Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Literary Traditions

As in the previous post, I often list sf writers from Wells and Stapledon although, of course, sf began with Mary Shelley (see image) and several of Poul Anderson's literary antecedents were much earlier: the Bible; the Eddas and sagas; Shakespeare. Post-Shelleyan antecedents were Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling. Post-Wellsian antecedents were L Sprague de Camp, John W Campbell, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. (I mention Asimov not because of any qualitative comparison but because Anderson's first future history has both a robot and a science of society while his second future history has the fall of an interstellar empire.)

These are powerful literary traditions. This blog celebrates Poul Anderson as Wellsian sf writer, successor of Stapledon and Heinlein, saga re-teller and myth-maker. More recently, the blog has also focused on SM Stirling as one worthy successor of Anderson. However, here is a question for blog readers. Which other contemporary sf writers not discussed here also make significant contributions to these traditions?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

One writer I don't think you have commented on who has written about things like the rise and fall of interstellar civilizations and empires is H. Beam Piper. I cannot adequately comment about Piper because I have not read enough of his works to do so (I've read some of his short stories and his "Little Fuzzy" books).

And, altho set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Avram Davidson's THE ADVENTURES OF DR ESZTERHAZY also came to mind. These are Ruritanian fantasies set in the Triune Monarchy of Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania whose fin de siecle mood and increasing sense of foreboding reminds me of Doninic Flandry's anxieties about the Terran Empire.