Tuesday, 27 May 2014
-Poul Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010), p. 197.
"Every planet in the story is cold - even Terra, though Flandry came home on a warm evening of northern summer. There the chill was in the spirit."
-Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), p. 342.
These paragraphs open Chapter I of A Circus Of Hells and of A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows, respectively. In each, the omniscient narrator - or is it in these cases simply the author?- directly addresses the reader with information about "the story." Thus, we do not really get into the fiction, willingly suspending our disbelief, until the second paragraph. This is odd.
Those "...reefs and shoals..." are the distorted gravity around a pulsar and the "...ship..." is a spaceship so the description is somewhat misleading. The "...magician..." is a scientist who has discovered the value of psychic techniques.
The "cold" planets are:
Terra (we have been there before);
Diomedes (we have been there before);
Dennitza (now capital of the Taurian Sector, where we have been before);
Chereion (it has been discussed before).
Thus, like any good installment of a future history, A Knight... stands firmly on the solid ground of earlier installments.