Saturday, 29 June 2013

Family Connections

In Poul Anderson's The Game Of Empire:

Chapter One is Diana, daughter of Dominic Flandry, and the Wodenite Axor on Imhotep;

Chapter Two is the Tigery Targovi on Daedalus;

Chapter Three is Targovi back home on Imhotep and now we are told that he is a son of Dragoika, chief of the Toborkozan Sisterhood, and are reminded that she is an old friend of Fleet Admiral Dominic Flandry who knows the Emperor.

Thus we have met what I call two more "Children of Empire," Dominic's daughter and Dragoika's son. The two previous novels had introduced Dominic's son and Max Abrams' daughter. So I call the three novels a "Children of Empire" trilogy.

In Chapter Two, Targovi, working covertly for Imperial Intelligence, interrogates a Merseian prisoner. Regular readers are familiar with Eriau terminology. The Merseian is Fodaich Eidhafor the Bold, Vach Dathyr.

Chapter Three reveals more about the terraforming of Imhotep. The pioneers had melted the snow on the twelve kilometer high Mt Horn and heated the planet with nuclear energy, killing the ice bulls and their ecology, but human beings still need reduction helmets at sea level whereas Tigeries are comfortable there but need either a helmet or a detachable oxygill, requiring preliminary surgery, higher up.

Some aged Tigeries believe that the spirits of the dead go to the Land of Trees Beyond but such beliefs do long survive contact with other races or emigration to another planet.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    I thought it was fascinating how Targovi, by means of some minor surgery and use of an oxygill was able to live without need of wearing a helmet and carrying tanks of his kind of air, was able to live in atmospheres humans need. Altho it was not mentioned or shown, obviously, the reverse could have been done for humans whose business took them to Tigery settled lands for lengthy periods.

    If I'm recalling correctly, Starkad that once was and the lowlands of Imhotep have a high enough concenctration of carbon dioxide to make it unbreathable for humans. But humans and Tigeries had a similar enough biochemistry that some surgery and use of an oxygill would make each other's atmosphere mutually breathable.


  2. Hi, Paul!

    A few more thoughts came to mind. I recall reading in ENSIGN FLANDRY that Tigery religion on Starkad was surprisingly primitive, that Dragoika's people followed a paganism more "inchoate" than anything found in Terra's past. The book says the Tigery mind tended to be less fascinated than the human in ultimate causes. In that case, I can see how Toborkozan paganism would fade away after the migration from their doomed home planet. It does makes me wonder if any Tigeries took any interest in human religions and philosophies. A point THE GAME OF EMPIRE does not mention.


  3. My impression, though, is that the Tigeries are very pragmatic and would tend to go from primitive paganism to an unreflecting secularism without passing through much deeper reflection en route.

    1. Hi, Paul!

      Hmmm, yes, I can see how many Tigeries might go from a primitive paganism to an unreflecting agnosticism/secularism. But that need not be true of all Tigeries.