Wednesday, 20 April 2016

"Ten Leagues Beyond The Wide World's End"

In the early 1960's, I was familiar with science fiction in often juvenile comic strips and also noticed that there were adult paperback novels with spacemen and robots on the covers so I bought two by different authors:

The Caves Of Steel by Isaac Asimov;
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

Now, in 2016, I discuss American future histories on a worldwide computer network and these include Asimov's future history which includes The Caves Of Steel. Shortly after buying my first two sf paperbacks, I read "The Game Of Glory" by Poul Anderson in Venture Science Fiction, not yet suspecting either that there was a Dominic Flandry series or that this series was part of another future history.

The Stars My Destination quotes a few lines of "Tom o' Bedlam." I identified with the line:

"Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end"

- and regarded it as summarizing science fiction. The full quatrain reads:

"By a knight of ghosts and shadows
"I summoned am to tourney
"Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end:
"Methinks it is no journey."

I need not tell Poul Anderson fans that the first line is the title of a Dominic Flandry novel but I will add that it is also quoted in yet another future history on p. 901 of The Prince (New York, 2002) by Jerry Pournelle and SM Stirling. And that is a very good place to end blogging for the day.

5 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I was interested to find out "a knight of ghosts and shadows" comes from the poem or ballad called "Tom o'Bedlam." I thought Poul Anderson took that from the works of Shakespeare.

    I note, with some regret, that the UK edition of A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS has the less colorful title of KNIGHT FLANDRY.

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sean,
    KNIGHT FLANDRY is kind of a clever alternative title because it tells us it is a Flandry novel, it forms a series with ENSIGN FLANDRY and it preserves KNIGHT from A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS - although that title refers to Aycharaych.
    Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaor, Paul!

      I wish I had thought of that, that KNIGHT FLANDRY bookends ENSIGN FLANDRY! And, of course, the "knight" in KNIGHT FLANDRY reminds us Dominic Flandry was a knight of the Terran Empire. I read somewhere that it was for his success in nullifying the threat from Scotha (see "Tiger By The Tail") that Flandry was made a knight. And perhaps received the Order of Manuel?

      Sean

      Delete
  3. Sean,
    Flandry is "...a member of the Order of Manuel..." (FLANDRY'S Legacy, p. 30).
    Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Exactly! And that passage of A STONE IN HEAVEN says that some of the citations explaining how Flandry had earned some of the honors conferred on him were still CLASSIFIED.

      Sean

      Delete