Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Continuing To Reread The Technic History

Hello, folks. Thank you for all the continuing daily page views. I really enjoy rereading Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization and posting about small points that would not be noticed or would be quickly forgotten at a single reading. Recently, I realized that the names of all four of the moons of Merseia are given in Ensign Flandry, although not all on the same page, and have still not memorized them all so I would fail that question in a Poul Anderson quiz.

As I said in a recent post, it is less like following a narrative to its end than like opening a window onto an alternative reality, where even small details can be of interest. I will continue to do this for some time although maybe not at the same pace as recently. As I mention now and again, other activities, like meditation, keeping fit, learning Latin, some political campaigning and driving family members to places of interest, require attention.

I expect to finish rereading Ensign Flandry, then maybe the other two Young Flandry novels, the short story "Outpost of Empire" and one or two of what I call the three "Children of Empire" novels. Anderson shows us the entire career of Dominic Flandry, far more so that he does for either van Rijn or Falkayn, and I also prefer Flandry as a character. He is more believable than van Rijn and I am more in tune with someone whose work is for the good of society as a whole rather than to accumulate wealth - Falkayn eventually tells van Rijn that he does not need to accumulate any more! Of course, Anderson makes the point that the League, in its early days, opens up space and spreads an interstellar Pax - for a while. A Young Van Rijn Trilogy would have been of considerable interest but Anderson could not possibly write all the potential stories in the History.

Please keep reading the blog and post some comments!


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Dang! I had completely forgotten about the moons of Merseia. Thinks like this is one reason I appreciate your PAA blog.

I can see why you thought Flandry a more believable character than Old Nick. But I like van Rijn as much as I do Sir Dominic.

And I still wonder what happened to Leon Ammon after A CIRCUS OF HELLS. Flandry detested him but grudgingly respected his courage and energy. Which was why he helped Ammon in the reoccupation of the Mimirian system and reopening of the mines of Wayland.

I remember Greg Bear telling me Poul Anderson left behind boxes of after his death. I have wondered if those boxes contains any publishable material. Including material about the Technic History.


Paul Shackley said...

Since you originally made the point, I have come to agree that Flandry in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS should have conversed not only with the Duke of Mars, the Emperor and Desai but also with an ennobled Ammon reminiscing about their shared past.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

It would have been fascinating to see what the passing of time, along with the power gained by the great wealth of Wayland, would have made of Leon Ammon. Would he have been just as odious (if energetic and courageous) as we saw him in A CIRCUS OF HELLS? Or might he actually have become a person doing his best to help stabilize the Empire?