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Under an Orange Sky > 6. Literary Influences

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message 1: by John (new)

John Seymour | 1921 comments Mod
6. Can you suggest any literary influences on this novel?


message 2: by C.D. (last edited Oct 01, 2017 06:45AM) (new)

C.D. (skymama) | 58 comments I am noticing similarities to Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. Some of the goals and technology in Under an Orange Sky are similar. People are coming to colonize Mars. In both books they terraform and use huge satellite mirrors to reflect more sunlight to the surface.

Even though it's not a literary reference, my mind frequently flashes back to Star Trek and the Federation's Prime Directive:

. . . no Star Fleet personnel may interfere with the normal and healthy development of alien life and culture . . . Star Fleet personnel may not violate this Prime Directive, even to save their lives and/or their ship . . . This directive takes precedence over any and all other considerations, and carries with it the highest moral obligation.

I'm about halfway through the book, so I'm curious to find out if Earth will follow something like the Prime Directive when they learn of Irene's discoveries.


message 3: by Fonch (new)

Fonch | 1363 comments There are references to another classics of the science fiction C.S. Lewis especially Alfonseca was inspired in the Cosmic Trilogy. There was a trilemma. Is it crazy Irene? does she lie to give an scoop? or she tells the truth. There were clear references to other science fictions authors Blish, Lois Macmaster Bujold, Arthur C. Clarke y James H. Schmitz.
I have not take the chance, but i would have liked to compare with "Voyage to Alpha Centauri" by Michael D. O`Brien. In my opinion it would have been very interesting to compare the novel of Manuel Alfonseca with "The martian" by Andy Weir. I regret that other science catholic fiction writers as Sandra Miesel, and Karina Fabian they have not been able to read the novel. It would have liked to know their opinion about Manuel Alfonseca`s novel.


message 4: by Mariangel (new)

Mariangel | 576 comments The influence of C.S. Lewis's Perelandra is clear.

However, I don't think there are references to Bujold. There may be similarities, though.


message 5: by Manuel (new)

Manuel Alfonseca | 1569 comments Mod
I'll answer this question after everybody else has been able to give their opinion.


message 6: by Fonch (new)

Fonch | 1363 comments Mariangel wrote: "The influence of C.S. Lewis's Perelandra is clear.

However, I don't think there are references to Bujold. There may be similarities, though."


Irene reminded me a bit to Miles Vorkosigan in the last part of the novel, besides i know that the author feels an especial waekness for this writer.


message 7: by Manuel (last edited Oct 02, 2017 11:10PM) (new)

Manuel Alfonseca | 1569 comments Mod
Fonch wrote: "Irene reminded me a bit to Miles Vorkosigan in the last part of the novel, besides i know that the author feels an especial weekness for this writer. "

I think I can answer this now. I never read a novel by Lois MacMaster Bujold until 2003. Therefore, she cannot have influenced Under an orange sky, which was written in 1992, over ten years earlier. The same applies to James Blish, whose first book I read in 2011.

As to other novels that have been mentioned, I have never read Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, Voyage to Alpha Centauri by Michael D. O'Brien, or The Martian by Andy Weir, therefore they cannot have influenced me.


message 8: by Fonch (new)

Fonch | 1363 comments I have found other not influences but yes reasonable similarities. One very clear that Alfonseca will not deny it :-). One influence is Saint Euxepery, when Irene and Steve stayed trapped in the middle of Valley Marineris, and the other it could not be an influence. The iwish of Irene to convert Mars in a Green Planet, reminded me very much to the wish of the ecologist in Dune by Frank Herbert.


message 9: by Manuel (new)

Manuel Alfonseca | 1569 comments Mod
Fonch wrote: "I have found other not influences but reasonable similarities... One influence is Saint Exupery, when Irene and Steve stayed trapped in the middle of Valley Marineris..."

I am intrigued by this reference. In fact, I have read several books by St.Exupery since long ago, but did not consider him an influence, at least for this book. Can you explain in more detail what it is that reminds you of him?

Fonch wrote: "The wish of Irene to convert Mars in a Green Planet, reminded me very much of the wish of the ecologist in Dune by Frank Herbert..."

No, I got this idea from The sands of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke. Dune, although I have read it twice, is not one of my favorites.


message 10: by Fonch (last edited Oct 03, 2017 01:06PM) (new)

Fonch | 1363 comments Manuel wrote: "Fonch wrote: "I have found other not influences but reasonable similarities... One influence is Saint Exupery, when Irene and Steve stayed trapped in the middle of Valley Marineris..."

I am intrig..."


Manuel wrote: "Fonch wrote: "I have found other not influences but reasonable similarities... One influence is Saint Exupery, when Irene and Steve stayed trapped in the middle of Valley Marineris..."

I am intrig..."

You say during the novel when Irene in the desert she is thinking in Euxepery, the situation of Steve, and Irene reminded to Saint Euxepery who made a friend of litle Prince. They are equally trapped in the desert.

About Saint Euxepery looks the page 66 of your spanish edition of "Under an Orange Sky" :-).


message 11: by Fonch (new)

Fonch | 1363 comments I think that Alfonseca says to me that the aliens are inspired in other aliens created by Schmirtz the famous science fiction writer creator of Telzey Amberdon, and i know that he likes Edgar Rice Burroughs, perhaps he was inspired by their novels about Varsom (Mars), and Amtor (Venus). i also that he likes ules Verne. I have concluded my list of ideas. There is a world goverment in the novels of Poul Anderson. I wrote in my message one thing about Arthur C. Clarke, but acidentaly i delete. I have written in a Goodreads message :-).


message 12: by Manuel (new)

Manuel Alfonseca | 1569 comments Mod
Fonch wrote: "One influence is Saint Exupery, when Irene and Steve stayed trapped in the middle of Valley Marineris..."

Ah, yes, but that is not an influence, it is a quotation. And it is not from "The little prince," but from "Wind, sand and stars" (original title "Terre des hommes").

Fonch wrote: "the aliens are inspired in other aliens created by Schmitz..."

Yes, my Martians are similar in shape (not in habitat) to those in the novel "Legacy" by James Schmitz. You got that one right, Fonch. But I don't think I have been influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs in this novel, although I have read most of what he wrote.


message 13: by Fonch (new)

Fonch | 1363 comments Manuel wrote: "Fonch wrote: "One influence is Saint Exupery, when Irene and Steve stayed trapped in the middle of Valley Marineris..."

Ah, yes, but that is not an influence, it is a quotation. And it is not from..."

Give me a clue, please :-).


message 14: by John (new)

John Seymour | 1921 comments Mod
I haven't read science fiction broadly enough, recently enough to be able to say. It has been ages since I read them, but C.S. Lewis's books spring to mind, but that may be more because of the obvious similarity of using science fiction to convey a Christian message.


message 15: by Manuel (new)

Manuel Alfonseca | 1569 comments Mod
John wrote: "I haven't read science fiction broadly enough, recently enough to be able to say. It has been ages since I read them, but C.S. Lewis's books spring to mind, but that may be more because of the obvious similarity of using science fiction to convey a Christian message. "

Well, John, you and Fonch (in his first comment in this thread) have got it right. The highest influence on my book was "Out of the silent planet", the first novel in Lewis space trilogy. It takes place on Mars, where there are three intelligent partially humanoid species that have not experienced the fall and therefore live in a state of grace, without being able to do evil. But they are not defenseless, because they are ruled by an angel (the Oyarsa Malacandra) who protects them and stops the invasion from Earth (Weston and Devine, dragging Ransom).

This novel did not quite convince me. There are too many intelligent species on Mars, and they are too humanoid for my taste. Also I did not like the Oyarsa deus ex machina. That's why I gave it just 3 stars.

When "rewriting" the novel according to my taste, I made the following changes: a) A single intelligent species. b) Totally un-humanoid. c) Unprotected by angels. d) Immortal (in the novel by Lewis the three species are subject to death, just the angel is immortal). The remainder of the novel developed more or less by itself out of these starting points.

Apart from this, there is a second major influence in my novel that nobody has suggested up to now. I'll leave this open for the time being (after all, this is the 5th of October, and we are supposed to discuss the novel for the whole month ;-)


message 16: by Fonch (new)

Fonch | 1363 comments Manuel wrote: "John wrote: "I haven't read science fiction broadly enough, recently enough to be able to say. It has been ages since I read them, but C.S. Lewis's books spring to mind, but that may be more becaus..."

In my opinion C.S. Lewis isthe most important author for Manuel Alfonseca, but in my letter i was writing "Descent to the hell of Venus" it is not very closed to Perelendra. Although i must confess that it is very dificult there was aliens in Venus, and it can not speak about a young world, that it does not fall to the original. That it is the plot of Perelandra. We can not do that there was a original couple as for example appeared in Perelandra. There is a duel in "Dencent to the hell of Venus", because i do not want to spoil the novel of my friend in case the readers want to know the destiny of Steve McDunn in Venus.


message 17: by Mariangel (last edited Oct 20, 2017 06:12PM) (new)

Mariangel | 576 comments Manuel wrote: "Apart from this, there is a second major influence in my novel that nobody has suggested up to now. I'll leave this open for the time being (after all, this is the 5th of October, and we are supposed to discuss the novel for the whole month ;-)"

Arthur Clarke's "The sands of Mars"?


message 18: by Manuel (new)

Manuel Alfonseca | 1569 comments Mod
Mariangel wrote: "Manuel wrote: "Apart from this, there is a second major influence in my novel that nobody has suggested up to now. I'll leave this open for the time being...

Arthur Clarke's "The sands of Mars"?"


I had mentioned this book in a previous comment:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

No, the second major influence is "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury, a compilation of short stories. One of them ("The fire balloons"), little known because it does not appear in many of the editions of the book, deals with an intelligent race of Martians, different but descendant from those that were extinguished as a result of the terrestrial invasion, who were killed by chickenpox. They are shaped like lights suspended in the air inside transparent balloons. These Martians show themselves to Catholic priests who have gone to Mars to assist the terrestrials who have moved there. The priests try to speak of Christ to the Martians, using symbols they can understand, but they are told that the Martians don't need it because they are sinless, like Lewis's Martians, and have already had their redemption in another way. The priests conclude that each world would have had its own redemption. This goes against what Catholic theology says about the subject.

My Martians, on the other hand, like those of Lewis, had no redemption, because there was no fall. And like Bradbury's, they are immortal, while Lewis's are subject to death.


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