Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Historical Background Details II

"Day of Burning" describes Falkayn's dealings with Merseia and "Lodestar" describes van Rijn's coming to Mirkheim. The first is pivotal for Technic Civilization, the second for the Polesotechnic League. In both cases, Hloch, editing The Earth Book Of Stormgate, recounts more than is divulged in the texts of the stories.

After the Babur War, van Rijn and Falkayn, foreseeing the Time of Troubles that was coming to the Solar System, left many data units in the care of the Grand Duke of Falkayn's home planet, Hermes, and of Falkayn's relatives on Hermes. Three centuries after the dissolution of the League, Rennhi of Stormgate Choth on Avalon, compiling the Earth Book, gained permission to transfer the molecular patterns of the almost forgotten stored units from Hermes to Avalon where she initiated a code-breaking program supported by the Avalonian armed forces because by then war with the Terran Empire was imminent and any information originating from Terra might have had military value.

Cracking the code developed cryptography. The previously suppressed account of Falkayn's mission to Merseia was written as a narrative in Anglic by Hloch and Arinnian/Christopher Holm. Thus, Hloch and Arinnian are, fictitiously, the authors of "Day of Burning," as James Ching is of "How To Be Ethnic In One Easy Lesson" and Judith Lundgren is of "Esau," "The Season of Forgiveness" and "Wingless." (See here.) (Arinnian is a character in The People Of The Wind.)

Hloch and Arinnian additionally wrote "Lodestar," based on a ship's log and on some taped conversations and data lists preserved on Hermes but also on the private journal of Hirharouk of Wryfields Choth on Ythri, made available by the Wyvan Stirrok and Hirharouk's descendants. Finally, Arinnian also wrote "A Little Knowledge" from a tale brought to Ythri by the xenologist, Fluoch of Mistwood. Thus, Hloch's account adds considerable complexity to what we accept while reading them as a straightforward short stories written in English by Poul Anderson.

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