Thursday, 27 March 2014

Three Comparisons With Heinlein

Reflecting on time travel has made me aware yet again of three specific cases where it makes sense to read a work or works by Robert Heinlein, then to follow this with a subsequent body of work by Poul Anderson.

Fantasy
Heinlein's Magic Inc: magic as technology;
Anderson's two Operation... novels: magic as technology but developed in considerably more detail;
two other novels and two short stories connected to Operation... by the inter-cosmic Inn, the Old Phoenix.

Future Histories
Heinlein's substantial and seminal Future History series;
Anderson's Psychotechnic History, directly modeled on Heinlein's but also substantial, as I realized recently when rereading and posting about it;
Anderson's Technic History, a much longer and very substantial Heinleinian future history series that was not planned but grew organically;
several later future history series by Anderson, including the long Harvest Of Stars tetralogy.

Time Travel
Heinlein's three classic statements of the circular causality paradox - one time traveler is both his own parents, another short story is entirely populated by a single character meeting and interacting with his older and younger selves and The Door Into Summer is a novel;
Anderson's several works of time travel discussed in recent posts.

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