Sunday, 16 November 2014


Why Hloch Knows Human Beings

(i) Hloch's father, Ferannian, was an engineer who often visited towns. (It is unnecessary to specify "human towns" because Ythrians don't have them.)

(ii) Travel routes crossed above the territory around Spearhead Lake held by Ferannian and Hloch's mother, Rennhi.

(iii) There was a copper mine nearby.

(iv) The couple were guest-free.

(v) Because the Stormgate Choth is near Gray, it receives more human members than most choths.

(vi) Hloch has visited Imperial planets in a merchant ship.

For these reasons, Hloch's Wyvan, Tariat, asked him to write The Earth Book Of Stormgate to complement Rennhi's Sky Book. Hloch tries to explain to his fellow Ythrians difficult concepts like "nation." After mentioning the self-caused troubles of Technic civilization, he advises:

"Ythrians, be not overly proud; only look back from the heights of time, across Ythrian history, and then forward to the shadow of God across the future."
-Poul Anderson, The Earth Book Of Stormgate (New York, 1979), p. 291.

I think that we in this generation should take his advice:

we have begun the third millennium of our era and know of earlier eras, thus "...heights of time...;"
we can survey a lot of history;
we can discern only a shadow over our individual and collective futures;
the shadow means either that there is nothing there or that, if there is, we cannot see it.

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