Thursday, 18 December 2014
Angels And Prophets
"'I told Mortensen no calls from anyone less rank than the angel Gabriel.'"
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 12.
"'You shouldn't make jokes, Lennart...Is not your style. You, in a clown suit with a red balloon snoot and painted grin, would still look like about to quote some minor Hebrew prophet on a bad day.'" (p. 14)
So here is a story premise: a future Earth on which master merchants have regular telephone conversations with angels and prophets. If I had the slightest aptitude for writing fiction, then this would be enough. There would soon be dialogues, logical deductions from the premise and a surprise ending to a short story. Assume that both trade with extrasolar colonies and direct communication with Heaven have become routinized activities, as familiar to the citizens of the Solar Commonwealth as trans-Atlantic flight and the Internet now are to us, then deduce how these two previously unrelated activities would interact - and make it all seem obvious.
Poul Anderson would have been able to write a short series but, even if he had thought of it, had better things to do!