Saturday, 10 December 2016

Another Parallel

I asked how many fantasy and science fiction ideas were common to Poul Anderson's works and to Smallville episodes but there is another parallel. Anderson also wrote detective fiction.

Instead of addressing other fantasy or sf ideas, an installment of a superhero series can be a detective story. The hero can find clues with X-ray vision and can escape an assassination attempt with super-strength and super-speed whereas, in every other respect, the installment remains a classic detective story. So who shot Lionel Luthor? Lex Luthor? Jonathan Kent? A Luthor employee? No, the Sheriff that Lionel was blackmailing!

Both Isaac Asimov and Larry Niven combined sf with detective fiction whereas Anderson kept the two genres separate. I have read two of the three Trygve Yamamura novels and one Yamamura short story. Apparently, Anderson stopped writing detective fiction because it did not sell as well as sf. But this is fortunate. I would not have been writing a Poul Anderson Appreciation blog if his output had been mainly detective novels.

3 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Actually, no, Poul Anderson DID write some science fictional mystery stories. One being "The Martian Crown Jewels," and another being "The Adventure Of The Misplaced Hound," one of the Hoka stories co-authored with Gordon Dickson. And I'm almost sure there were a few other SF mysteries PA wrote.

    If, by some chance, Anderson had concentrated on writing mostly mysteries, you STILL might have become a fan of his works, since I'm sure Anderson's mysteries would have been as excellent as his SF/F.

    Sean

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    1. Sean,
      But I would have been less likely to read them. And surely detective fiction is much more limited than fantasy and sf?
      Paul.

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I grant the two points you made here. Esp. since I infer that while you might like some mysteries, it's not your favorite genre. Yes, I have to agree detective fiction is more limited in many ways than SF and F.

      Merry Christmas! Sean

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