Sunday, 14 September 2014

Aeneas And Barsoom

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 26 May 2013.

Poul Anderson's fictional planet, Aeneas, has some features in common with Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom:

a breathable atmosphere, even though Barsoom is the ERBian Mars;
dead sea bottoms;
thus, a wharf now on dry land;
military traditions, defensive on Aeneas but barbaric on Barsoom;
buildings of an ancient race used by a current race;
custodians (therns, Companions) of a mystery (the Valley Dor, the Ancients);
knowledge of the next Sunward planet (Barsoomians observe Earth, Aeneans study Didonians);
a visibly moving moon;
six-legged green draft animals, although the Aenean stathas are imports.

When I seek parallels, I find more than I expect. However, the differences are greater. No one in his right mind would think that Aeneas was a copy of Barsoom - although Anderson could have written a good Barsoom novel (Sword and Science), just as he contributed to the Conan series (Sword and Sorcery), but I do not think that the Burroughs Estate commissions continuations? (Later: It has done.)

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