Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Question And Answer

Question And Answer is an alternative title of Planet Of No Return (London, 1971) by Poul Anderson. According to the Wikipedia article on Question And Answer, in this novel, the Soviet Union conquers North America after World War III. The novel does refer to a period of ideologically blinkered commissars, so, if this passage refers to events in North America, not in the world at large, then, yes, we can infer that the Soviet Union conquers North America.

For this next remark, I depend on memory alone. I think that I found, but did not buy, a copy of Question And Answer with an Introduction by Sandra Miesel in which she said that she had persuaded Anderson that this novel could fit into his Psychotechnic future history. It is important that someone tells me if this is wrong.

The Psychotechnic series has a Chronology from 1958 to post-4000 whereas Question..., set centuries in the future, refers to several undated historical events. Both fictitious histories have two events in common: World War III, dated 1958 in the Psychotechnic Chronology, and the unification of the Solar System, dated 2105.

However, the intervening events and the interval of time necessary for such events to occur differ as between the two accounts. The Psychotechnic History has:

1958 Soviet Union destroyed in World War III
1964 Valti formulates psychodynamic theorems
1965 UN becomes world government
1975 Psychotechnic Institute established; Venus, Mars exploration/colonization
2035 Venus breaks from Earth
2105 Solar Union founded

As indicated in the previous post, Question... has more and different events, including a World War IV, with psychodynamics developed later.

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