Monday, 17 September 2012
Tolkien, Asimov Etc
Despite all this, Tolkien and Moorcock remain better known names in fantasy than Anderson, just as Heinlein and Asimov are better known in sf. Heinlein's Future History is a major work. Anderson's History of Technic Civilisation is a major, larger scale successor, superior in every way to Asimov's Foundation Series. Like many sf writers, Anderson is a successor of Wells and Heinlein. Like Tolkien, he is a successor of the Edda and saga writers.
Some people reread The Lord Of The Rings repeatedly. I have read it twice, once way back and a second time after seeing the first film. I notice that Tolkien offers no explanation for the origin of the various races. They awoke. That is it. At one stage, the characters fight what sounds like a winged dinosaur, described as left over from an earlier age, as if to make a single concession to Darwin. A former acquaintance who was a critical reader told me that he stopped reading The Fellowship Of The Ring after about 100 pages because it seemed to be a uni-dimensional narrative without any deeper layers of meaning.
I find Anderson endlessly re-readable, also that the more often his texts are read, the more there is to be found in them.