Round and round it goes …
The whole thread of searches and information found in the process from that original reference to Asoka in my blog has been somewhat fascinating First, it led to the Nine Unknown Men and now it’s led me by way of yesterday’s entry (which referenced Philip Jose Farmer) to the Wold Newton family :p
Yes, I know, you’re probably bursting with curiosity by this time to learn what the Wold Newton family is (yeah, right :p) but let me sidetrack for a moment (and if you’re really impatient, you can go follow the link above and come back here later :p). I have read Farmer’s "The Other Log of Phileas Fogg" a long time ago and was fascinated by it. I liked the alternate story behind Verne‘s "Around the World in 80 Days" and how deftly Farmer wove in and out of the story written by Verne. I’ve also read quite a bit of other stuff by Farmer and have been fascinated by his alternate takes on fictional characters. However, I had not been aware of his theory/history about the Wold Newton family and how they encompass a lot of different fictional heroes from all areas of fiction.
I’ve always been fascinated by family trees and grand sweeping sagas which span decades (if not centuries or millennia) and paint a majestic mural of dashing individuals on the canvas of time (Woah, talk about wordy sentences :p) I’ve only attempted one such story myself and that was a long time ago. It could almost be called my first "real" story. It was about a family named Forman who left Earth to colonize a planet circling a star in the Sagittarius system. It had the grand sounding title of "The Sagittarian Saga". Initially, the story was just about the Forman family on the new planet after centuries of being there but later, I began adding more family members and more history. There was the story of Professor William Forman, the founder of the Forman clan and then Jano Forman, who actually discovered the means to leave Earth and so on.
Now that I think about it, perhaps Farmer (and a few other writers who liked to link things together) influenced me unconsciously when I wrote these stories (never mind the fact that I hadn’t read Farmer when I originally started the stories :p But the history is a bit vague in my mind and I might have gotten to Farmer by the time I started adding to the history of the Forman family …) I know for a fact that my later reading of the greatest linker of totally-unrelated-and-disparate facts, Terry Pratchett, has certainly influenced my style of writing these days. So perhaps, Farmer did too. And perhaps, I owe him a debt of gratitude