Friday, 29 August 2014
Changes In Supernatural Realms
James Blish (they both wrote hard sf, historical fiction and fantasy);
Neil Gaiman (they both based fiction on the same two Shakespeare plays, among other parallels).
Another comparable author is Mike Carey, whose Lucifer is a sequel to Gaiman's The Sandman.
In Poul and Karen Anderson's King of Ys Tetralogy, the Olympians, the Three of Ys and Mithras withdraw before the new God of the Piscean Age. In Poul Anderson's The Merman's Children, other unacceptable beings are driven out by Christian exorcisms. In Blish's, Gaiman's and Carey's works, there are further changes in the supernatural realms. God leaves and is replaced and there are comparable regime changes in Hell.
Carey's unique contributions are:
to make Lucifer the central character of a series after, according to Gaiman, he had resigned as Lord of Hell;
to continue the narrative with renewed imagination even when the characters' virtual omnipotence seems to rule out any further conflicts or plot developments.
Like Anderson in The Broken Sword, Gaiman and Carey dramatize interactions between beings from different mythologies. Anderson's long sequence of interconnected fantasy novels is a prose equivalent of Gaiman's and Carey's extended graphic fictions.