Re: Gundam fans read SF

Chien Ting Chin (
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 22:25:25 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 27 Jan 1999, -Z- wrote:
> Both Herbert and Asimov were cheats with reagrd to history.

Hey, them's fighting words!

There's a school of people who believe that all stories, at the human
level, are simply re-arrangements of Shakespare's works. I firmly believe
that those people should all be packed up in a time machine and shot back
to the 16th Century.

> Asimov simply
> repacked Gibbons' THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, with Trantor as

That's not accepted by everyone. Even if the board background is
(hypothetically speaking) copied from history, the central theme of the
books is fundamentally new. It's confusing the ideas with the background
setting. Myself, I did forget the adventures and romance of the trilogy
soon after I read the books, but the concept of Psychohistory stayed with
me and influenced my outlook for a long time. Of course I could be wrong
and the idea of viewing long term large scale societal progression as
statistical thermodynamic equations might have existed in Roman time.

> Herbert did the same thing, only he used the much less
> familiar Byzantine Empire as his model.

Right, and you probably think that he heavily interwove ecological
concepts and biological imagery into the books merely to ride the
tree-hugging craze of the 60s?

Perhaps the tragedy and burden of a superhuman, all-seeing hero destined
to bring destruction and death to trillions had being more eloquently
presented in some other works?

Think also that in many small ways, the development of Amuro is similar to
Paul Atreides-God.

> of hard science (his DRAGON IN THE SEA, for example, is a very accurate
> portrayal of nuclear submarine warfare)

And largely forgotten, propably with good reasons.

CHIN, Chien Ting
Dept of Medical Biophysics, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
... o O *
Man is a bubble

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