Wednesday, 26 July 2017

"Flight to Forever"

Poul Anderson's "Flight to Forever" has a fine opening paragraph which I discuss here. The timeline of the story is summarized here: Part I; Part II.

Memorable passages include Saunder's farewell to the sun:

"So, good-by, Sol, he thought. Good-by, and thank you for many million years of warmth and light. Sleep well, old friend."
-Poul Anderson, "Flight to Forever" IN Anderson, Past Times (New York, 1984), pp. 207-288 AT Chapter Six, p. 284.

Taury's reminiscence (see here):

"'...I thought I deserved this last farewell to the days when we fought with our own hands, and fared between the stars, when we were a small band of sworn comrades whose dreams outstripped our strength.'" (p. 275)

Saunder's reflection on his experience of future history:

"Man's works were so horribly impermanent; he thought with a sadness of the cites and civilizations he had seen rise and spend their little hour and sink back into the night and chaos of time." (Chapter 3, p. 238)

4 comments:

David Birr said...

Paul:
Though not directly relevant, your second and third quotes reminded me of this, from *The Rebel of Rhada* by Robert Cham Gilman (Alfred Coppel):
"Across the deepening night a meteor flashed with brief intensity. It seemed to Kier that it was like the life of a man against the night of history. And if it seemed brief and to no purpose, at least it burned brightly and gave a touch of light to the dark."

Anderson, in *The Broken Sword*, likewise compared human life to a meteor: "Better a life like a falling star, bright across the dark, than a deathlessness which can see naught above or beyond itself."

S.M. Stirling said...

Reading Poul's early stuff is interesting from a technical point of view -- you see his inherent strengths and how he refined them with technique.

Paul Shackley said...

Agreed.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID and Mr. Stirling!

David: drat, I never seem to think of such cool and apt quotes from Anderson's works. Nice!

Mr. Stirling, I agree! And, in one my essays I divided his works into early, middle, and late phases. And we see the strength and power of his mature works amply prefigured in his early phase.

Sean