Monday, 17 November 2014
To Compare Great Things To Small
In "The Problem of Pain," the Ythrian Enherrian is puzzled when the Aenean Peter Berg buries his wife because:
"On Ythri they cast them from a great height into wilderness."
-Poul Anderson, The Van Rijn Method (New York, 2009), p. 131.
And Ythrians still do this centuries later when they, together with a greater number of human beings, have colonized the planet that Enherrian and Berg were exploring. See here. A great height turns out to mean as high as Ythrians can fly.
In "How To Be Ethnic In One Easy Lesson," James Ching, hard at study, has told friends and colleagues that:
"...they shouldn't bother me about anything much less urgent than a rogue planet on a collision course." (p. 177)
A throwaway line. However, rogue planets play major roles in "A Sun Invisible," Satan's World and Ensign Flandry. In particular, in this third work, a rogue planet is on a collision course not indeed with Sol or Terra but with Saxo, the sun of the inhabited planet, Starkad. The consequences are such that they would make Ching think twice about making flippant remarks about rogue planets or collision courses...