Friday, 9 August 2013

For Love And Glory II

A feature film is audiovisual whereas a novel is entirely verbal. A cinema audience sees what a novel-reader is invited to visualize. Thus, the two media are, simply as media, completely different. Their only common point is words, whether heard as part of a sound track or read in print. However, in a film, words are dialogue or, far less frequently, narration whereas, in a novel, they are also description.

On the other hand, a film and a novel can have similar or even identical content. In Star Trek, Star Wars and Dune, as in Poul Anderson's Technic Civilization History and For Love And Glory (New York, 2003):

civilization is interstellar;
large spaceships move through warp- or hyper-space;
they sometimes fight battles in space.

In my opinion, Anderson's novels present this fictitious scenario far more effectively than any of the films mentioned. The only visual aspect of For Love And Glory is its cover illustration which, of course, is not the work of the author. "Book design" is credited to Jane Adele Regina (p. 4) but I am not sure whether this means that she drew the illustration (but see below) which in fact depicts a scene from the novel. The spacecraft are not in combat but are being affected by gravitational waves from a collision between black holes.

Anderson shows:

the collision ("The black holes met..." (p. 141));
psychological conflicts within his characters;
personal conflicts between the characters;
political conflicts between the intelligent races witnessing the black hole collision;
potential military conflict between the discoverers of the imminent collision and later arrivers.

Thus, good science fiction and a good novel.

Addendum: What might resemble a skull in the bottom left hand corner is not when seen on the book.

Addendum, 10 August: Inside the back flap of the jacket, the jacket art is credited to Vincent Di Fate, which is the name that I had expected.

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