Monday, 4 February 2013

The Star Fox: A Series

By the end of Poul Anderson's The Star Fox (London, 1968), Gunnar Heim has been:

a World Federation Space Navy officer;
boss and chief owner of Heimdal Nuclear Motors;
a privateer;
minister of space and navy for the newly independent planet, New Europe.

Next, he wants to:

experiment with pelagic farming;
prospect other planets and asteroids in the same system as New Europe;
start a merchant spaceship yard
etc.

If only everyone were that energetic!

I was looking out for signs that this novel had been not a serial but a series when published in The Magazine Of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I thought I had reached the end of a discrete story when Heim had rescued his kidnapped daughter at the end of Chapter Eight. However, there was one more chapter to go before the end of Part One.

The three Parts are:

Marque And Reprisal (nine chapters);
Arsenal Port (eight);
Admiralty (ten).

The Star Fox is a novelized serial about an interstellar privateer. However, it is not three installments about privateering.

Part One ends with the spaceship, Fox II, leaving the Solar System. To that extent, it is like Anderson's Orbit Unlimited. The first installment has been build-up and preparation.

Part Two describes an incident that occurs while Heim is buying weapons on Staurn, thus has still not started privateering.

Part Three begins after four months of raiding and eighteen ships captured with Heim learning that he needs to end the conflict soon. After a landing on the disputed planet, the war is won by the end of the book.

Thus, the period of privateering is between Parts Two and Three and a further book could be written about it.

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