Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Fire Time II

(i) In Poul Anderson's Fire Time (London, 1977), one character:

"...considered the pagan rites of propitiation a waste of good meat." (p. 34)

Too right they are unless the meat, having been offered in this case to "...an outlaw god...," is then eaten on his behalf by his propitiators!

(ii) The term "gravitrons," used in the previous volume, The Star Fox, does seem to have been dropped from the vocabulary here. So far (but I have as yet reread only to p. 48 of 255), there has been no indication of how FTL flight works in this fictitious timeline. Perhaps Anderson came to think that "gravitrons" sounded too much like a Golden Age of Science Fiction gimmick?

(iii) One Terrestrial Naval spaceship is called the Moshe Peretz. This name seemed familiar but only because I had reread The Star Fox immediately before Fire Time. Sure enough, Peretz was a Rear Admiral thirty years previously. This is the sort of carefully observed detail that brings a future history to life.

(iv) The Star Fox was a three part series so this second volume is really Part Four of the series. One to one and a half generations have passed so the series is on its way towards future history status but unfortunately, as we always wind up saying, Anderson did not extend it any further because he was too busy writing a lot of other good stuff.

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