His essays exemplified his skill at making complex subjects understandable, and were written in an unformal style, liberally sprinkled with personal anecdotes that endeared him to a legion of faithful readers. It was all a labor of love; in particular Asimov often remarked that of all his writing, his essays for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction were his favorite, despite the fact that he received the lowest word-rate payment for them.
On Thud and Blunder Written by Poul Anderson [This essay was published some years ago and is very difficult to find now, which is why I asked Poul to let me publish it on the Web.
He points out that a few things have changed since he wrote it — the essay mentions the Soviet Union, for example, but does not mention navigation satellites — and that he has had some arguments from a few readers about one detail or another.
It seems to me that most of the points made are still valid. It flew through the air, still sneering, while Gnorts clove two royal guardsmen from vizor through breasplate to steel jockstrap. As he whirled to escape, an arrow glanced off his own chainmail.
Then he was gone from the room, into the midnight city. Easily outrunning pursuit, he took a few sentries at the gate by surprise. Fiction essay of the most dangerous a moment, arms and legs hailed around him through showers of blood; then he had opened the gate and was free.
A caravan of merchants, waiting to enter at dawn, was camped nearby. Seeing a magnificent stallion tethered, Gnorts released it, twisted the rope into a bridle, and rode it off bareback. After galloping several miles, he encountered a mounted patrol that challenged him.
Immediately he plunged into the thick of the cavalrymen, swinging his blade right and left with deadly effect, rearing up his steed to bring its forefeet against one knight who dared to confront him directly.
Then it was only to gallop onward. Winter winds lashed his body, attired in nothing more than a bearskin kilt, but he ignored the cold. Sunrise revealed the shore and his waiting longship. He knew the swift-sailing craft could bring him across five hundred leagues of monster-infested ocean in time for him to snatch the maiden princess Elamef away from evil Baron Rehcel while she remained a maiden — not that he intended to leave her in that condition ….
But, unfortunately, not much, where some stories are concerned. Probably this is part of a larger movement back toward old-fashioned storytelling, with colorful backgrounds, events, and characters, tales wherein people do take arms against a sea of troubles and usually win.
Such literature is not inherently superior to the introspective or symbolic kinds, but neither is it inherently inferior; Homer and James Joyce were both great artists.
Yet every kind of writing is prone to special faults. For example, while no one expects heroic fantasy hf to be of ultimate psychological profundity, it is often simple to the point of being simplistic.
This is not necessary, as such fine practitioners as de Camp, Leiber, and Tolkien have proven.
Worse, because it is still more obvious and still less excusable, is a frequent lack of elementary knowledge or plain common sense on the part of an author. A small minority of hf stories are set in real historical milieus, where the facts provide a degree of control — though howling errors remain all too easy to make.
Most members of the genre, however, take place in an imaginary world. Given that freedom, far too many writers nowadays have supposed that anything whatsoever goes, that practical day-to-day details are of no importance and hence they, the writers, have no homework to do before they start spinning their yarns.
The consequence of making that assumption is, inevitably, a sleazy product. It may be bought by an editor hard up for material, but it will carry none of the conviction, the illusion of reality, which helps make the work of the people mentioned above, and other good writers, memorable.
At best, it will drop into oblivion; at worst, it will stand as an awful example.From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Coined in a science-fiction novel in , the Anglosphere has become Australia's cultural (and political) obsession. That leaves us blind to other perspectives.
initiativeblog.com is the place to go to get the answers you need and to ask the questions you want. Introduction Though perhaps best known throughout the world for his science fiction, Isaac Asimov was also regarded as one of the great explainers of science.
In , Dr. Seuss published an essay in which he pointedly critiqued racist humor. True, his own work — both before and after then — did contain stereotypes. In an essay that’s been languishing at American Quarterly since August , I examine the conflict between Seuss’s progressive.
Introduction Though perhaps best known throughout the world for his science fiction, Isaac Asimov was also regarded as one of the great explainers of science.