quoting Stalin's derisive comment about the Pope but I am not sure where: in THE SHIELD OF TIME, maybe? Stalin, of course, like so many other atheists, underrated and underestimated the spiritual and supernatural.