Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Historical Background Details III
Of the twelve works collected in Poul Anderson's The Earth Book Of Stormgate (New York, 1979), we have so far attributed:
one to James Ching;
one to Arinnian/Christopher Holm;
two to Hloch and Arinnian;
three to Judith Lundgren -
- but what of the remaining five?
Both "Margin of Profit" and "Rescue on Avalon" are taken from Tales Of The Great Frontier by AA Craig, a Terran writer of historical fiction who traveled widely and visited Avalon during a pause in the Troubles. AA Craig was a pulp pen name of Poul Anderson. Stories that are science fiction by Poul Anderson are historical fiction by AA Craig. May these authors meet in the trans-temporal Inn.
"The Man Who Counts" is a novel, a "...full sky-dance portraying Nicholas van Rijn..." (p. 146), originally published on either Terra or Hermes, with different authors and dates cited. We also know of another title, War Of The Wing Men.
"Wings of Victory," describing the Discovery - human-Ythrian First Contact - and therefore opening the book, is taken directly from "...Far Adventure by Maeve Downey, the autobiography of a planetologist." (p. 23)
The genesis of "The Problem of Pain" is more complicated:
Peter Berg, a Christian from Aeneas, explored Gray, later renamed Avalon, with Ythrians;
later, he described this experience to a colleague on Lucifer;
that colleague recounted his conversations with Berg in private correspondence long preserved by the recipient's heirs on Terra;
a visiting historian transcribed a copy of the recorded correspondence;
the copy was preserved in the archives of the University of Fleurville on Esperance;
Rennhi of Stormgate Choth on Avalon acquired the account for her Earth Book.
At least six planets interact here: Aeneas, Ythri, Gray/Avalon, Lucifer, Terra, Esperance.
We know from The Day Of Their Return that religious feelings ran deep on Aeneas and that a new Jihad almost began there.
Berg divides the evolution of religion into three stages:
primitive faiths - the gods are power;
higher faiths - God is justice;
the highest faith(s) - God is love.
But then he meets the Ythrians for whom God is the Hunter.