Saturday, 29 October 2016

"...Distance Traveled"

The Technic History does to Space what the Time Patrol does to Time. Both series show us distance traveled.
-copied from here.

"...distance traveled."

Today I have driven 258 miles from Lancaster in the North West of England to Cromer (see image) in the South East. I have brought the lap top and three volumes and want to add a few more posts this month although the purpose of the trip is to tour and sight see, not to read or blog.

"The Trouble Twisters" is a fertile text for reflections on life. It reuses Falkayn, cameos van Rijn and then introduces Adzel, Chee Lan, Muddlehead and the trade pioneer crew idea. "How To Be Ethnic...," written later but set earlier, retro-introduces Adzel. By discussing the Ikranankans' attitude to life, we discuss life. Human beings have formulated many hypotheses but the Ikranankans have possibly thought of something new.

Hypothetical Theologies
One good God creates everything.
The good God has an opponent, Ahriman.
God is opposed not by an independent power but only by rebel angels, demons.
Ikranankans: there are only demons!

In "A Case of Conscience" (1953) by James Blish, a Jesuit scientist becomes a Manichaean heretic because of his encounter with the Lithians;
in Satan's World (1968) by Poul Anderson, Nicholas van Rijn declaims that the planet Dathyna is evidence for Manichaeanism!;
in "The Problem of Pain" (1973) by Anderson, Peter Berg questions his Christian faith because of his encounter with the Ythrians.

Was van Rijn's statement about Dathyna maybe influenced by "A Case of Conscience"?

Addendum: Of course, I should have added, in Blish's Black Easter, demons eliminate the opposition and, in the sequel, The Day After Judgment, they have to become good.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

That is a new twist the Ikranankans seem to have come up with: that the supernatural is controlled only by hostile demons. But recall Adzel's suggestion about Buddhist missionaries and Falkayn thinking they might be receptive to them.

By and large I would disagree with Peter Berg's doubts as we see them in "The Problem of Pain." If only because I remember the agony God Incarnate freely chose to accept for our redemption on the Cross. And of course "The Season of Forgiveness" is a balancing contrast to "Problem."

Interesting, your suggestion that Old Nick read James Blish's A CASE OF CONSCIENCE. Why not? We even see mention of a science fiction convention on the MOON in SATAN'S WORLD! (Smiles)