Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Three Details In How To Be Ethnic...

James Ching sees:

"...a sickle moon with a couple of pinpoint cities visible on its dark side..."
-Poul Anderson, The Van Rijn Method (New York, 2009), p. 184.

We want to see that as well. Not just bases but entire cities on the Moon!

When Jim and Betty Riefenstahl visit Adzel, Betty's father is able to phone her there because she usually leaves:

"...a list of numbers where she could probably be reached." (p. 193)

No mobile phones! A character had one in Heinlein's Future History. Her phone buzzed so she took it out of her handbag and answered it.

Adzel solves Mr Riefenstahl's problem by playing Fafner and solves Jim's problem, and gains for himself an unlimited meal ticket at a Chinese restaurant, by playing the Chinese Dragon. I once watched Wagner's entire Ring Cycle on television. I followed the words and thus the story in the subtitles while the music was having its effect but the music alone would not have held my attention all that time.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Yes, I have noticed that before, the lack of mobile phones in the Technic History. I would argue that for a book first pub. in 1966, ENSIGN FLANDRY otherwise has suprisingly few signs of "feeling" dated.

And one bit of technology we see in ENSIGN FLANDRY that we still don't have are flying cars (or air cars). And it was in that book that I first came across the CONCEPT of cloning (altho that term was not used) in 1971, when Commander Abrams showed surprise, even shock, that Dwyr the Hook's undamaged tissue and genetic pattern had not been used to grow replacement organs and limbs.

So, despite the lack of cell phones, ENSIGN FLANDRY still holds up well!