Saturday, 8 December 2012

Rogue Sword

My study of Poul Anderson's works of fiction set in the past will have to end with the historical novel Rogue Sword until I can acquire copies of The Sign Of The Raven and Mother Of Kings.

How many Anderson heroes do we first meet as they evade pursuit by diving into water? At least two. I think there may be one more?

The Winter Of The World, Chapter II, set during a future Ice Age, begins as Josserek Derrain bursts from his prison cabin, fights his way across the deck, dives overboard, remains underwater as long as possible and emerges under the dock of a harbor in a fictitious future city.

Rogue Sword, Prologue, set in the late thirteenth century, begins as Lucas springs through a window into a canal, remains underwater as long as possible and emerges under a house in Venice.

Of course, we must next be told who they are and what they are about but the narrative emphasis is clearly on action.

The Dominic Flandry story, "A Plague of Masters," could have commenced thus. Flandry does spring through a broken window and roll down a slanting roof into a canal on a colonized planet in the future but this time Anderson first describes the build up to Flandry's escape. And, of course, this is not the first Flandry story but a sequel to "A Message In Secret" which also was not the first.

Three different well realized imaginative settings: past Earth; future Earth; a future extra-solar colony. Anderson enjoyed action-adventure fiction and wrote it well but fortunately wrote a lot more than that.

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