Friday, 4 August 2017

Beginning Lord Of Mountains

I have begun to read Lord Of Mountains by SM Stirling but am unable to post coherently for any length of time because we have had another In Vino Veritas meal at the Strawberry Gardens. This elongated image of the book cover matches my frame of mind.

Recent posts must surely have exhausted discussion of The Time Machine at least for the time being? This short work is all the more remarkable for being HG Wells' first published novel. Perhaps the amount of rewriting helps to explain its quality. I have tried to show that this one work is important in itself and for science fiction and is highly relevant to Poul Anderson's much larger body of work on time travel. Discussing The Time Machine has been closely connected to rediscussing very disparate works by Anderson united by the time travel theme. The Time Machine is extremely brief whereas the Time Patrol series is long but we want to read more about both.

I did not expect to make it as far as a third paragraph. Good night to everyone, including those for whom it should be good morning!

8 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And good morning! (Smiles)

I certainly agree with you about the high quality of Poul Anderson's time traveling science fiction. And I do respect H.G. Wells THE TIME MACHINE as pioneering this sub-genre of SF. But, aside from Wells and Anderson, you seldom discuss how other SF writers handle this idea. Because you their efforts fall below the quality of Wells and Anderson's works?

I did wonder what you thought of L. Sprague De Camp's LEST DARKNESS FALL, even tho that was only a story of a modern man accidentally thrown back into the past. I think De Camp wrote that partly as a response to Mark Twain's A CONNECTICUT YANKEE AT KING ARTHUR'S COURT.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
LEST DARKNESS FALL and Anderson's "The Man Who Came Early" seem like obvious responses to A CONNECTICUT Yankee.
Some early posts on my Logic of Time Travel blog discuss other time travel works.
Paul.

Paul Shackley said...

Particularly "The Logic of Time Travel: Part II," April 2012.

S.M. Stirling said...

"Lest Darkness Fall" is a classic; I wrote a sequel to it, "The Apotheosis of Martin Padway", for the de Camp tribute anthology. Poul thought highly of it, though "The Man Who Came Early" is of course a partial rebuttal to all the stories of men revolutionizing the past singlehanded.

Paul Shackley said...

Mr Stirling,
My problem with themed anthologies is that I tend to read just the story that I am interested in and not much else.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul and Mr. Stirling!

Paul: Since I've never read Twain's A CONNECTICUT YANKEE I can't directly compare that book to the two other stories you mentioned. But what I read about the plot of Twain's book makes me agree the De Camp book and Anderson's story were meant to be rebuttals. With De Camp showing us how a man from the future might "revolutionize" the past in a more plausible way. Anderson went further and still more plausibly shows us how DIFFICULT it would be for a man from the future to actually change the past.

Mr. Stirling, and I have even read "The Apotheosis Of Martin Padway"! Because Martin did come from the future I can imagine descendants of the people whose society he had helped revolutionize decided time traveling was possible and figured out ways of doing it themselves. And I agree with what you said about Anderson's "The Man Who Came Early."

Sean

S.M. Stirling said...

The odds of being able to affect the past go up as the number of time travelers increases. That's why I picked a small town of about 7,000 for ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME. Enough to be credible, not so many it would be easy.

(And a community that size is easier to feed from local resources in a short enough time. A large city would be SOL, unless the farmlands it was supplied from and things like energy sources came with it.)

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Yes, a small off season town like Nantucket has a better of surviving the Event if it had only a few thousands living there. But large enough that it would start changing the world, willy nilly, once it became firmly established.

Now if the Event/Change had come in JUNE instead of March, then Nantucket would have been "So Out of Luck" itself! Fifty thousand people would have immediately started starving, aside from a few smart and lucky enough to immediately flee to the mainland with what boats, food, tools, and weapons they could grab FAST.

Sean