Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sci-Fi and King Arthur

I just finished reading Alan Dean Foster’s “Life Form”. It’s a sci-fi novel about a group of scientist that landed on a terran planet, Xica. Here they found exotic life forms. But their greatest discovery was that of a humanoid being with human like intelligence. The scientists were surprised at the humanoids sophistication; they were also intrigued at the humanoids ceremonial wars. On further investigations they met an old man who called himself “Old Conc” who really was an old general on the level of Alexander the Great who suddenly disappeared on earth. They were surprised that the humanoid were Old Conc’s creations. The humanoids were anthromorphs (changelings). Old Cons found them and taught them how to morph (change) into humanoid form. He didn’t make them looked too human because Old Conc hated earth, that’s why he left it in the first place. Then tragedy struck the expedition and only few of the scientists survived. Old Conc gave the survivor a choice: leave the planet or help the humanoids in their hunger for knowledge. They chose to remain and play God.
This is one of the dominant themes in Sci-Fi novels: Man as gods or aliens as god (or the god).

I am holding Malory’s “ Le Morte D’Arthur”, and I’m thinking if I’ll be able to read the thing. I hate old English. (I mean, I don’t even like the King James Bible because the language is archaic.) But when I opened the pages I found that this Morte D’Arthur is written in modern English. It was a retelling by Keith Baines and I think I’m going to enjoy this Morte D’Arhur. This will be the fourth King Arthur book that I read. The first was Thomas Berger’s Arthur Rex and the second was T.H. White’s the Once and Future King. I love T.H. White’s king Arthur especially since the story was told humorously and in reverse—the story started from the future. And the third Arthurian book I read was Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. All of them are wonderful read.

I hope I will enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the rest.

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