Thursday, 6 November 2014

Phrases And Visuals

"Gorzun rolled black and white against a wilderness of stars."
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 357.

I have been tracking the phrase "...a wilderness of stars..." through Poul Anderson's works and here it is again.

Like most people, I enjoy good films. Like some people, I also enjoy good graphic fiction (comic strips). Films and comics are visual, unlike novels. Works like "The Star Plunderer" lend themselves to visual adaptation. Manuel's mutineers have switched off the lights and the twice Terran artificial gravity in the Gorzuni spaceship. Some have naval zero G training. While Manuel melts the lock of the cage holding the male slaves, Reeves:

"...could dimly see the tangle of free-floating naked bodies churning and screaming in the vast gloom. A scene from an ancient hell. The fall of the rebel angels. Man, child of God, had stormed the stars and been condemned to Hell for it.
"And now he was going to burst out!" (p. 351)

As the captured ship, now named the Revenge, attacks Gorzun, the men of Sol see:

"...mountains...snow and glaciers and a churning sea lit by three hurtling moons. Blackness and cold and desolation." (pp. 357-358)

Anderson's descriptions are vivid enough to convey how well these scenes would look if drawn or filmed.

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