Monday, 15 May 2017

Across The Genres And Timelines

The Golden Slave by Poul Anderson is historical fiction and its central character, Eodan, is the original of Odin.

"The Sorrow of Odin the Goth" by Poul Anderson is historical science fiction and its central character, Carl Farness, is mistaken for Odin.

Thus, The Golden Slave and "The Sorrow of Odin the Goth" could occur in earlier and later periods of a single timeline.

The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson is heroic fantasy and its characters include the god, Odin.

Thus, The Broken Sword could occur in a second timeline accesible from Anderson's inter-universal inn, the Old Phoenix.

World Without Stars by Poul Anderson is futuristic sf and its central character, Hugh Valland, refers to Thor who, we know, is a son of Odin.

However, the future of World Without Stars differs from the one described in the timeline of "The Sorrow..."

Therefore, World Without Stars is set in a third timeline.

three genres;
one composite genre;
at least three timelines.

However, this in no way exhausts either Anderson's genres or his timelines, although all might be incorporated into a single multiverse.

Addendum: And, of course, Tjorr, original of Thor, was Eodan's companion. It is very difficult to remember all the connections.

And the god, Thor, wields his hammer in the heroic fantasy, War Of The Gods.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And one bit I recall from THE GOLDEN SLAVE is how, near the end, when Eodan was asked how he had lost an eye, he replied wryly that he had sacrificed it to gain wisdom. Here we see a historical fiction speculating on how Wotan/Odin came to have only one eye (Odin gave it up to obtain wisdom).

And I thought "The House Of Sorrows" esp. poignant, showing us what might have happened if Judaism had been stamped out (and hence no Christianity). There would have been many reasons for sorrow, even tho the characters in that story would not be aware of all of them.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Oops! I made a mistake. Your blog piece made no mention of "The House Of Sorrow." You only had "The SORROW Of Odin The Goth" in mind.