Saturday, 5 July 2014
Wings Of Victory V
The future is prefigured:
the Ythrians welcome extraplanetary contact;
they offer inducements to trade;
the narrator is sure that they will soon have their own spacecraft;
some of them hope that robots will replace slaves.
We see these developments later in the Technic History. The narrator says that Ythrians maintain civilization without cities whereas, of course, what they maintain is rural social organization. "Civilization" means urban social organization.
It is appropriate that "Lodestar," the concluding trader team story, shows van Rijn traveling in an Ythrian spaceship. The interstellar Domain of Ythri survives the collapse of the Polesotechnic League and there is no reason why it should decline and fall simultaneously with the Terran Empire and the Merseian Roidhunate. Dominic Flandry, contemplating the Long Night after the Empire, regards the human-Ythrian colony planet Avalon as hopeful.
(I call "Lodestar" the concluding trader team story because Mirkheim is not a conclusion but a sequel in which the old team is reassembled one last time after a long interval and not for its original purpose.)