Friday, 22 February 2013

Flying Mountains IV

In Poul Anderson's Tales Of The Flying Mountains (New York, 1984), having been told about the Terrestrial politics that led to the gyrogravitic technology that led to asteroid colonisation, we will now be told about the revolution that established the Asteroid Republic and will thus return to politics, now interplanetary. This is a very systematic future history.

That it is a future history, not just a futuristic series, is established when the narrator informs us:

"Thanks to antisenescence, we have a number of persons aboard who experienced those days of more than a hundred years ago." (p. 43)

Thus, the series covers more time than a single normal lifespan.

("Antisenescence" also occurs in Anderson's History of Technic Civilization, which covers thousands of years although no one in it lives that long.)

The narrator refers to the spaceship Tyrfing, obviously a Norse name, incorporating Tyr, the war god. Thinking that Tyrfing sounded familiar and wanting to check its source, I googled "Poul Anderson Tyrfing" and was referred to my own article, "Tyrfing," on this blog, September 2012. The cursed sword Tyrfing featured in an Eddaic poem, in a Saga and in Anderson's heroic fantasy novel, The Broken Sword. Now, a spaceship is named after it in Anderson's sf series, Flying Mountains.

A character refers to "Mohammedanism" (p. 15) whereas Muslims of course prefer "Islam."

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