Sunday, 11 August 2013


(A publisher has got the title wrong on the cover.)

This is a quick post over Sunday morning coffee. I said before that I did not yet know how the several strands of Poul Anderson's For Love And Glory (New York, 2003) would be tied together. It is ingenious. The controversial hasty industrialization of the planet Freydis is being used to fund an expedition to locate a suspected Forerunner base for observing the black

(interrupted by shopping and domestic chores)

hole collision. Thus, as late as Chapter XL, of LIV, these three parallel or alternating narratives seamlessly converge.

I understand that the Forerunners were in the Asimov-created, multi-authored "Isaac's Universe" series and know that Anderson incorporated his two contributions to that series in changed form into FLAG. I expect that Anderson will do something different with his version of the Forerunners but I have still to finish reading FLAG and am unlikely to read any of "Isaac's Universe," except maybe the two Anderson stories, so this question becomes moot, unless any blog reader would like to comment on it?

In FLAG, Anderson uses a literary device that I have not noticed in his works before. Some chapters end with a single sentence in which the omniscient narrator anticipates what will happen next:

"What waited for her when she came home scattered all of it into the far corners of her mind." (p. 48)

"She didn't know that they would begin with a new rescue mission." (p. 167)

"He smelled something on the wind, whatever it was." (p. 170)

"And then the next five years were amply eventful. And then Lissa returned." (p. 177)

"It happened sooner after she left Forholt than she had expected, and was less joyous." (p. 230)

These anticipatory statements encourage us to continue reading although we forget them as soon as we turn the page, then re-encounter them on rereading, so I though that it was worthwhile to draw attention to this almost subliminal technique. 

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I think I recall reading of at least one similar "anticipatory" sentence being used in THE KING OF YS, near the end of the volume called DAHUT. Something about what awaited Dahut was not oblivion but "transformation."

This is vague, I know. I'm going by memory alone.

You have not mentioned it, but your comments about the Forerunners we see discussion in FOR LOVE AND GLORY reminded me of the "Elders" people talked about in THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN and THE GAME OF EMPIRE. So called "Elders" who were likely the Chereionites, the race of which Aycharaych was the last survivor.