29th September 08, 11:35 AM
Science Fiction & Celtic Connections
There's another thread started about registering an "Emberverse" tartan. That got me to thinking and I didn't want to hijack that thread, so here goes. Two of my favorite Science Fiction series are Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover Series and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series.
The Darkover Series follows the history of marooned colonists from the Hebrides on Cottman IV, but they call it Darkover because of the giant red sun and low light. Tradition technology is low although psi powers take off. They are eventually "rediscovered" and the series goes through all the cultural clashes that ensue. There's also a Spanish influence (Galician?) to the colonists due to the makeup of the crew of the doomed ship. I started reading these books before I became interested in my Scottish heritage. Making the link just made them better for me.
I think Gabaldon prefers to think of her books as historical fiction, but when you throw timetravel into the mix, it meets my SF definition as well. These books follow a time-travelling woman from post WWII Scotland to the early 1740's and through The '45. During this time, she falls in love and marries a minor laird. The book has it's share of bodice ripping, hence many also try to pigeonhole it as a romance novel, which Gabaldon resists. The woman returns to her time, but ultimately goes back to 1760's Scotland, meets back up with her husband, goes on adventures, moves to South Carolina, and prepares for the Revolution. The series isn't over yet, but the next book will go about halfway through the Revolution.
After much ado, what SF books/series to you like that have celtic connections? I'd also like to hear about historical fiction.
Fac Et Spera!
29th September 08, 12:08 PM
A lot of the Firefly episodes had Celtic references... including a Ceilidh style celebration where the Cap't ends up married.
Airman. Piper. Scholar. - Avatar: MacGregor Tartan
“KILT, n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland.” - Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
29th September 08, 02:22 PM
I'm just about to start the last in the Outlander series--A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I've enjoyed it immensely despite the occasional anachronism and the fact that sometimes the books take on the aspect of a soap opera...with her protagonists getting into one improbable scrape after another almost non-stop.
She's a good writer though and the books hold your attention.
I wish she would have included some kind of guide to pronunciation, though. I don't know Gaelic and when I tried to start a thread here on Gaelic pronunciation, it petered out pretty quickly.
DWFII--Traditionalist and Auld Crabbit
In the Highlands of Central Oregon
29th September 08, 02:30 PM
I stumbled onto the Darkover series during the mid-1970s and think I have read them all (plus some of the "fan lit" that surrounds it). New readers should be aware that the book quality can be uneven, with some of the very early books being more juvenile while later ones are definitely adult reading! Overall it's a very worthwhile series IMHO.
Proudly Duncan [maternal], MacDonald and MacDaniel [paternal].
29th September 08, 02:46 PM
I believe that Roger Zelazny used the name Tir-na Nog'th for the phantom/mirror city in the sky in his Chronicles of Amber books which I assume somehow relates to Tir-na Nog of Celtic legend.
-See it there, a white plume
Over the battle - A diamond in the ash
Of the ultimate combustion-My panache
29th September 08, 04:12 PM
I recently read a book called Doc Sidhe, with alternate lower tech worlds.
I really enjoy the Serrated Edge series by Mercedes Lackey, another Sidhe in the modern world setting with many celtic elements. The Sidhe in this one have advanced magic tech since they can't handle the iron in a conventional race car engine.
If you can't be good, be entertaining!!!
30th September 08, 09:50 AM
I'm an avid reader of the Outlander books. (Once I got by the dreadful inaccuracies and realised she had started writing them just to see if she could write a book.)
They're well written and interesting if dramatic and stressful.
She actually has a gaidhlig pronunciation section in her companion book The Outlandish companion, (Sold in the U.K. as Through the stones.)
Originally Posted by DWFII
That said, it only goes up to The fiery cross and isn't perfect.
She makes a lot of mistakes with the gaidhlig in the earlier books but met a native speaker later on who helped to correct her and now has a good few people doing that.
I tend to help folk out on the Livejournal Outlander fan communities with pronunciation when I can, but it might be worth a shot emailing her with the request of a pronunciation guide in the back of each book.
Other 'celtic' themed series I am a fan of are:
(These are mostly historical fiction/Speculative fiction with a bit of sci-fi and fantasty.)
The Song of Albion Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead.
The Camulod Chronicles by Jack Whyte
The Rigante series by David Gemmell
The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell.
All of them are great books and a lot of fun to read with a lot of interesting things thrown in to make them individual.
Last edited by Arlen; 30th September 08 at 09:59 AM.
1st October 08, 03:02 AM
I was first introduced to Celtic fantasy in my teens by Sláine the Barbarian from the British comic 200AD. The mythology was heavily altered from the original of course, but it led me to learn more about a culture I had never been exposed to before.
First Singaporean Xmarker!
1st October 08, 06:58 AM
Science Fiction is one of my favorite forms of literature (Historical Fiction running a close second) I've included authors/books I've read more than once.
Anne McCaffrey is one of my favorite authors: The Dragonriders of Pern series and the Doona series are the ones I enjoy most. (I have three of her books on my desk right now, waiting to be read)
Rosemary Edghill has written a series that starts with Bedlam's Bard. A lot of the sidhe, elves, etc. in this one. Definitely a celtic flavor to this one.
A friend of mine, Eric, is currently writing the KnightSeeker series. His first book has been published, I'm finishing the editing on book 2, and he's already started book 3. This is a superhero series, though not a typical superhero story. Eric has created some very interesting characters. (www.knightseeker.com)
Tamora Pierce has written a couple of series I've enjoyed; her books are found in the teen room at our library. (I visit the teen room and the youth room in the local library too.)
And of course, you can't forget my Star Wars connections. (Take a look at my avatar - it's a Imperial celtic knot). As an Imperial Highlander (501st member with a kilt), I make appearances as a Stormtrooper and sometimes a member of the Imperial Royal Guard.
I'm not celtic; I inherited it from my children.
1st October 08, 09:06 AM
I had no idea. Thank you all for the new ideas for reading material. I must buy more books.
I enjoy Anne McCaffrey's work, especially the series about Petaybee written with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. The planet is sentient, and populated by "inconvenient people" who are a mix of arctic ancestry (Inuit, I think) and celt, with a fascinating blend of the two cultures that evolves.
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