Sunday, 24 January 2016

Super Powers

SM Stirling, Drakon (New York, 2000).

A Draka and a Samothracian agent fight! These guys are superpowered! The Samothracian's powers, e.g., his relative invulnerability to direct hits by guns, derive entirely from his AI suit but that counts as superpowers in the comics: Iron Man; Green Lantern.

Superman is sf: extraterrestrial. He was so successful and inspired so many imitators that he generated a whole new genre but his roots remain in sf:

mentally powerful defenders of Earth in James Blish's "Citadel of Thought";
Poul Anderson's "Un-Men" and "Sensitive Man";
Larry Niven's Gil the Arm and protectors;
Julian May's Jack the Bodiless and Diamond Mask;
these characters created by SM Stirling.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

What of the Outbackers we see on the planet Freehold in "Outpost of Empire"? The talents, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the Outbackers, while not all directly military, could and did have military uses. In some ways the Outbackers come close to having "powers."


Paul Shackley said...

They do.

David Birr said...

There's also an ironic appropriateness in your Superman comparison: an early concept, rejected by editors, was that Superman came not from an extraterrestrial world but from Earth's distant future.

Paul Shackley said...

And also was a villain I think? Neat.
There is a current Superman-analog who comes not from an exploded planet but from a prevented future.