Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Not For Publication

(York Minster, interior.)

Poul Anderson, Operation Luna (New York, 2000).

Steve Matuchek answers a question I asked earlier:

"My reconstruction of events is partly guesswork. No matter. This whole account isn't for publication. Too explosive, as well as being often too personal. It's going under hundred-year seal. Maybe after that it can give some kind of unforeseeable help to somebody in the unforeseeable future. A warning, if nothing else." (p. 208)

Most novels are third person narration and we do not ask who is addressing whom, how does the narrator know this? etc. The most creative use of narrative points of view that I have ever come across was in CS Lewis' That Hideous Strength. Anderson does interesting things with narration in his two Operation... volumes:

both are narrated in the first person by Steve Matuchek;
Steve, in a trance, telepathically broadcasts Operation Chaos to hypothetical other universes although he tells us in Operation Luna that there was no response;
Operation Luna is not for immediate publication;
both are warnings although ...Chaos is regarded as urgent whereas ...Luna clearly is not.

The circumstances of the narration of a story can in themselves become an additional story. This almost happens here.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I have visited York myself, and I fully agree with what Steven Matuchek said about how beautiful the Minster is. Considering how Poul Anderson says similar things about York Minster in GENESIS, I think it safe to say he agrees with what his characters said. I was interested to note how in GENESIS, Gaia, the AI of Earth, had one "simulation" where the Minster was still a Catholic Church.

    Darn! Your commentaries about OPERATION CHAOS and OPERATION LUNA is making me want to reread those books--when I've already reread over a hundred pages of Stirling's AGAINST THE TIDE OF YEARS. I'm simply not as fast a reader as you are! (Smiles)


    1. Sean,
      You are ahead of me with AGAINST THE TIDE OF YEARS. You are rereading whereas I have yet to read. You could send us something about that book if you wanted?

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Many thanks for the flattering suggestion. I will keep that in mind. But I don't know if anything will INSPIRE me to write another article. But who knows?