Sunday, 6 July 2014

Lodestar

An extremely complicated back story emerges from two of Hloch's editorial passages in The Earth Book Of Stormgate:

Falkayn's descendants preserved a vague tradition that he had visited Merseia;
Rennhi, preparing the Earth Book, sought the truth behind this tradition;
on Hermes, she learned that, after the Babur War, van Rijn and Falkayn had transferred data units from Earth to the care of the Hermetian Grand Ducal House and the Falkayn family;
Rennhi obtained permission to transfer the molecular patterns to Avalon, where she initiated a code-breaking program that was supported by the armed forces because war with the Empire was imminent;
the code was broken but the study of the records was interrupted by the war;
resumed, the study disclosed how Falkayn came to Merseia and how van Rijn came to Mirkheim;
the records contained a ship's log for the voyage to Mirkheim;
with the ship identified, Rennhi contacted Wryfields Choth on Ythri where Wyvan Stirrok helped her to find Captain Hirharouk's journal;
Hirharouk's descendants allowed the journal to be read;
Hloch and Arinnian wrote "Lodestar."

When "Lodestar" was published in Astounding: The John W Campbell Memorial Anthology, edited by Harry Harrison, it was a new Polesotechnic League story by Poul Anderson but, when it was collected in the Earth Book, it became a narrative composed by Hloch and Arinnian and it retained this latter status when it was incorporated into Baen Books' The Technic Civilization Saga, compiled by Hank Davis. No future history could possibly become denser or more complicated but to such a rich and substantial effect.

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