Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Factual And Fictional Futures
We have a partly norn-like relationship to fictional characters. We expect the hero of a series to survive at least until the concluding episode and the same goes for most of his supporting characters - although writers of series have found ways to play tricks with readers' or viewers' expectations.
There are several Dominic Flandry volumes. Even before reading them, we expect Flandry to survive at least until near the end of the last volume. When reading Poul Anderson's trilogy about Harald Hardrada, we know first that Harald will not die in Volume I or II and secondly that he will die in battle at Stamford Bridge in 1066. But we do not know the details and Anderson is free to invent many of them.
In SM Stirling's A Meeting At Corvallis, young Rudi Mackenzie has been captured by his Clan's enemies. How do I know that Rudi will survive? At the end of this volume, there are ads for two novels in which Rudi Mackenzie has become a King. Unless it is a different Rudi Mackenzie? That is one of the tricks that I mentioned above although I do not expect it here.