Thursday, 21 March 2013
Anderson And Blish
more than one future history series;
a major future history series based on a cyclical theory of history;
Anderson, of course, shows us the rise and fall of the Polesotechnic League, the rise and fall of the Terran Empire and the rise of the Commonalty. This is all in many works that are collected in seven omnibus volumes.
Blish shows us the Fall of the West in one volume, the rise and fall of Okie society in two volumes and the end of two universes in one volume. This is all collected in a single omnibus volume. Blish's other trilogies and tetralogies plus related matter, including his other future historical works, would fit, I suggest, into another six omnibuses or collections.
Thus, merely in terms of word count, Anderson's longest future history is comparable to the totality of Blish's future histories and similar works. The main difference between these two writers is in quantity of output. Blish wrote one historical novel as against Anderson's five - or more, depending on how we classify those that include an element of historical fantasy without being primarily fantasies.
As previously indicated, I have become absorbed in rereading and blogging about Blish's Cities In Flight, in other words what I have been doing with Anderson for the past year though now with a different but similar author. There really is a lot more in this Blish Tetralogy than I would have thought from previous readings. If you have read all of Anderson and want to read something comparable, knowing that it is similar in quality although less in quantity, then please read some of the works of James Blish.