Saturday, 7 September 2013


Words can generate spurious unities. I knew two "Christians," an Evangelical and an Existentialist. But we are here to talk about books. HG Wells' The War Of the Worlds and The War In The Air can be published in uniform editions with scenes of technological warfare on the covers but they are separate stories, not volumes of a single War series. That suggests a whole 'nother scenario.

Poul Anderson's collection Dialogue With Darkness is aptly named because its concluding three stories are:

"Conversation in Arcady";
"Dialogue," about communication with the planet Arcadia;
"The Communicators" -

- but these are distinct stories.

In "Dialogue," a man and a woman eleven light years apart communicate tachyonically but want to meet physically. The man compares them to Heloise and Abelard, thus, for Anderson readers, evoking one of the Old Phoenix stories. "Dialogue" becomes an extended discussion of the problems of interstellar communication and contact, all because of this one couple.

And I have not finished reading it so I do not yet know how their problem is resolved.

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