Friday, 3 April 2015

Lewis, Anderson, Blish And Stirling

The Problem Of Pain by CS Lewis and "The Problem of Pain" by Poul Anderson share a title and a theological argument.

Perelandra by Lewis and The Game Of Empire by Anderson each address the question of God's relationship to extraterrestrial intelligences.

Perelandra by Lewis and A Case Of Conscience by James Blish are each set on a sinless planet.

In Perelandra, a demon speaks through the possessed body of Edward Weston but Weston momentarily breaks through:

"...for one second something like the old Weston reappeared - the old Weston, staring with eyes of horror and howling, 'Ransom! Ransom! For Christ's sake don't let them -'"
- CS Lewis, Voyage To Venus (London, 1978), p. 86.

In The Sky People (New York, 2006) by SM Stirling, also set on Venus, an alien mechanism speaks through the controlled brain of Franziskus Binkis but Binkis momentarily breaks through:

"For a moment Franziskus was her man again...'Help me, Judviga! Help me!'" (p. 216)

Four neat parallels?


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Yes, very interesting and neat, the parallels you found with four very different authors.

    And I have wondered if Poul Anderson had read C.S, Lewis' THE PROBLEM OF PAIN. Or was it just an accident that Anderson's short story "The Problem of Pain" had the same title as Lewis' book?