Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Axor's Quest

In Poul Anderson's The Game Of Empire, Axor's quest for Foredweller ruins is pushed so far into the background that the reader might miss how much progress Axor does make:

in Chapter Three, he and Diana were en route to the Starboard and Larboard Islands on Imhotep "' look at what may be ruins left by fay-folk of old...'" but are interrupted by Targovi persuading them instead to travel to the planet Daedalus (Flandry's Legacy, New York, 2012, p. 241);

in Chapter Fourteen, they plan to explore probable Ancient ruins with inscriptions in the jungle south of Ghundrung on Daedalus but Targovi persuades them instead to visit Zacharia (an island, not another planet);

in Chapter Nineteen, on Zacharia, Axor "'...retrieved scores of descriptions, pictures, studies of sites unknown to me...'" and, although he has not yet deciphered the symbols, has "'...identified regularities, recurrences, that look highly significant...'" (p. 403);

in Chapter Twenty-Three (the last), back on Imhotep, Axor and Diana "...were at sea on an archaeological expedition..." (back to the Starboard and Larboard Islands?), when they are interrupted by searchers engaged by Dominic Flandry who promises to "'...obtain adequate funding for [Axor's] research.'" (pp. 449, 453)

Thus, considerable progress is being made and it would have been interesting to learn more about it. Possible sequel(s):

Targovi and Diana are an interstellar trader team and Intelligence operatives;
Axor leads a well funded research team to Foredweller sites on the Patrician planets and elsewhere;
the Merseians are preoccupied with changes of plan and organization necessitated by Terran Intelligence's use of the database stolen by Targovi (p. 434) so they are not an immediate threat (in fact, is this last disappointment the start of their irrevocable decline?);
Axor meets Aycharaych who survived the destruction of Chereion and is also visiting Ancient sites for different reasons?;
Targovi and Diana encounter an embittered Edwin Cairncross leading some barbarians?;
whatever else happens, their paths cross Axor's.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I've not yet reread THE GAME OF EMPIRE, but your comments about Chapter 19 and Fr. Axor are significant. Axor's discoveries in the Zacharian archives must have more than compensated for him being diverted from the places he had originally planned to first visit.