Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wells And Tolkien

The fact that Poul Anderson can be compared both with HG Wells and with JRR Tolkien shows Anderson's range.

Contrast the futuristic sf of Wells' The Shape Of Things To Come and of his successor's, Olaf Stapledon's, Last And First Men with the past-based fantasy of Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings. An intermediate work is CS Lewis' Ransom Trilogy, contemporary sf written by a colleague of Tolkien as a reply to Wells and Stapledon.


Past Fantasies
The Lord Of The Rings and the Middle Earth History by Tolkien;
five interconnected novels by Anderson ranging from heroic fantasy to historical fiction with elements of fantasy;
The King Of Ys Tetralogy by Poul and Karen Anderson.

Future Histories
The Shape Of Things To Come by Wells;
Last And First Men by Stapledon;
The History of Technic Civilization by Anderson;
the Harvest of Stars Tetralogy by Anderson;
Genesis by Anderson.

Time Travel
The Time Machine by Wells;
the Time Patrol series by Anderson;
other novels and short stories by Anderson.

Anderson alone is on all three lists. Tolkien's series is more substantial than any of the others because he devoted almost his entire creative life to this single body of work.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

As I've said elsewhere, Tolkien did like to read SF as well as fantasy. But, as his attempt at writing SF in THE NOTION CLUB PAPERS showed, his true fortes as a writer lay in fantasy and scholarly non-fiction. And that's nothing to ashamed of! Not all writers are good at everything they try.