Saturday, 27 May 2017


A contemporary novel is set about the time of its publication. However, if an author writes such a novel in his youth, is it still "contemporary" in his old age? Also, year dates have migrated from titles and texts to publication histories:

George Orwell, 1984 (1949);
Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968);
Poul Anderson, Past Times (1984);
Poul Anderson, Genesis (2001).

In the circumstances, the title, Past Times, is particularly appropriate.
Genesis was first published in 2000 but my paperback edition is dated 2001.
2001 is also relevant as the year of Anderson's death.

Yet To Come
James Blish, Year 2018! (1957)
Robert Heinlein, Revolt In 2100 (1953)

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

A contemporary novel inevitably becomes dated as time passes, examples from Anderson's works being BRAIN WAVE, the Yamamura novels, and THE DEVIL'S GAME. But, such books can still be enjoyable and interesting reading if they were well written.

To me, I think a well written "contemporary" mystery is more likely to remain enjoyable reading than most mainstream "contemporary" novels. Examples being the works of Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, John Dickson Carr, Rex Stout, etc.