Friday, 17 March 2017

Hugh Valland And Superman

Sometimes one work of fiction makes us think of another even if we then have to think about what the connection might be. So why did rereading Poul Anderson's World Without Stars make me think of Elliot S! Maggin's Superman 400? The latter is introduced by sf writer, Ray Bradbury, but that is not the connection.

In Maggin's story, Superman:

ages but does not die;
outlives everyone he knew and loved on Earth;
survives into a period of interplanetary, then interstellar, travel;
befriends and travels through space with the reformed Lex Luthor until Lex also dies;
eventually disappears from human ken;
becomes a legend, then a myth;
is commemorated at the Miracle Monday festival when each family sets an extra place at their table for Superman in case he returns -

- and one Miracle Monday meal is attended by Superman time traveling from the twentieth century.

Readers of World Without Stars will recognize some parallels. Hugh Valland:

outlives his fiancee, who dies on Earth;
lives for thousands of years;
travels through space and even between galaxies;
writes songs that are remembered;
will probably become a myth -

- and we do not know his ultimate fate.


  1. Hmmmm. I wonder if this Superman story is related to one I saw in, as I recall it, the mid-to-late '70s. It had a cover picture of Superman, with touches of gray at his temples, saying (approximately), "I'm 10,000 years old — and stronger than ever! Even green Kryptonite chains can't hold me now! All of my friends are dead! When will I die?" And one of a trio of scientists tells him, "Never, Superman! Our tests show that you've become immortal!"

    1. David,
      Sounds like the same author or at least the same school of thought.
      I linked to this post on Elliot Maggin's facebook page and Elliot replied that he loves Poul Anderson.

    2. Kaor, Paul and DAVID!

      The Miracle Monday custom about Superman reminded me of how Observant Jews are to be open to inviting the poor or strangers to the Passover Seder. And I hope Elliot Maggin will drop by here!


    3. SEan,
      I have invited Mr Maggin and his facebook (fb) correspondents to comment here. Unfortunately, when I link on fb, people respond there, not here.

    4. Kaor, Paul!

      Darn and drat! Have you emailing links to this blog to Mr. Maggin and his correspondents? That might help.


    5. Sean,
      Oh yes and several have clicked on fb that they "like" the link.

    6. Kaor, Paul!

      And I hope they SIGN UP on this blog as well.