Saturday, 21 April 2012

Children of Empire

The Flandry series begins with three novels written retroactively as a "Young Flandry" trilogy. Flandry is an Ensign at 19, a Lieutenant at 21 and a Lieutenant Commander at 25. Because of an emergency, the 25-year old receives his brevet commission as full commander and becomes Captain of an escort destroyer. The first novel, Ensign Flandry, introduces not only Dominic Flandry but also:

Max Abrams, who gets Flandry into Intelligence;
Persis d'Io, with whom Flandry has an affair;
Dragoika, of the land-dwelling species on Starkad.

The series also ends with three novels although these were not written as a trilogy and the third is definitely an afterthought. The first two round off the career of Captain, becoming Admiral, Flandry and the third, with cameo appearances by Flandry, introduces a team who could have launched a new series. Each of these novels begins with a son or daughter of a character who had been introduced in Ensign Flandry:

A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows begins with a conversation between Flandry and Dominic Hazeltine, his son by Persis;
A Stone In Heaven begins with Miriam Abrams, daughter of Max. (Max had looked at a picture of his family, including "...Little Miriam...," on Starkad.) (1);
The Game of Empire begins with Diana Crowfeather, who turns out to be a daughter of Flandry;
she in turn is friendly with Targovi, son of Dragoika.

What happened to these four "children of Empire"?

Hazeltine became a traitor and was left brain-dead after a hypnoprobing ordered by Flandry;
Miriam married Flandry;
Flandry offered to fund interstellar voyaging by Diana and Targovi although we are not told whether they would be traders, explorers, scientists, artists or Intelligence operatives. (This last is possible since Targovi had already been simultaneously a trader and an Intelligence operative.)

Flandry also offered to fund the archaeological research of the Wodenite, Axor. Since Axor had travelled with Diana and Targovi in The Game Of Empire, he might continue to do so. In that case, Diana's new team of a human female, a Starkadian male and a Wodenite convert to Jerusalem Catholicism would parallel David Falkayn's earlier team of a human male, a Cynthian female and a Wodenite convert to Mahayana Buddhism. The Game of Empire ends with the feeling that the adventure continues, although of course there is a limit to how much of it Anderson can tell us.
"Children of..." is a cliche sequel title and Anderson did not use it here but it would be appropriate for these three novels presented as an omnibus conclusion to the series about Dominic Flandry, Agent of the Terran Empire.

(1) Poul Anderson, Ensign Flandry, London, 1976, p. 15.

No comments: