Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Falkayn's Legacies

Poul Anderson, David Falkayn: Star Trader (New York, 2010), compiled by Hank Davis.

(First, local stuff. When we visit the Cumbrian town of Kendal, I meditate in a side chapel of the Parish Church. Today, I learned that that chapel contains the tomb of the grandfather of the sixth wife of Henry VIII. As John Constantine said, Americans have geography; we have history. I also learned that a Christian meditation group meets once a week in that chapel.)

David Falkayn made two provisions for the future, Supermetals and Avalon. No Ythrians are involved in Supermetals. Later, Vixen, which funded weather stations from its share in Supermetals, was in the Terran Empire whereas Avalon, jointly colonized by human beings and Ythrians, fought the Empire to remain in the Domain of Ythri. Later again, another planet that had been in Supermetals participated in a post-Imperial civilization, the Allied Planets. Still later, a Vixenite colony participated in a post-Allied Planets civilization. Thus, Falkayn has had more visible long term consequences than either van Rijn or Flandry.

So far, Falkayn himself is the only, indirect, link between Supermetals and Ythri. However, it is an Ythrian, Hirharouk of the Wryfields Choth, who spells out the implications of Supermetals to van Rijn. When van Rijn confronts his trader team, who had organized Supermetals behind his back, it is "[s]urprisingly..." (p. 679), Hirahraouk, whose ship has brought van Rijn to the supermetals source, that speaks:

"'They seek to win that which will let their peoples fly free...In the end, God the Hunter strikes every being and everything which beings have made. Upon your way of life I see His shadow. Let the new come to birth in peace.'" (pp. 679-680)

Planets that were not helped by the Polesotechnic League are now, legitimately, helping themselves. And, meanwhile, the League's days are numbered. It is appropriate that The Earth Book of Stormgate begins with the first human-Ythrian contact in "Wings of Victory" and that The Technic Civilization Saga, Volume II, ends with the van Rijn-trader team-Hiraharouk confrontation in "Lodestar."

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