Sunday, 30 November 2014
I will shortly reread some passages featuring Cairncross solo, then Cairncross in dialogue first with Dominic Flandry, then with Emperor Gerhart. I expect, therefore, to have more to post about Edwin Cairncross. Meanwhile, however, a certain amount has already been posted. See here.
Cairncross' ambitions are cosmic in scope and could have been pursued without contemplating illegality. He had ordered the building of an ornamental battlement:
"...because he wanted to feel his kinship to Shi Huang Ti, Charlemagne, Suleiman the Magnificent, Pyotr the Great, every man who had ever been dominant on Terra."
-Poul Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (New York, 2012), p. 26.
Bad news. Less thought of self-glorification would have made Cairncross a far greater ruler. The model of a selfless ruler in Poul and Karen Anderson's works is Gratillonius, the last King of Ys.
(Coincidence: while posting about the oceanic planet, Nyanza, I have meanwhile read about a submerged city inhabited by amphibians in China Mieville's The Scar.)