You sometimes hear the science fiction genre described as an ongoing dialogue between current authors and those who have gone before (I’m paraphrasing. I want to say the idea was articulated by the late Charles Brown, of Locus fame, but I might be wrong.).
The notion’s appealing, though I’ve never been quite sold on it as a characteristic uniquely applicable to prose science fiction. But suppose it’s true. Does that mean your enjoyment of a given novel, no matter how great, is less than it could be if you had greater familiarity with its antecedents? I don’t know. But I’m going to – kind of – talk about it anyway.
Our subject is a manga series that takes the idea of dialogue with past creators to an extreme. I know pretty much nothing about the older material that inspired it. I enjoyed it enormously, though. So much so that I think any sf fan curious about the comics medium should consider giving it a look. I kind of think this is what Isaac Asimov might have come up with, were he a 21st century manga creator with an urge to tell robot stories.
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