Monday, 23 September 2013

Fifty Men

I am not sure of the point of a Cast of Characters for a novel, especially when it is incomplete. In Poul Anderson's Planet Of No Return (London, 1971), the Cast lists seven members of the crew of the Spaceship Henry Hudson.

However, Chapter 4:

informs us that the crew comprises fifty "...spacers and scientists..." (p. 25);
introduces the remaining two from the seven listed on p. 6 - Miguel Fernandez, Uruguayan geologist, and Friedrich von Osten, German mercenary soldier;
but also introduces Captain Hamilton.

Further, Chapter 5 introduces Christopher Umfanduma, African biologist. So, by p. 36, we have fifty men of whom we know nine. Thus, the Cast of Characters is so incomplete that it is misleading.

Meanwhile, we have learned some interesting future history:

World War IV sank the Japanese islands;
Mars shattered the Monkgu Empire;
the current Solar government is (seen as) the only alternative to anarchy and tyranny.

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