Saturday, 6 May 2017

Continuing Flandry

Because we recently discussed spying in Poul Anderson's works and, more specifically, compared Anderson's Dominic Flandry with Ian Fleming's James Bond, I have borrowed a copy of Trigger Mortis, an original James Bond novel by Anthony Horowitz based partly on unpublished material by Fleming. See here. Imagine Flandry like Bond proliferating multi-media.

However, with either Bond or Flandry, I would hope for something more or other than an endless sequence of formulaic installments repeating like a recurring decimal. It would be more interesting to reflect on the existing series, to complete the story of the central character's earlier life, to develop the supporting characters and to continue the narrative after its original hero's retirement or death. Anderson did write one novel about Flandry's daughter but then moved on to writing other kinds of speculative fiction. One idea of Heaven would be an endless continuation of every Andersonian series experienced not as prose texts but as virtual realities.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

We do see Flandry, in THE GAME OF EMPIRE, as he approached old age. But not his later years, after the events in that book. But I don't think we ever see Bond as older than about age forty. Poul Anderson gave us a more plausible "overview" of Flandry, from his youth in ENSIGN FLANDRY, to the beginning of old age in THE GAME OF EMPIRE.

And, I agree, I would prefer my favorite books, even if focusing on action and adventure, to have more in them than even skillfully written "formulaic installments." It's precisely because of such touches of history, philosophy, religion, social developments, etc., that I would reread such stories.