Monday, 7 July 2014

Multiverse: Some Observations

Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois, Editors, Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds (Burton, MI, 2014).

Eric Flint writes:

"I enjoy The High Crusade...but I'd find it somewhat awkward to write my own story in that setting. More precisely, I'd find it difficult to write a story in that setting that stayed true to Anderson's own vision of it. And doing so, I think, is important for this kind of anthology." (pp. 181-182)

I agree. But not every story in this anthology does meet that requirement. How easy is it for one writer to continue another author's series authentically while also exercising his own literary strengths and talents? Indeed, can it even be done? Any series can be continued nominally, of course. Just write a new book and call the hero "Holmes" or "Bond" etc.

To continue either CS Lewis' juvenile fantasy series or his adult sf series, it would be necessary to share, or at least intimately empathize with, Christian faith in general and Lewis' Platonic formulation of it in particular. And I think that Poul Anderson could have done that.

Astrid Anderson Bear writes:

"Characters don't die when an author does. They are still there in the books and stories, treading the well-worn paths of their adventures. But it is bitter-sweet to contemplate my Dad's characters hoisting a mug together in the Old Phoenix Tavern, wishing they could have another outing in their home worlds." (p. 184)

The Old Phoenix can be entered from any world so Poul Anderson would certainly be there with them.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

In fact, I'm almost sure the unnamed narrator who describes what we see in "House Rule" and "Losers Night": is meant to be Poul Anderson himself!

Btw, I'm now reading THE SHIELD OF TIME and page 107 (in Part 3) mentions one minor character as coming from the SOLAR COMMONWEALTH. This was probably accidental and unintentional on Anderson's part, but it does makes me wonder if some kind of hint connecting of the Time Patrol stories with the Technic Civlization series is meant.


Sean M. Brooks said...

I've made my mind up, the mention of a "Solar Commonwealth" in Part 3 of THE SHIELD OF TIME has nothing to do with the Technic Civilization stories. I've reached Part 6 of SHIELD and I've seen nothing else to make me think the Time Patrol stories can be linked to the Technic series. Had Anderson used "Solar Federation" instead, I would not have thought at all of speculatively linking the two series together.


Paul Shackley said...

I agree. No connection between Time Patrol and Technic History.