Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Jorun And Others

(I will be away on family business for two days. Page views decline when I don't post but I can't do it all the time!)

(I found nine Virgin Planet cover illustrations so I am using them to illustrate Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic History. Some more recent novels, even when re-issued, only have a single cover.)

After, in the previous post, comparing Asimov unfavorably with Anderson (yet again), I reflected that Asimov has time travelers, robots, detectives, an interstellar empire and a science of society in one long series, plus some detectives elsewhere, whereas the Anderson side of the comparison comprises two future histories, the Time Patrol series and a mystery trilogy. Thus, more variety.

How much do we know about the Galactic Civilization in "The Chapter Ends"?

It comprises humanity and other species;
thanks to artificial mutation in earlier generations, every brain contains a generator to control cosmic energies;
gas giant dwellers' generators and those of human beings and their allies interfere with each other;
therefore, the two civilizations agree to inhabit different Galactic Sectors;
the psychotechnician, Jorun of Fulkhis, is nearly a thousand years old;
like every other Galactic, he can control his nervous system, fly and generate a wind-screen;
he can also fly thirty thousand light-years in ten days;
Terrans chose not to participate in Civilization but to live as peasants beside the massive ruins of the First Empire;
even they have a lifetime of maybe two centuries;
some planets have been given luminous skies;
a few retain cities but most Galactics live far apart;
Jorun lives on a moor where there are dark nights;
the planet Loa is covered by an indigo ocean with many islands;
Sharang has massive mountains;
Jareb has a sky full of light;
humanity must evacuate the Galactic periphery to make way for the Hulduvians;
(but, since the Terrans do not use cosmic energies, why must they vacate?);
since the Hulduvians will not arrive for centuries, it is acceptable that one very old man remains on Earth;
he expects to enjoy solitude but screams and runs when he realizes that he is completely alone;
this is an unhappy ending to an otherwise peaceful, autumnal story but it is to be hoped that Kormt will adjust to his self-imposed isolation.

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