Saturday, 1 June 2013

Hordian Theory And The Technic History

(i) Technic civilization arises not from a dark age but either from conversion tyrannies or from historically unprecedented factors like science and technology.

(ii) Nicholas van Rijn lives during a breakdown. Thus, his still brilliant society is running on momentum, not on initial impulse. This is shown in a sort of concluding trilogy: Satan's World, "Lodestar" and Mirkheim.

(iii) The People Of The Wind is set in the principate phase of the Terran Empire.

(iv) Dominic Flandry lives in the interregnum between the principate and dominate phases of the Empire. Thus:

in his youth, he upholds legitimacy in government;
but later he can only support the least bad war lord and try to make the period less oppressive than it would have been without his input;
viewing Flandry's career from this, Hordian, perspective, Anderson wrote A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows.

(v) The Long Night, shown in "A Tragedy of Errors," is a dark age.

(vi) "Starfog" might show a new beginning based on freedom and breaking the cycle.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Basically, I agree with this Hordian analysis of Technic Civlization. I would stress however, that we need to remember that no civilization will last forever--including the civilization of the Commonalty. I'm reminded of what either Poul Anderson or Sandra Miesel wrote at the very end of THE LONG NIGHT: "And now a new cycle turns on Fortune's cosmic wheel. Another brilliant era races to its apogee. What hidden flaws will send the Commonalty spinning downward into darkness like the Empire and the League before it?"