Monday, 20 July 2015

A Literary Progression

I said earlier that the deeper we look into Poul Anderson's works the more we find there. This is also true of SM Stirling's works which resemble Anderson's in several respects although the main resemblance is originality, not imitation. However, there are also:

detailed descriptions;
substantial backgrounds;
solid characterization;
historical and technological knowledge;
plot developments logically derived from imaginative premises.

There is a literary progression from Robert Heinlein's concretely realized colonized Solar System through Anderson's Terran Empire to Stirling's Angrezi Raj. These three scenarios are respectively interplanetary, interstellar and alternative historical as sf writers extend and redirect the scope of speculative fiction.

Heinlein unfortunately addressed alternative histories during his steep decline whereas Anderson created several ingenious divergent histories and at least two of his successors, Harry Turtledove and SM Stirling, have elaborated this concept with even greater creativity and precision.

When I am immersed in a particular fictional world, it is a wrench to disengage from it. For this reason, I might stay with Stirling's Angrezi Raj for a while even if his first Draka volume arrives soon. I had set out to post about another detail of the Raj but that will have to wait.

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