Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Ensign Flandry II

The captain of a space freighter registered on New Germania describes himself as Germanian. Either Germania is a German colony and New Germania is a Germanian colony or "New Germania" and "Germania" are different names for the same place although I now suspect the latter. The captain, Otto Brummelmann, is a pathetic parody of old van Rijn  both in physical description and in (attempted) bonhomie. Flandry thinks:

"Probably he thought of himself as being in the high, wild tradition of early space-faring days." (Poul Anderson, Ensign Flandry, London, 1976, p. 174)

Flandry loses his "Youth" (p. 170) when he learns the truth about Starkad. He has not yet completed his transformation into the Dominic Flandry that we know later in the series because he is still making elementary mistakes in Intelligence work in the following volume, A Circus Of Hells. The third, concluding, Young Flandry novel, The Rebel Worlds, covers further maturing experiences: his first command; seeing the Empire at its worst; loving but not getting Kathryn McCormac.

When Persis approaches him in Ensign Flandry, he seems inexperienced but then turns out to be very experienced:

"'...I thought I was your first,' she said, '...And every minute this evening you knew exactly what you were doing.'" (pp. 98-99)

He is nineteen. We never see his first time with a woman.

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