Monday, 21 April 2014

Historical Background Details

At the end of Poul Anderson's "How To Be Ethnic In One Easy Lesson," the first person narrator, James Ching, is about to be apprenticed to a Master Merchant of the Polesotechnic League. This and subsequent stories disclose no further information about Ching. However, Hloch's introduction to the story in The Earth Book Of Stormgate reveals that Ching wrote reminiscences during his career as a spaceman, then settled on the planet Catawrayannis, where his descendants kept his notebooks and made them available to Rennhi of Stormgate Choth on Avalon when she began to gather material for the Earth Book, which was completed by her son, Hloch.

Thus, two sentences in this fictitious introduction immeasurably increase our knowledge of Ching's later life. Similarly, at the end of "Esau," Emil Dalmady from Altai is about to become an entrepreneur on ninety per cent commission from Nicholas van Rijn. Hloch alone tells us that Damady "...appears to have soared high for long years afterward." - The Earth Book Of Stormgate (New York, 1979), p. 101. Hloch adds that some of Dalmady's children moved to Avalon with Falkayn and that one of them, Judith Lundgren, later wrote the story, based on her father's reminiscences, for the magazine, Morgana. She also wrote the later stories, "The Season of Forgiveness" and "Wingless," for Morgana. Her father got the details of the first of these stories from one of the persons concerned when he was an entrepreneur in that region of space whereas "Wingless" describes an event during the early colonization of Avalon.

Thus, Hloch's background material links "The Season of Forgiveness" and "Wingless," through Judith, back to "Esau." I aim to delve further into Hloch's introductions but it is time to attend meditation group.

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