Thursday, 27 August 2015
Poul Anderson's many works, including his two short stories of realistic alternative history;
SM Stirling's many more elaborate alternative history novels;
Stirling's Time Patrol short story, "A Slip In Time";
early chapters of Anderson's Time Patrol novel, The Shield Of Time.
Despite this unplanned procedure, several consistent themes emerge:
Anderson made major contributions to several literary traditions;
he systematically addressed issues like time travel or AI from every conceivable angle;
his central characters are problem-solvers, often realizing and implementing the solution to a current problem before explaining it to their colleagues and thus to the readers;
Anderson regularly wrote detailed descriptive passages, appealing simultaneously to several of the senses;
thus, his works bear endless rereading to appreciate such details;
another part of the appreciation of his works is to engage with arguments and values presented in the texts;
he asks and answers ultimate questions about the significance of life and intelligence.