Saturday, 24 August 2013

Vulcan's Forge

The page view count for today is so good so far that I feel I ought to add another post but I can't just yet. I have been doing some other reading and am just about to go out, in fact will have to rush if I delay any longer. And I must catch up with some Latin this weekend.

However, the Poul Anderson short story currently on the agenda is "Vulcan's Forge" (Space Folk, New York, 1989). There must be someone reading this post who has read that story? Please email me your summary or critique of it and that can be posted here. We ought to get more interactive.

"Vulcan's Forge" is the kind of sf story that assumes no space technology beyond what could be constructed now, except of course for what seems to be the human personality inside a spaceship computer - if I have not misread the italicized passages so far. The story was published thirty years ago this year. Anderson and other American hard sf writers would have expected there to be bases on the Moon and astronauts exploring Mars and Mercury by now but the future is never what we expect.

We were not surprised by the first Moon landing in our lifetimes but we were very surprised by the cessation of interplanetary travel shortly after that. Sorry I do not have time to post more now.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    While I recently finished rereading FOR LOVE AND GLORY and read again "Backwardness" (which I realized I had read years ago)to help comment on your previous blog piece, I too have been reading other thigs. Right now, I'm focusing on David Wingrove's ICE AND FIRE, the fourth volume of his "Chung Kuo" series. But, I will reread "Vulcan's Forge" to see if it inspires any thoughts in me.

    And I hope other persons besides me or Nicholas will comment in this blog!


    1. Hi, Paul!

      I forgot to add in my previous note that I too am bitterly disappointed at how LITTLE has been done to make use of the resources and potentialities of space. We should have had bases and colonies on the Moon and Mars by now, mining the asteroids for metals, exploring the moons of Jupiter, etc. And, just perhaps, even thinking and planning of sending expeditions to the nearer stars.

      For Poul Anderson's own views on this and his hopes and fears alike, I recommend reading the "Commentary" he added to SPACE FOLK. I did not agree, mind, with his comment about the Conciliar Movement and the reference to the ex Soviet space program now seems dated. But those were minor quibbles which did not detract from the major points in that essay.