Thursday, 28 November 2013
Hoka's Prologue is presented as an excerpt from the 11th Edition of the Encyclopedia Galactica, although this is presumably not the Encyclopedia of that name that was published on the planet Terminus during the decline of Isaac Asimov's Galactic Empire. In Anderson's and Dickson's fictitious future, there is not a human Empire but an Interbeing League. The excerpt contains the kind of planetary information that forms the background of sf works of this sort.
Thus, the planet Toka, Brackney's Star III, about 503 light years from Sol, is superficially Earth-like but with three small moons and two intelligent species, quasi-mammalian ursoid Hokas and reptiloid Slissii. However, the latter leave Toka to become interstellar wanderers as soon as the opportunity arises with the arrival of human explorers and thus also of League influence.
"...the Hokas are the most imaginative race of beings in known space, and doubtless in unknown space too." (Hoka, p. 8)
The phrase "known space" is used here, in Anderson's Technic Civilization future history and in Larry Niven's Known Space future history. I do not know where it appeared first.
Hokas not only play roles individually and collectively but also stay in role to the extent of creating "...an implausible kaleidoscope of harlequin societies..." (op. cit., p. 9)
Whether I am about to enjoy reading about these "...demon teddy bears..." (ibid.) remains to be seen.